Lenoir Community College in Kinston, NC, offers EMTs the chance to study to become paramedics from the comfort of their homes. The school’s Paramedic Outreach Program runs 40 weeks and is available to certified EMT Basics or AEMTs.
Classes begin every January, March, May, July, September and November. The course is offered in a hybrid format, with online and textbook training, as well as on-site classroom and lab sessions.
Students are required to attend four different weeks of on-site visits (Monday–Saturday) and must complete 200 hours of clinical experience, 60 hours of EMS field experience and 240 hours of EMS field internship. Total estimated costs, including a $360 registration fee and cost of textbooks, does not exceed $1,300 (excluding travel). After completing the course, students are eligible to take the National Registry Paramedic certification exam.
Chris Matthews, a paramedic with Coffee Regional Medical Center in Georgia, is a recent graduate of the program.
“A lot of it is self-study and it is a very difficult course but it is beneficial if you have the motivation and desire to become a paramedic,” Matthews says. “There are a lot of amazing instructors and they are very helpful. They make it really easy for people to understand.”
Matthews, who is married with two young children and currently works two jobs, said being able to take the course when it was convenient attracted him to the program.
“It seemed appealing to me because of the online part,” Matthews says. “I could study at work during down times and on my days off at home. If you learn easily from textbooks and online, this is a good course to take. For the price of the course, you can’t beat it, and you can become a great paramedic.”
Matthews took the national paramedic test within two weeks of finishing the course, and said he was so well prepared he finished the written exam in 22 minutes.