EMT Training in Tampa with School and Program Information

The Tampa, Florida, area has at least eight institutions that offer EMT training programs. To make an informed education decision, learn about the certificate and degree options, program requirements and admission info for three of those schools located within 40 miles of the city's center.

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Tampa EMT Schools

The Tampa, Florida, area has several schools within a 50-mile radius that offer emergency medical technician (EMT) training programs. To get a better idea of what EMT education involves, the courses and field experiences required at three colleges are profiled in this article. In addition, there's a table of statistics for the institutions as well as some info on a few other school options in the area.

  • Hillsborough Community College (HCC) transfers more graduates to the University of South Florida than any other college in the area, due to the unique partnership the schools share. The school, located about two miles from downtown Tampa, offers an EMT certificate, paramedic certificate and paramedic associate's degree.
  • Situated about 18 miles from central Tampa, St. Petersburg College (SPC) was the first two-year college to be established in the state and became the first community college to offer bachelors' degrees in 2002. Students can complete EMT or paramedic programs at the institution, as well as an associate's degree in emergency medical services.
  • Pasco-Hernando Community College (PHCC) is the newest community college in Florida, established in 1967. Students earning an Associate of Arts degree from the college are guaranteed admission to any one of the state's 11 public universities upon graduation. Located roughly 38 miles from Tampa's downtown area, the school offers an EMT diploma, a paramedic certificate and an emergency medical services associate's degree.

Hillsborough Community College

HCC offers three different programs that prepare students for careers in the field of emergency medical services (EMS). Students interested in the paramedic program must first become certified as EMTs.

EMT College Credit Certificate

The EMT certificate program at HCC may be completed in one semester. The program consists of 11 credit hours, seven of which are earned through didactic instruction. Two credit hours are earned in a laboratory skills environment, and one credit hour is earned during clinical hours in the field. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the National Registry of EMTs certification exam and/or the Florida EMT certification exam. Admission requirements to the program include records verifying required immunizations no more than 12 months before the beginning of the program, passed drug tests, and passed background checks. Students will learn about the role of the EMT in emergencies, how to accurately assess a patient's medical needs, and basic life-support skills.

Paramedic Program: College Credit Certificate or Associate in Science

The paramedic program available at HCC has two tracks for students to choose from: the certificate track and the degree track. Both programs require the completion of 42 credit hours of paramedic classes.To earn an associate's degree, students must also complete 20 credit hours of general education courses. Prerequisites for the paramedic programs include current certification as an EMT in Florida, a lack of controlled substance addictions, and a GPA of at least 2.0. Curriculum includes lecture-based classes, practical skills labs utilizing simulation technology, and clinical hours in the field. The paramedic program usually takes 11 months to complete; students must pass all required courses within 18 months of their starting semester.

St. Petersburg College

SPC provides three levels of awards to EMS students. Additionally, the supporting department offers continuing education courses to currently certified providers in the field.

EMT

The EMT program at SPC takes 16 weeks to complete. Students may choose between day and evening classes; the summer program is only available in the evening. Coursework includes lectures, lab work, and clinical practicum. The first ten weeks of the program focus on didactic instruction and skills labs. Students must schedule themselves to complete clinical hours during weeks five through nine, and complete a field internship in the last five weeks of the program. Applicants to the program must be CPR certified, pass a background check and drug screening test, and be at least 18 years old.

Paramedic

The paramedic program consists of four semesters of classes and a total of 42 credit hours of coursework. Applicants to the program must already be certified as EMTs and have successfully passed the basic computer and information literacy competency exam. Curriculum is made up of theory classes, skills labs, clinical hours, and a pharmacology course. All paramedic students must complete a field internship during their final session, worth five credit hours.

Associate in Science, EMS

The A.S. degree program in emergency medical services requires the completion of 73 credit hours, typically earned over the course of five semesters. The majority of the program-specific curriculum is identical to that of the paramedic certificate program. Students will spend time not only in the classroom but also in the field through clinical and internship opportunities.

Pasco-Hernando Community College

PHCC offers three levels of training related to the EMS field. Students must earn a grade 'C' or better in all EMS related courses to receive their awards. Graduates of the programs are eligible to take the Florida EMT certification exam at the corresponding level.

Emergency Medical Technician - Applied Technology Diploma

The EMT diploma program may be completed in as little as one semester; courses corresponding to the program total 11 credit hours. Applicants to the program must be CPR certified, be able to provide proof of professional liability insurance coverage, and pass a physical examination. The cost of the program is estimated to be around $1,872 for in-state students and $4,995 for out-of-state students. The program has one prerequisite class (medical terminology) and includes both laboratory and clinical hours for skills practice opportunities. Curriculum includes life-saving and life-support skills at the sites of emergencies and during patient transport.

Paramedic Certificate

The paramedic certificate program continues EMS education where the EMT certificate ends. More advanced medical skills such as DC electrical countershock, endotracheal intubation, and the administration of intravenous medications are included within the curriculum. The paramedic program takes about a year to complete. It consists of 42 credit hours once prerequisites have been met. Applicants to the program must hold current certification as an EMT in Florida as well as have passed a drug test, background check, and physical examination. The paramedic program is a limited-access program, accepting 30 students per year. In-state students will pay about $5,874 to complete the program; out-of-state students will expend approximately $17,796. Coursework includes didactic instruction, skills practice in a lab setting, clinical hours, and a field internship.

Associate in Science, EMS

Students interested in a degree program at PHCC may choose to earn an A.S. in EMS. The EMS degree program is similar to that of the paramedic program in terms of core classes. Degree-seeking students, however, are required to complete 34 hours of general education classes in addition to 39 hours of EMS field-related courses, for a total of 73 credit hours earned. The program may be completed in two years by full-time students. Admissions requirements are identical to those of the paramedic program. Florida residents can expect to pay about $10,011 to complete the program while non-Florida residents will see costs of about $30,734. Students can take the Florida paramedic certification exam following the completion of all paramedic courses and the final written/practical exams administered by PHCC.

Comparison of Schools

You've compared their programs, now compare the featured colleges' tuition rates, campus settings, enrollment numbers and more in this table. It has a variety of facts and figures about the schools to help you narrow down your options and find the right one for you.

Hillsborough Community College St. Petersburg College Pasco-Hernando Community College
School Type Public, 2-year Public, 4-year, awarding primarily associate's degrees Public, 2-year
Total Enrollment (Fall 2011) 28,329* 33,128* 10,928*
Campus Setting Large city Small city Large suburb
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $2,423 for in-state students, $8,851 for out-of-state students* $2,988 for in-state students, $10,897 for out-of-state students* $2,844 for in-state students, $10,815 for out-of-state students*
% of Undergraduate Students Receiving Grants and Scholarships (2010-2011) 51%* 59%* 55%*
Acceptance Rate N/A - open admissions policy N/A - open admissions policy N/A - open admissions policy
Retention Rate (From Fall 2010 to Fall 2011) 62% for full-time students* N/A - data not available 63% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (Students began in Fall 2008) 29% overall* 28% overall* 34% overall*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES) College Navigator.

Other Schools

Additional EMT training programs are offered by the Manatee Technical Institute and the State College of Florida at Manatee-Sarasota, both located about 36 miles from downtown Tampa, and Polk State College, located about 45 miles from the area.

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