Paramedic Education Program

Interested in a challenging, fast-paced career where you can save lives? Become a paramedic. Paramedics are highly trained medical professionals who provide compassionate, critical treatment and assistance to individuals in desperate need. As a paramedic, you must think and act quickly, exercising excellent judgment.

Program Effectiveness

Learn more about the effectiveness and completion outcomes for our Parademic Education Program.

Program Outcomes Data [PDF]

Our Paramedic Education Program offers the highest level of prehospital care training in advanced life support and includes academic, clinical, and field experiences. Graduates of the program are qualified to take the National Registry Exam for paramedics.

Our program has received accreditation from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions, and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

The Paramedic Education Program admits new classes every August. The deadline has been extended to June 1 or when qualified student capacity has been reached. You can register for the program by completing the online registration form.

Enrollment is limited to certified Emergency Medical Technicians and Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians with at least one year of experience in emergency care.

Admission to the Program will be based on the following:

  • Current EMT or AEMT certification in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Valid two-year BLS for Healthcare Provider CPR certification.
  • One-year experience as an EMT or AEMT.
  • Submission of high school transcript or equivalent.
  • Satisfactory scores on the pre-admission examination.
  • Recommendations: “recommend with confidence” rating.

The following documentation is required after the applicant is offered a seat in the class and according to post-acceptance deadlines:

  • $300 Non-refundable Confirmation of Enrollment fee and form
  • Current Criminal Record Check.
  • Current PA Child Abuse History Clearance Check
  • Current FBI fingerprint results. Official results are needed.
  • Documentation of health insurance, including hospitalization benefits.
  • Healthcare provider confirmation of required health screenings, tests, and immunizations.
  • Other information as requested.

Resourses

For more information, please contact the school at 484-628-0100.

Prehospital Registered Nurse (PHRN)

As a registered nurse, you will learn what you need to work with paramedics and other PreHospital Registered Nurses on ground ambulances and helicopters through our PreHospital Registered Nurse (PHRN) program.

You will participate in a “candidate specific” education path, based on your strengths and weaknesses, identified by a pre-course evaluation. After completing all skill competencies and online requirements, you will be prepared to take the PHRN certification test for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Please direct all questions regarding the PHRN Program to Phil Strough, Program Coordinator, at 484-628-0207 or phil.strough@readinghealth.org.

Curriculum

All paramedic lectures are held Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Reading Hospital's School of Health Sciences throughout the 11-month program. Graduation is in July.

Clinical rotations are completed at times convenient to the student.

Topics of instruction include:

Prehospital Environment

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • EMS systems
  • Medical/legal aspects
  • EMS communications
  • Rescue
  • Major incident response
  • Stress management

Preparatory

  • Medical terminology
  • General patient assessment and initial management
  • Airway and ventilation
  • Pathophysiology of shock
  • General pharmacology
  • Anatomy and physiology

Trauma Emergencies

  • Shock trauma
  • Burns

Medical Emergencies

  • Respiratory
  • Cardiovascular
  • Nervous system
  • Endocrine emergencies
  • Acute abdomen, genitourinary, and reproductive systems
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Gastroenterology
  • Toxicology, alcoholism and drug
  • Infectious disease
  • Geriatrics/gerontology
  • Pediatrics

OB/GYN and Neonatal Behavioral Emergencies

Classes are held at Reading Hospital, Sixth Avenue and Spruce Street, in West Reading. Clinical rotations in the following services also take part in the hospital:

  • Emergency care
  • Surgical and medical intensive care (including cardiac intensive care)
  • Pediatric care
  • Psychiatric care
  • Labor and delivery

Faculty

Classes are taught by Reading Hospital emergency physicians, nurses and other local and regional specialists in specific fields of pre-hospital care.

The program's acting Medical Director Charles F. Barbera MD, works with the Program Director to assure that the program’s content follows the National Standard Curriculum, as well as state and regional guidelines.

Field experience with regional advanced life support units will be arranged with preceptors approved by the Hospital.

Program Faculty:

  • Russell Engle, Program Director/Faculty
  • Phillip Strough, Curriculum Coordinator/Faculty
  • Mervin Wertz, Clinical Coordinator/Faculty
  • Ronald Reiter, Faculty

Earning Your Bachelor's Degree

The School of Health Sciences has a relationship with Immaculata University’s College of LifeLong Learning. This articulation provides a smooth transition for School of Health Sciences paramedic graduates wishing to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Emergency Management and Planning.

You will be able to transfer up to 45 credits earned through the EMT and Paramedic program courses as part of the acceptance to baccalaureate degree-completion program. The program is an accelerated program offered at Immaculata University or online through its College of Lifelong Learning.