Programs & Courses

Paramedic

DIPLOMA / DEGREE

About the Program

When lives are on the line, the skills and knowledge of a paramedic can make the difference between life and death. The Bachelor of Applied Health Science – Paramedic degree program prepares learners to be an integral part of the health care team, primarily within the pre-hospital environment.

Please Note: The Bachelor of Applied Health Science- Paramedic Applied Degree is a competitive entry program. Meeting minimum published admission averages does not guarantee entry to the program.

MHC’s Bachelor of Applied Health Science (Paramedic) Degree has been created to meet the emerging needs of patients, practitioners and employers. It enables you to move seamlessly through the various levels of preparation for careers in Emergency Medical Services, ultimately allowing you to attain the Advanced Care Paramedic Diploma or to continue on to the Bachelor of Applied Health Science Paramedic Degree.

Prospective students must be mature and highly motivated to deal with the stress of emergency care, critical care and shift work. Paramedics must think independently, exercise good judgment, communicate effectively with others and work well in multidisciplinary environments. The training provided not only addresses the necessary skills of a paramedic but also the skills required to perform with confidence in a variety of situations, effectively interact with others and maintain professional decorum whether in simple or complex situations.

There is a high demand for paramedics who are employed by public and private ambulance services provincially, nationally and internationally. Paramedics also work in a variety of industrial and community-based emergency health settings.


Professional Info: The program prepares practitioners in accordance with the Paramedic Association of Canada’s National Occupational Competency Profile, and equips the student to write the Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators (COPR) registration examinations. 

This program is approved through the Alberta College of Paramedics which signifies that our paramedic program has met provincial/national standards and that the education provided is relevant to current clinical practice. Ensuring that paramedics have the required competencies for entry to practice is an important contribution to Canada’s health system.  

As the curriculum bridges the student through the Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) scope towards the Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP), the program at MHC does not have a standalone PCP section, however students may exit the program following the completion of all PCP didactic theory, competencies, and practicums.  Student transcripts will reflect the completion of the PCP criterion so students can challenge the registration exam. (Please note: the PCP completion point occurs after year one when practicums are completed between July and end of August. Students may need to return in early September of year 2 to attain any deficient competencies.  Please refer to program coordinator for more information).  Students will exit the program in year 3 with the ACP diploma following all didactic theory, practicums, and attainment of all competencies.  The fourth year (Applied Degree section) is available to students following graduation at a time of their choosing via distance learning and not face-to-face at Medicine Hat College.

High School

Overall average of at least 60% and a minimum mark of 50% in

  • ELA 30-1
  • Biology 30
  • Math 30-1 or Math 30-2
  • Grade 12 five credit subject (Chemistry 30 is recommended)

Transfer Route

Students require ELA 30-1, Biology 30 and Math 30-1 or 30-2 however, previous post-secondary coursework can be considered. Successful completion of a PCP/EMT or EMR program provides applicants a competitive average boost if you are deemed qualified – for more information contact admissions.

English Language Proficiency

For the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) students must have an overall band score of 7.0 with no band score less than 7.0.

Additional Selection Criteria (please see details below)

Submission of Casper test


Pre-Professional Requirements - NEW for Fall 2023

After being admitted into the program, but before the documentation deadline outlined in the application letter, the following must be provided:

  • proof of current CPR with the Heart & Stroke Heartsaver AED (C) CPR or BLS Provider.
  • students will receive a health questionnaire and immunizations checklist that must be completed. In some cases, a chest x-ray may be required.
  • a recent Police Information Check (within two months) prior to the first day of classes. Periodic police information checks may be required prior to practicum and work experience to maintain current status throughout the program and to comply with provincial laws. Students are obligated to inform the Program Coordinator immediately of any change in the status of their criminal record.

Additional Selection Criteria - NEW for Fall 2023

Effective Fall 2023 admissions and onward, the Bachelor of Applied Health Studies (Paramedic) requires that applicants complete the Casper Test, a situational judgement test. All applicants to the Bachelor of Applied Heath Studies (Paramedic) program at MHC who meet the admission requirements must complete an online assessment as a part of the application process.

Successful completion of the Casper test is mandatory in order to maintain admission eligibility and an applicant's score is a selection factor that is considered in the competitive admission decision process. Test results are sent directly to the Medicine Hat College from Altus Assessments. Applicants with incomplete or missing Casper scores will not be considered for admission. Casper tests are only valid for one year and must be completed each year that you apply. You may only write the Casper test once per year. Applicants who have already taken the test in previous years will therefore be expected to re-take it.

Specific Casper testing dates are listed on their website. Any questions about Casper test taking must be directed to the testing agency. The last day to take the Casper test for Fall 2023 admission is May 2, 2023; students must ensure that this exam is completed as students will not be considered for admission without submission of the exam results. 

NOTE: The earlier that Casper scores are submitted, the earlier the college can make an admissions decision on the application.

In order to take Casper, you will be responsible for securing access to a computer with audio capabilities, a webcam, and a reliable internet connection on your selected test date. Casper can be taken practically anywhere that you can satisfy these requirements. No exceptions will be provided for applicants unable to take Casper online due to being located at sites where the internet is not dependable due to technical or political factors.

You can go to www.TakeAltus.com to sign up for the Professional Health Sciences test (CSP-10201) and reserve a test using your first and last name, your date of birth, and a piece of government-issued photo ID. You will be provided with a limited number of testing dates and times.

Accommodations: If you require testing accommodations for the Casper you will need to submit the Accommodations Request Form signed by you and your qualified professional 3 weeks in advance of your desired test date. More information regarding accommodations can be found here.


Post Diploma Degree Completion – Practicing Advanced Care Paramedics

The Bachelor of Applied Health Science - Paramedic (BHSc-P) is designed to build on the previous knowledge and experience of practicing paramedics. Qualified candidates are able to obtain the BHSc-P by completing the nine courses offered in the program. 

  • ELA 30-1
  • Current Advanced Care Paramedic license in the province you are located
  • Continued employment as an Advanced Care Paramedic

FIRST YEAR

Fall Semester

BIOL 231
Introduction to Biology I
BIOL 275 Basic Human Anatomy and Physiology I
IDST 100 Introductory Communications for Helping Professionals
KNES 247
Introduction to Wellness, Fitness and Nutrition
PARA 100 Foundations of Paramedic Practice I
Winter Semester
BIOL 277
Basic Human Anatomy and Physiology II
PARA 115 Professional Communications for Paramedics
PARA 120 Foundations of Paramedic Practice II
PARA 125
Assessment and Diagnostics
PARA 130 Introduction to Paramedic Management of Emergency Situations
Spring Semester
PARA 145**
Introduction to Primary Care Practice
PARA 150** Primary Care Practice

EMR completed within the previous three calendar years may apply for transfer credit for Para 100.

** EMT/PCP from an Accreditation Canada accredited program and completed within the previous three calendar years may apply for transfer credit for PARA 100, PARA 115, PARA 120, PARA 125, PARA 130, PARA 145 and PARA 150. Awarding of credit is also dependent on work experience since the time of EMT/PCP program completion. Program specific guidelines for awarding of transfer credit are available from the Program Coordinator.

SECOND YEAR

Fall Semester

PARA 200 Introduction to Advanced Care
PARA 215 Pharmacology for the Prehospital Professional
PARA 220 Paramedic Management of Trauma and Environmental Conditions
PHSL 200 Pathophysiology
PSYC 205 Principles of Psychology
Winter Semester
IDST 485 Death and Dying
PARA 205
Mental Health for First Responders
PARA 230 Skills and Practice in Patient Modalities
PARA 240 Management of Special Population Groups
PHIL 313   Bioethics
Spring Semester
PARA 210
Advanced Critical Care Practice

THIRD YEAR

Fall Semester

PARA 300 Advanced Care Paramedic Practice I
PARA 305 Advanced Paramedic Care
Winter Semester (Diploma Exit Only)
PARA 310 Advanced Care Paramedic Practice II**

FOURTH YEAR (Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences - Post Diploma Entry Point)

MGMT 243 Human Resources Management
PHIL 313 Bioethics++
STAT 333 Statistics for the Life Sciences
PARA 452 EMS and the Canadian Health System
PARA 453 Community Focused Theory
PARA 454 Leadership in Health Care
PARA 455 Research
PARA 470 Paramedic Work Term I
PARA 480 Paramedic Work Term II

++ for students that did not complete the Medicine Hat College diploma


VIEW COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

There is a high demand for paramedics who are employed by public and private ambulance services provincially, nationally and internationally. Paramedics also work in a variety of industrial and community-based emergency health settings.

What is your education going to cost?

Our TUITION and FEES page provides a total cost estimate for your program including books and supplies and related expenses.

Looking for ways to help fund your education?

There are lots of options like student loans, scholarships, bursaries and emergency funding available.
Check out our FINANCIAL AID page for more information.

Many programs offered at Medicine Hat College qualify for transfer credits to other institutions. In some cases, you must transfer to another institution to complete your program and gain your credential.

The ACADEMIC CALENDAR has official information on transfer options for each program.
Please consult the calendar or meet with an academic advisor for more information.

At MHC, we care about students and want to help you succeed.

As a student, there may be times when you require support. Our SERVICES page provides you with links to a number of campus supports including academic success, counselling and care, health and wellness, and many other resources.

Have you always wanted to study abroad?

Enhance your education, share in cultural diversity and embrace new experiences. Visit the INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY PROGRAM section to find out more.

Students may be required to complete clinical and field experiences at sites throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Clinical and field experiences may be scheduled days, evenings, nights, and weekends. Depending on our site capacity, students may have a delayed start or an extended rotation falling outside of the regular program schedule to complete the placement requirements. Participation in all activities related to practical experiences is mandatory. Students are expected to make accommodation for commitments outside the city to fit this scheduling.

Questionable performance and conduct at any time may result in dismissal from the practicum site and a failing grade in the course.

Registration Exams
For employment purposes, students may elect to challenge the Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators (COPR) registration examinations for both PCP (second year) or ACP (post-graduation at the diploma). This is not a requirement of the program nor the Alberta College of Paramedics to remain in good standing within the program. All costs related to registration, travel, accommodation, and meals are the student’s responsibility. Further information is available on the COPR website.



Fitness Requirements
A career as a Paramedic requires a high level of physical and emotional well-being. Students must be able to demonstrate the physical capabilities to safely maneuver stretchers and equipment and be emotionally capable to deal with trauma and high stress situations. In the event of illness students must present a medical clearance certificate prior to returning to the program.



Professional Driving Improvement: Course Requirements
Students will be required to successfully complete the Professional Driving Improvement Course (PDIC). This course is offered through Continuing Studies at Medicine Hat College. Students will be responsible for paying the cost associated with this course. The course must be successfully completed by the end of the first year of the program.

For employment purposes, students will be required to successfully attain a Class 4 drivers license and therefore it is recommended that students remove any Graduated Driver’s License early and preferred in advance of acceptance into the program.


Uniforms
Students will be required to buy uniforms and appropriate foot wear. Uniforms will be ordered in the first semester of the program. Students will also be responsible for purchasing a pen light, stethoscope, trauma shears, trauma glasses, and an emergency vest.


Electronic Charting
Students may need to purchase a WiFi enabled device for completing patient care reports and competency tracking during practicum. Further information will be provided within the first semester.


Required Withdrawal
Students will be required to withdraw if they fail to obtain satisfactory standing in a second attempt at a PARA course that have failed. (Please refer to Medicine Hat College Academic Policies regarding further details related to probation and dismissal)

As a student in the paramedic program you are expected to exercise responsible conduct that reflects favourably on you, the program and the Medicine Hat College. Please refer to social guidelines for further details related to dismissal.

As a graduate of the diploma portion of the program, you may continue your studies with the college and complete the remaining 8 courses within the Bachelor of Applied Health Studies (Paramedic) degree section.

Please speak with an ACADEMIC ADVISOR for more information.

Paramedic standing with books and bag.
Paramedic simulation lab
Post Diploma Degree Completion
Build on your knowledge and experience as a practicing paramedic and obtain a Bachelor of Applied Health Science - Paramedic.

Learn more

In Class Demonstration
Watch as the paramedic students demonstrate a standard ACS call in the simulation lab.

View video