Help me find out if I can become a paramedic w/o attending fall classes?
March 5, 2014 12:23 PM   Subscribe

I have things I'd like to do outside of USA every fall, so I'm wondering if I can take all the courses that I need For this 5 semester paramedic degree at Austin Community College during only spring and summer semesters. It seems that last year all required courses were offered in the 2013 summer semester But it seems that this summer they are not offered. I emailed their listed address but there was no response. Also is there any way to do it faster than 5 semesters? Can I double up the 4th and 5th semesters (since they're short)? and any tips for me doing this in my non-standard pattern of only doing summer/spring semesters and skipping fall semester? Thanks!
posted by crawltopslow to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Step one: determine which department your paramedic degree falls under.
Step two: call the ACC switchboard and ask to be transferred to that department.
Step three: Politely and calmly ask your question. If the person answering the phone doesn't know the answer, ask who you should speak with and if you can get their contact info.
Step four: (if needed) Call the person that department puts you in touch with. Leave a voice mail if needed.
Step five: Repeat step four as needed until you receive an answer.
Step six: If you strike out via your first channel, try calling the admissions department and getting a recommendation of who to speak with through them.

Commonality: Metafilter can't solve this question for you, but some time spent on the phone can.
posted by deludingmyself at 12:33 PM on March 5, 2014 [3 favorites]

You probably need to go into the office and discuss it with the folks in the department.

Typically the cohort you enter into the program with, will stay with you throughout the program. So you will bond with your classmates and do your practicals with them. The school may schedule the classes that way offering classes only during one specific semester. Also, there are a lot of practicals that you'll have to do.

The folks who can answer this for sure are in the Emergency Medical Services Professions Department. Have you called them? Have you done the On-Line information session?

Also, there are pre-requisites that include being an EMT, and being accepted into the program.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:35 PM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Be warned: even if ACC tells you that you can do this, very little guarantees that they won't change their mind by the time they post the 2015 summer schedule. Are you OK with your degree being delayed if this happens?
posted by grouse at 1:03 PM on March 5, 2014

Yes I did the online information session. And I am aware about the prerequisites. Thanks for all the useful answers, I will call them. (I'm out of the country right now)
posted by crawltopslow at 1:05 PM on March 5, 2014

The biggest problems you are going to run into here are:

1) The person you talk to may either not fully understand your question or not fully understand the intricacies of the program and so may unintentionally give you incorrect information.

2) The answer to this question may change between the time you ask it and the time you graduate. Class schedules are notoriously subject to change and are dependent on the whims of class size and faculty availability, among other things.

The bottom line is, I would not go into a program like this intending to do it in a non-standard manner, unless you are comfortable with your plans getting derailed at some point along the way, which might require more time or money on your part. Typically, your community colleges are glad to have you enrolled, and will do whatever they can to help you complete the program in the way that you want to complete it, but they are also inclined to tell you what you want to hear in order to get your butt in their seats, so to speak.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:22 PM on March 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

You may be able to do some prerequisites online. I did this with A&P as well as mathematics before I entered paramedic school. Others (like becoming an EMT-B, if you aren't already) you may not. Be prepared for them to tell you that. Ask about contingency plans as well as places from which they accept transfer credit.

The fourth and fifth semesters seem short because that is when your clinical time starts ramping up considerably. Depending how long the clinical section is in TX, there may not be enough hours in the week to double up on required clinicals, even before you consider working at the same time, should you plan to do that. Also, you may not be able to do your practicum ("ride time"-- and it is a substantial amount of time) without having finished up every other requirement for the course. This is for two reasons: one is liability assumed by the people training you. The other is that you can't rush some of the skills they are trying to teach you. Intubation, IVs, patient rapport, logistics of moving people--they all take practice, and your plan may not afford you enough time or opportunity to learn those effectively. To become a good medic, prepare to invest a lot of time.

Memail me if you have any questions about the job or p-school. I'm always happy to talk shop.
posted by skyl1n3 at 3:52 PM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks. I called them, and have only received voice mail, I have left messages and sent e-mail. But I have realized that no matter what they say, there is no guarantee they will stick to it. (I'm out of the country right now but will visit in person when I get back)
posted by crawltopslow at 1:19 PM on March 12, 2014

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