Additional Information for Paramedic Students | Bismarck State College

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Additional Information for Paramedic Students

Professional Description:
The Paramedic is an allied health professional whose primary focus is to provide advanced emergency medical care for critical and emergent patients who access the emergency medical system. This individual possesses the complex knowledge and skills necessary to provide patient care and transportation. Paramedics function as part of a comprehensive EMS response, under medical oversight. Paramedics perform interventions with the basic and advanced equipment typically found on an ambulance. The Paramedic is a link from the scene of a medical emergency into the health care system. 

Technical Standards:
Clear academic and technical standards assure that decisions concerning entrance for all students are based upon non-discriminatory criteria. Federal law requires the provision of reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities who possess "the academic and technical (non-academic) standards" for admission or participation in the EMS programs and courses. In courses where enrollment is limited and based on selective criteria, having clearly spelled out academic and technical standards assures the absence of discrimination against qualified persons with disabilities who have succeeded with reasonable accommodations. Having technical standards available also assists potential applicants with or without disabilities to assess their ability to succeed in the program and the EMS profession. Technical standards for admission are all non-academic criteria that are essential to participate in the EMS program. These technical standards include personal and professional attributes, skills and knowledge, along with physical, medical, safety and other requirements that an individual must meet in order to be eligible for admission to and retention in the EMS program.

Students admitted to the EMS program are expected to be able to complete curriculum requirements, which include physical, cognitive and affective core competencies that are essential to the functions of the entry level EMS provider. These core competencies are considered the minimum and essential skills necessary to protect the public. These abilities are encountered in unique combinations in the provision of safe and effective EMS care. Progression in the program may be denied if a student is unable to demonstrate the technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations.

Bismarck State College is obliged to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities, which may include academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or program modifications. Accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of the academic program, could jeopardize the health and safety of others, or cause an undue burden to the program are not considered reasonable accommodations. 

General Knowledge and Skills Required of All EMS Personnel:
  • Ability to communicate verbally via telephone and radio equipment
  • Ability to lift, carry and balance up to 125 pounds (250 pounds with assistance)
  • Ability to interpret written, oral and diagnostic information
  • Ability to use good judgment and remain calm in high-stress situations 
  • Ability to work effectively in an environment with loud noises and flashing lights
  • Ability to function efficiently throughout an entire work shift
  • Ability to calculate weight and volume ratios and read small print under both life threatening and time constraints
  • Ability to read and understand English language manuals and GPS/road maps
  • Ability to accurately discern street signs and address numbers
  • Ability to interview patient, family members and bystanders 
  • Ability to document, in writing all relevant scene and patient information
  • Recall, collect, analyze, synthesize and integrate information from a variety of sources
  • Measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize data
  • Problem-solve and think critically in order to apply knowledge and skill
  • Communicate verbally, and through reading and writing, with individuals from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual background
  • Relay information in oral and written form effectively, accurately, reliably and intelligibly to individuals and groups using the English language. 
Examples of Learning Activities in the EMS Curriculum and Related to Industry Standards:
  • Process information thoroughly and quickly to prioritize and implement EMS care 
  • Sequence or cluster data to determine patient needs
  • Develop and implement an EMS plan of care for patients in the pre-hospital setting
  • Discriminate subtle differences in medical word endings
  • Report verbally and in writing patient data to members of the health care team
  • Perform math computations for medication dosage calculations both with and without a calculator
  • Coordinate fine and gross motor movements
  • Coordinate hand/eye movements
  • Maintain balance from any position
  • Negotiate level surfaces, ramps and stairs
  • Function with both hands free for performing psychomotor tasks
  • Maneuver in small, confined areas
  • Attend to cognitive and psychomotor tasks for up to 48 hours
Examples of Learning Activities Found in the EMS Curriculum and Related to Industry Standards:
  • Transfer patients in and out of bed from stretchers and wheelchairs
  • Control a fall by slowly lowering the patient to the floor
  • Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Lift or move (turn, position) patient or objects
  • Pull or push objects weighing up to 50 pounds
  • Reach to shoulder or higher level to place or access equipment such as intravenous fluid bags
  • Bend or squat to access equipment
  • Carry equipment and supplies to the patient location
  • Manipulate small equipment and containers, such as syringes, vials, ampules and medication packages to administer medications
  • Dispose of needles in sharps container
  • Complete assigned periods of practice (24 to 48-hour shifts, days, evenings or nights)
  • Acquire information from demonstrations and experiences, including but not limited to information conveyed through online coursework, lecture, small group activities, demonstrations and application experiences 
  • Collect information through observation, listening, touching and smelling
  • Use and interpret information from diagnostic maneuvers
Examples of Learning Activities Found in the EMS Curriculum and Related to Industry Standards:
  • Detect changes in skin color or condition (pale, ashen, grey, or bluish)
  • Draw up a prescribed quality of medication into a syringe
  • Detect sounds related to bodily functions using a stethoscope
  • Observe and collect data from recording equipment and measurement devices used in patient care
  • Communicate with patient and members of the health care team in person and over the phone/radio in a variety of settings
  • Detect foul odors of bodily fluids, the environment and spoiled foods
  • Detect changes in skin temperature
  • Detect unsafe temperature levels in heat-producing devices used in patient care
  • Detect anatomical abnormalities, such as subcutaneous crepitus, edema or infiltrated intravenous fluids
  • Feel sensations such as arterial pulse
  • Demonstrate emotional stability to function effectively under stress and adapt to changing environments
  • Maintain effective, mature and sensitive relationships with others
  • Examine and modify one's own behavior when it interferes with others or the learning environment
  • Possess attributes that include compassion, empathy, altruism, integrity, honesty, responsibility and tolerance
Examples of Learning Activities Found in the EMS Curriculum and Related to Industry Standards: 
  • Exercise judgment meet acceptable timeframes for patient care delivery (acceptable timeframes are reflected by the ability to carry out the usual patient care assignment for a particular point in the program within the allotted clinical time), work effectively under stress, and adapt to rapidly changing care environments
  • Accept accountability for actions that resulted in patient care errors 
  • Deal effectively with interpersonal conflict if it arises; maintain effective and harmonious relationships with members of the health care team
The student is responsible to initiate a request for accommodations by applying for Student Accessibility (SA). An application can be requested either in person, by telephone (701-224-5671) or complete and submit the BSC Student Accessibility Application.

Paramedic Program Mission: 
The Bismarck State College Emergency Medical Services Program is devoted to developing highly skilled and educated pre-hospital care providers. The program has been designed to provide students with the skills necessary to appropriately assess patients, utilize critical thinking in making decisions, and render appropriate care in variable conditions. The basic premises are high academic standards, a commitment to the field of pre-hospital emergency care, and a dedication to present and future students. The Program strives to be attentive to student needs by creating a stimulating academic environment where learning fosters future academic growth and challenges preconceived notions of pre-hospital medicine. 

With every program we expect our students to commit themselves to success by studying, participating in class discussions, approaching faculty or staff members concerning extra help or problems encountered in the program, and being prepared for class daily. In return, the student can expect that the program faculty will commit to listen to the students' needs as a learner, develop quality educational programs, study tips and classroom presentations, and assist each student in becoming successful.

Paramedic Program Goals
To prepare competent entry-level Paramedics in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains with or without exit points at the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician and/or Emergency Medical Technician, and/or Emergency Medical Responder levels. 

Paramedic Program Length: 
The Paramedic Program is three consecutive semesters, excluding the required program prerequisites, starting every fall. Enrollment is dependent on acceptance into the Paramedic Program. The program is a combination of didactic, lab, hospital and field education in the first two semesters, followed by didactic, lab and capstone internship in the final semester.

Paramedic Hospital/Field Clinical & Capstone Internship:
The clinical sites are a third-party entity into which the students are placed. Clinical sites are selected according to their patient volume and site staffing. Some of the clinical affiliates may not be within daily driving distance. The student is responsible for all expenses (transportation, housing, meals, etc.) during the clinical experience. Arrangement for clinical sites depend on the college's ability to enter into a formal agreement with a proposed site and may vary year-to-year. BSC cannot guarantee that a clinical site will always be available.

All clinical site assignments will be arranged and confirmed by the Paramedic program. Consideration will be given to the site's needs and the student's desires. The clinical affiliate will be involved in the selection of students assigned to their respective sites and may deny students entry into clinicals at their facility at their discretion. Students should not rely upon the availability of a clinical site in a specific geographical location. 

Bismarck State College is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission-North Central Association 

          Higher Learning Commission
          230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
          Chicago, Illinois 60604-1411

The Bismarck State College Paramedic Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Education Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Profession (CoAEMSP).

To contact CAAHEP:
          Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
          9355 113th St. N, Suite 7709
          Seminole, FL 33775
          (727) 210-2350

To contact CoAEMSP:
          8301 Lakeview Parkway Suite 111-312
          Rowlett, TX 75088
          (214) 703-8445 
          Fax (214) 703-8992

Criminal Background Check:
Following acceptance into both BSC and the Paramedic Program, students will need to successfully complete a criminal background check at their own cost.

Students who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor need to investigate how this will affect their ability to earn certification credentials. Eligibility to take national certification examinations by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, as well as licensure through their State EMS office. This is the sole responsibility of the student prior to and during the Paramedic Program. 

Academic Advising:
The Mystic Advising and Counseling Center (MACC) is open for face-to-face, virtual, or telephone appointments (701-224-5752). Advisors in the MACC assist students with general advising questions, degree planning, course registration, course withdrawal, transfer questions, and graduation applications. 

Advanced Placement:
The BSC Paramedic Program does not offer early admission or advanced placement for students. Candidates must apply each year and compete against the field of applicants for that year. 

Paramedic Program Costs: 
Please visit BSC Admissions & Cost for tuition and fee information. The BSC Financial Aid office assists students in securing adequate funding for their educational related college expenses from a variety of sources. Appointments can be made by stopping in (1st floor of Schafer Hall) or calling 701-224-5494.

We encourage you to apply for financial aid as soon as possible. To access the free online FAFSA form please log onto:

Additional Paramedic Program specific approximate expenses include: 
Textbooks $800 - 1200
Uniforms $100 - 200
EMCE $100
Stethoscope $50
CastleBranch tracker $153
Clinicals & Internship Expenses Varies greatly depending on travel
Psychomotor Certification examinations $250 per exam
Cognitive Certification examination $152 per exam
Laptop (no Chromebooks) $500

Attendance during the Paramedic Program is mandatory for all didactic, lab, and clinical hours. Frequent absence or tardiness will not be tolerated. Work is not considered an excuse for absence.

Outside Employment:
Due to the demands of this full-time program, student employment may be challenging while in the Paramedic Program. If a student deems it necessary to be employed outside of the program it is expected that work schedules will be arranged to not impact negatively on the student's clinical training. Students will not be excused from class or clinical assignments for personal work schedules.

Contact Information:
For additional information or questions, please contact the Paramedic Program Director: Kelli Sears, MS, BS, NRP | 701-224-2695 |