Toxicology training of paramedic students in the United States

Colleen O. Davis, Daniel J. Cobaugh, Neil F. Leahey, Paul M. Wax

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A 16-item survey was mailed to the directors of 618 paramedic training programs in the United States to determine (1) the number of lecture hours devoted to toxicology topics and (2) how often paramedic training includes a rotation in a poison control center. The response rate was 82%. Toxicology accounts for approximately 2% of paramedic students' total training. Cardiovascular drug toxicity and hazardous materials are discussed for over 60 minutes by more than 50% of paramedic training programs. Four paramedic programs have no lecture time on cyclic antidepressant overdoses and one program has no lecture time on carbon monoxide poisoning. Eighty-one percent (377 of 467) have access to a regional poison control center; 11% (42 of 377) use the poison control center as a paramedic training site. Some US paramedic training programs spend insufficient time covering topics that have significant out-of-hospital morbidity. Although poison control centers are often available, they are underutilized for paramedic training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-140
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


  • Education
  • Paramedic
  • Paramedic students
  • Toxicology
  • Toxicology training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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