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Critical Care

Career Studies Certificate

critical care paramedic treats severely injured patient

RNs, paramedics: This is your pathway to becoming a critical care specialist

Gain skills and knowledge to manage the care of severely ill patients

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Tidewater Community College’s Career Studies Certificate in Critical Care will give you the skills and knowledge to manage the care of severely ill patients in either a hospital setting or during a high-risk ground or flight transfer. Topics will teach you how to troubleshoot complex monitoring devices and equipment.

Areas of study include:

  • Advanced airway management, including mechanical ventilators
  • Anatomy and physiology based clinical assessment
  • Diagnostics data interpretation
  • 12-lead EKG interpretation
  • Advanced pharmacology


Go further

Apply the credits you earn in this program to TCC's Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Services or obtain another EMS certification at TCC.

Certify your skills

Earn valuable industry credentials! Course work qualifies nurses to take the Critical Care Nurses Exam (CCRN). Paramedics may take the Flight Paramedic Certification (FP-C) exam or the Critical Care Paramedic Certification (CCP-C)

View program curriculum
Admission Forms and Information

We want you to be aware of additional requirements and important information for this program.

If you are a new TCC student, begin your journey by applying for admission. On your application, indicate that you intend to pursue the Career Studies Certificate in Critical Care.

Next, obtain your EMT, which is the foundation for all higher levels of certification in Virginia. To get your EMT you need to sign up for EMS 111 and EMS 120.

Make sure you receive appropriate transfer credits from previous education and work experience.

EMS doesn't offer an information session. If you have questions, contact Audrey Pine, administrative assistant: 757-822-7335.

After you are admitted, you must meet certain conditions for continuance:

1. Submit the Health Professions Physical Examination Form showing satisfactory health status based on a physician’s exam within the previous 12 months.

2. Submit your immunization record showing you have met Virginia’s requirements for health care personnel.

3. Submit documentation of a negative TB test.

4. Complete a criminal/sex offender background check prior to working at any clinical facility.* Order your background check here.

* Tidewater Community College does not assume any responsibility for obtaining or evaluating the results of a criminal background check, drug screen or other check, maintaining the records of results or for delivering them to clinical sites. It is the decision of the clinical affiliate (health care or medical facility) whether a student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities should there be positive criminal or sex offender results. 

What does this program cost?

TCC’s Career Studies Certificate in Critical Care consists of 2 semesters of part-time study, with classes at the Regional Health Professions Center on the Virginia Beach Campus and at clinical sites.

Estimated Program Cost*:
19 credits x $185.35 per credit = $3,521.65 (not including textbooks and supplies)
*Based on Fall 2018 in-state tuition. Your actual cost may differ.

Additional expenses include uniform shirt and criminal background check ($46)

Where can you go?

Graduates of this program typically work in critical care environments, such as flight and ground transport areas, as well as critical care units in hospitals.

Is this program for you?

Yes, if you:

  • are a registered nurse or paramedic or have an appropriate level of medical training
  • are able to handle a physically demanding job
  • have excellent communications skills
  • are calm in stressful circumstances
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Veterans, transitioning military, spouses and dependents: TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education provides academic guidance and help in maximizing your GI Bill® and other educational benefits.

Learn more about the CMVE

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Tuition assistance such as financial aid, scholarships, work-study, grants and loans can help you save money and reduce college debt.

Learn more about paying for college

8 simulation labs, model apartment and equipment rival the facilities of some medical schools

Classes are offered at the Regional Health Professions Center day and evening. Attend either, as your schedule permits.

Just 19 credits! Intensive, accelerated options mean you can finish in weeks, not months.


A nurse for 41 years, Anne Mach has taught the gamut of EMS courses

National accreditation

Programs accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for EMS Professions (CoAEMSP) through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs 

Program spotlight

Simulation technology allows EMS education to be hands-on