Forum Deputy Chief
The degree requirement does NOT mandate any course content that would have any kind of specific EMS professional skill- or prehospital care skill-enhancing education. In other words, it can be a degree in ANYTHING, even general studies. Even from an accredited online-only school. Yep. I confirmed this with the Oregon Health Authority EMS and Trauma Systems. They don't care WHAT it is so long as it's a degree in SOMETHING. What good is that, really? One could argue that having an art degree, engineering degree, automotive degree, or some other kind of unrelated degree doesn't necessarily make you a better Paramedic than a similarly trained, similarly experienced Paramedic without a degree working in the same system using the same treatment protocols. Now if it was a degree in EMS management or Paramedicine, etc., heck even Fire Science, sure...I can see its practical application.
I'm not even going to get into the discussion of how a degree mandate for Paramedic licensure makes it harder for rural EMS teams-paid or volunteer- to get and retain ALS-qualified providers in areas where they are needed the most.
Now, I hear some people want states to mandate degrees for EMTs. Are you kidding me? It's ridiculous. Just.....STOP. I
I have never heard it suggested that EMT-B certification should require a degree. That will never happen, nor should it.
I could not disagree with you more about paramedicine, however.
Most degree programs require lots of course work outside of one's major.....the reason is that broad study is the basis for solid reasoning, analytical, and communication skills. You just don't get that in a 9-month paramedic program. You wouldn't get it in a 24-month degree program, either, if all you did was expand the current curriculum.
If you want paramedicine to begin to become regarded as a clinical profession, you need to require coursework in things like English, literature, history, psychology, etc.