Apr 21, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2022-2023 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2022-2023 Credit Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Primary Care Paramedic

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Program Description

The Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) program provides education and training for pre-hospital care professionals, preparing graduates to work within a multi-disciplinary healthcare team. This program is taught by experienced practitioners and covers all aspects of pre-hospital emergency care.

Areas of study include patient assessment, diagnostics, critical interventions, and treatment, including Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Life Support (ALS), and International Trauma Life Support (ITLS) assistance.

This program is competency based and provides applied theory as well as hands-on learning through high fidelity human patient simulation education in the Centre for Advanced Patient Care Simulation as well as during practicum rotations. Working under the direct supervision of a preceptor, practicums occur in both hospital or urgent care and ambulance settings.

Abbreviated Program Description

Train in basic life support and emergency care with a focus on patient assessment and critical intervention. The program includes both theory and hands-on learning in skills and high fidelity human patient simulation education in the Centre for Advanced Patient Care Simulation, as well as practical clinical and ambulance training. Accredited by Accreditation Canada at the Primary Care Paramedic Level. Graduates are eligible to register with the Alberta College of Paramedics as a Primary Care Paramedic. Recognized by the Canadian Forces as aligning with military occupational training requirements. For more information, visit forces.ca.

Program Overview

Fast Facts

  • This program should be completed full-time
  • Program Length:
    • Full-Time (3 Semesters)
  • This program is delivered in a classroom format
  • Full-Time Intakes:
    • Fall
  • This program includes face-to-face and online learning components
  • Attendance at the program orientation session is mandatory
  • This program includes mandatory classroom days for theory and psychomotor skill acquisition and practice
  • Based on the availability of the practicum sites, students may have to travel or re-locate to anywhere in Alberta (and in some circumstances outside of Alberta) in order to complete their practica
  • Students require a personal computer with Internet access in order to complete the required courses. This must include a tablet (Apple or Android) with wi-fi capability to support the CompTracker system. Keyboards are advisable but not mandatory. Smartphones are not compatible with CompTracker

Your Career

Graduates are prepared for careers in emergency medical services or on industrial sites in rural and urban settings throughout Canada, as well as internationally.

Completion of a Primary Care Paramedic or Emergency Medical Technician certificate program is one of the admission requirements for the Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) program at SAIT.

Student Success

This program is fast-paced, and requires a significant contribution of time and energy.

Students who experience success in this program and profession:

  • Have higher secondary and/or post-secondary grades
  • Possess effective communication skills in both written and spoken English
  • Are self-directed, detail-oriented, highly motivated, and well organized
  • Are disciplined for learning in classroom, online, and professional settings, as well as through self-study required of all courses
  • Enjoy working in a team environment
  • Anticipate the emotional toll that the role can take on the paramedic professional, and actively pursue strategies to bolster personal resilience and preserve mental health

Students are strongly encouraged to refer to the Paramedicine National Competency Profile and Alberta Health Service’s F.A.R.E.- Paramedic requirements to ensure that they are able to successfully demonstrate the functional ability skills required to achieve all the competency-based objectives and bona fide occupational requirements for the program and profession. Some examples include:

  • Lift a stretcher with a 95.5 kg (210 lbs)  patient with a partner from a lower level to the load position and back down
  • Lift and carry a long spine board with 95.5 kg (210 lbs) and ascend and descend 10 stairs with a partner
  • Push a stair chair 10 m with 95.5 kg (210 lbs) and ascend and descend 20 stairs with a partner
  • Lift a bilateral side carry of 9 kg (20 lbs) of weight in each hand
  • Front carry 18 kg (40 lbs)
  • Repetitively kneel, crouch, bend, reach, carry, push and pull
  • Perform CPR for 2 min


After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) certificate.

All graduates are eligible and required to register with the Alberta College of Paramedics to work in Alberta as a Primary Care Paramedic.


The Primary Care Paramedic program delivered by SAIT is accredited by Accreditation Canada at the Primary Care Paramedic level and meets the Alberta College of Paramedics core competency requirements.


The progression requirement for students taking credit courses is a Term GPA and Total Institutional GPA of 2.0, with the exception of English Language Foundations and Academic Upgrading programs.

Admission Requirements

At least 50% in each of the following courses or their equivalents:

  • Math 20-1 or Math 20-2,
  • English Language Arts 30-1 or English Language Arts 30-2,
  • Biology 30 or Science 30*

Proof of completion of an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) certificate or a medical sciences-related diploma or degree or equivalent.

Successful applicants must meet or exceed a score of 50% in the School of Health and Public Safety’s Entrance Testing Process.

Students must be 18 years old by January 1 (second semester of the PCP program).

All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission. If you don’t meet the requirements, consider Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you’ve applied, consider our international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada.

*ANPH 209 (Anatomy and Physiology) can be used in place of the Biology 30 or Science 30 requirement. This course is available through Open Studies.

Program Outline

Total Credits 34.5

Program Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate professionalism, legal/ethical behaviour, and teamwork within the work environment.
  2. Perform effective oral and written communication specific to the work environment.
  3. Perform health and safe work practices within the work environment.
  4. Perform effective patient assessment and diagnostic practices relevant to patient care.
  5. Provide safe and effective therapeutic interventions to patients in accordance with the Primary Care Paramedic scope of practice.
  6. Integrate assessment, diagnostic, and therapeutic practices during patient care.
  7. Prepare patients for safe ground and air transport.
  8. Perform safe road ambulance operation and continuous vehicle maintenance.
  9. Promote health and public safety.

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