May 27, 2024  
2023-2024 Course Catalog 
2023-2024 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Paramedic, Certificate

Location(s): Ankeny

The Paramedic certificate prepares individuals to use critical thinking skills to provide treatment for medical, trauma and cardiac emergencies in the pre-hospital setting. The Paramedic transports patients to and between hospitals using ground and air ambulances, and performs skills in a variety of settings including emergency departments, critical care units and cardiac catheter labs. Course content includes anatomy and physiology, pathology, and the identification and initial diagnosis of disease and injury in a variety of populations. Paramedics initiate IVs, perform endotracheal intubation, read electrocardiograms and provide cardiac defibrillation. Instruction in rescue operations, crisis scene management and medical triage is included.

This program will prepare the student to become a Paramedic. The program provides students with the necessary preparatory courses for seeking certification as a Nationally Registered Paramedic, which leads to certification as a Paramedic in the State of Iowa. National certification will require a passing score on a nationally-recognized certification exam of Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic (NREMT-P). At the successful completion of the program, a Paramedic certificate will be awarded.

The student may further their education by obtaining an AAS degree. (See the Paramedic AAS Degree in this catalog.) The Paramedic certificate is the foundation of the degree. Within the degree, students may choose to specialize in one of three concentrations: management, clinical or fire science. Most paramedics are interested in one of these areas of expertise.

Criminal background checks will be completed on each student. Criminal convictions or documented history of abuse may delay or prevent students from participation in paramedic education experiences. Students unable to participate in paramedic education will be unable to complete the Paramedic program.

Program Details

Pathway: Public & Community Services

More information on this Pathway.

Students start Fall semester

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Attend any required information/registration session.
  3. Submit a copy of current State of Iowa EMT-Basic, Iowa EMT-Intermediate/85 or Iowa EMT-Paramedic certification (I/99). All students must have an Iowa EMT-B or EMT-I certification.
  4. Submit evidence of a grade of “C” or better in one year of high school biology OR a grade of “C” or better in DMACC Academic Achievement Center Biology I OR equivalent.
  5. Obtain a minimum score of 248 in Reading on the ACCUPLACER Next Gen test.
  6. Obtain a minimum score of 30 on ALEKS math placement test OR a minimum ACT math score of 19 OR obtain a grade of “C” or better in MAT 064  or equivalent.
  7. Obtain a minimum score of 254 in Writing on the ACCUPLACER Next Gen test OR a minimum ACT English score of 19 OR a grade of “C” or better in ENG 061  or equivalent.
  8. Submit evidence of a grade of “C” or better in one semester of high school chemistry OR a grade of “C” or better in DMACC Academic Achievement Center Chemistry I and II OR equivalent.

Graduation Requirements

To earn the Paramedic certificate, a grade of “C” or better is required in all EMS courses.


These credits are applicable toward the Paramedic AAS degree. Students who wish to receive additional training can pursue the Paramedic AAS degree and choose a concentration in public administration , advanced clinical knowledge  or fire science .

Total Credits Required to Complete this Certificate - 44

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$185.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs

Costs Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3
Books (approximate) 300 100 100
Uniforms 150    
Physical Exam (approx) 80    
Immunizations (may be paid by insurance) and Background Check 100    
Scheduling Software 100    
EMS Testing Software 100    

Approximate total for the program: $9,170**

**Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

  • Respond to incidents such as automobile accidents, heart attacks, slips and falls, childbirth, gunshot wounds and any other emergencies that require immediate care.
  • Assess the nature of a patient’s condition and follow emergency medical protocols and guidelines for treatment.
  • Prepare and administer drugs orally and intravenously, interpret electrocardiograms (EKGs), perform endotracheal intubations and use monitors and other complex equipment.
  • Transport patients to various kinds of medical facilities (e.g., hospitals, nursing homes, etc.) at times, using special equipment such as backboards to immobilize patients.
  • Report observations and actions to emergency department staff.
  • Perform emergency medical care under the direction of a physician.
  • After each run in an ambulance, replace used supplies and check equipment.
  • Work in a variety of practice settings, including hospitals, private ambulance services, fire departments, educational institutions and medical supply companies.

What Else Should I Consider about this Certificate program?

  • General education and Paramedic classes are scheduled on the College campus. Correlated clinical experience takes place in selected hospitals and ambulance transport services throughout the area. Courses are taught by individuals experienced in the field and are offered at a variety of times.
  • You will be required to communicate easily and clearly with patients and coworkers.
  • You must accept responsibility for your actions.
  • You will stand and walk most of the day.
  • Working under pressure requires good physical health and emotional stability.
  • You will be working with patients who may be contagious or have communicable diseases.
  • You will have access to private health information and will need to maintain confidentiality of patient information.
  • By the year 2017 (estimated), certification for the state of Iowa will require a Paramedic education. Credentialing in the state of Iowa may be obtained by passing the Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic exam.
  • There are two parts for the NREMT-P. First, the paramedic student must pass the practical exam and then must pass the written exam. The Paramedic is required to obtain continuing education hours for recertification within two years of initial certification.

Program Competencies

  1. Determine the role of a Paramedic within an EMS system
  2. Explain the elements of paramedic education
  3. Determine the legal issues that impact decisions in the pre-hospital setting
  4. Differentiate types of paramedic responsibilities
  5. Evaluate Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathophysiology
  6. List and differentiate the different phases of drug activity
  7. Assess the importance of the respiratory tract in the human body
  8. Describe the importance of the cardiovascular system
  9. Outline the major structures of the cardiovascular system
  10. Evaluate the components of cardiac output and factors affecting venous return
  11. Evaluate the various EKG rhythms, segments and intervals
  12. Assess a history on a patient
  13. Perform a comprehensive physical exam on any patient
  14. Describe the incident and scope of traumatic injuries and death
  15. Create a treatment plan for the pediatric patient
  16. Formulate a treatment plan for the chronically ill child
  17. Apply standards to ensure safe and effective ground transport


Nondiscrimination Statement

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in nor allow discrimination covered by law against any person, group or organization. This includes in its programs, activities, employment practices, or hiring practices, and harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information (in employment) and actual or potential parental, family or marital status. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law.

Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Campus Provost’s office, the Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. ADA questions and concerns may be directed to the Section 504/ADA Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 6, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6857, Title IX questions and concerns may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 1, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6216, Questions or complaints about this policy may be directed to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, John C. Kluczysnki Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn Street, 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604-7204, phone 312/730-1560, fax 312/730-1576, TDD 800-877-8339 Email

DMACC offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study:
Agriculture, Natural and Environmental Science
Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
Arts, Design, and Visual Communication
Business, Management, and Marketing
Education, Public, and Human Services
Health Science
Hospitality and Culinary
Information Technology
Transportation & Logistics

Entrance requirements for specific programs can be found at