Bachelor's degree, full-time studies

Degree Programme in Emergency Care
Bachelor of Health Care, 240 ECTS

ensihoitaja (AMK), Bachelor of Health Care

  • Programme
  • Curricula
  • Implementations


As a paramedic (Bachelor of Health Care), you have a strong competence in clinical nursing practice, and advanced skills to plan, implement, assess and develop the nursing of patients of varying ages. Paramedics are emergency care experts in acute care nursing and health care.

Emergency care nursing focuses on the care of patients with acute health problems or injuries. It includes assessment of the patient’s status, and starting and maintaining the vital body functions. The profession requires multidisciplinary knowledge in nursing and medical sciences, and its implementation in emergency care situations.

After assessing and interviewing the patient, you proceed to the symptom-related examination and interview to assess the patient’s state of health more thoroughly. As a paramedic you need to independently and immediately form a field diagnosis with treatment options, even though the information and operating environment is challenging. For that you need have strong stress tolerance. Based on the status assessment and urgency, the patient is transferred to the hospital or health care center by ambulance, for continuing of treatment and health care.

Paramedics work in collaboration with other professions in emergency care services as well as different authorities, such as the police, fire and rescue services and social services. Emergency care services are part of the national safety system.

Degree programme description

The Degree Programme in Emergency Care includes core competence and complementary competence studies. Core competence includes the knowledge, skills and qualifications that paramedics must master at work and that form the basis for continuous learning. Complementary competence expands and deepends the core competence.

The curriculum of the Degree Programme in Emergency Care is based on EU directives and national guidelines regarding the competence of nurses responsible for general care (180 ECTS credits), including common competence areas of the University of Applied Sciences. The competence areas are included in modules and courses.

Common competence of the University of Applied Sciences includes the following competence areas:
• learning competence
• ethical competence
• communication and social competence
• development competence
• organizational and societal competence
• international competence.

The Professional Competence of a nurse responsible for general care (180 ECTS credits) includes the following competence areas:
• professionalism and ethics
• patient and client centered care
• interaction and multiprofessional team work
• health promotion
• management
• information management
• patient education and support of selfcare
• clinical nursing practice
• evidence-based practice, utilization of research evidence and decision making
• entrepreneurship and development
• quality control
• service system in social and health care
• patient safety.

Nationally defined competence areas of emergency nurses (Bachelor of Health Care) are:
• assessment of the need for care and decision-making
• advanced-level emergency care that ensures patient safety
• emergency medicine and pharmacology
• use of emergency care technology
• operative leadership in the Emergency Medical Services
• emergency care service system
• nursing.

Paramedic studies include the following modules:

Core competence
• Professional basics in nursing
• Language and communication studies
• Health promotion
• Evidence-based nursing
• Clinical nursing
• Bachelor’s thesis
• Practical training: Clinical nursing

Supplementary competence
• Pre-hospital emergency care at basic level
• Specialization in emergency care
• Pre-hospital emergency care at advanced level
• Optional studies

Various situations of clinical nursing and patient education are practiced during the studies. Modern simulation and practical learning environments, with modern equipment, enable the creation of realistic learning environments.

One third of the studies is implemented as practical training in various nursing environments, during which you will get to practice clinical skills and implement your knowledge and skills in working life. Practical training is carried out in various units of primary health care, specialized health care and community sector, where registered nurses and paramedics work. Practical training as part of complementary competence is carried out in emergency care services, ambulances and acute care units in hospitals.

In optional studies you can choose from various alternatives, including innovation and entrepreneurship studies, digitalization studies, and Russian studies.
Language and communication studies will help to communicate both orally and in writing in the nursing profession. You will be able to participate in international communication and interaction in Finnish or Swedish, and English.

Implementation of studies and flexible learning tracks

Flexible learning tracks

Your personal study and career plans, prepared at the beginning of your studies, are built on the objectives of the degree programme and on the knowledge and skills previously acquired, in order to support your decisions in career planning, course options, practical training, thesis and international studies. The objective is that you can plan your studies as well as possible according to your life situation.

In order to save time and make studying interesting for you, you can demonstrate and get a recognition for the previously acquired skills, allowing you to focus on learning new skills and gaining new knowledge from your studies. It is essential that the previously acquired skills meet the aims of the degree programme and the particular course.

Scheduled track
In the scheduled track, you participate in the classroom instruction and guidance. Your studying includes classroom and online studying, as well as and simulations in various environments.

How to speed up the studies?

You can speed up your studies within the limits of the prior study requirement of the courses. A careful planning is suggested when speeding up the studies, since learning and achieving competences requires time. You can choose independent forms of completing the courses, such as online implementations, and you can select courses from the schedules of other groups. Summer studies are also available. Speeding up your studies requires excellent time management skills and readiness for independent studying. If you have prior competence related to the course, such as studies or work experience on the subject, you can have the course accredited either partially or in full.

Your wellbeing is very important to all of us. During your studies, you have the support of the entire Xamk staff. All Xamk campuses have a student affairs office and student health care.

BYOD – Bring Your Own Device

New students arriving in Xamk are subject to our BYOD policy. The BYOD policy requires that students bring their own devices, such as laptops, to campus.

Career opportunities

After graduation, you can work both as a registered nurse and as a paramedic. The degree provides you with the professional qualification of a nurse responsible for general care, pursuant to EU directives. After graduation you will have two professional titles, Registered Nurse and Bachelor of Health Care, Emergency Nurse. You will be licensed by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira).

Your future workplaces are in emergency care services in ambulances, in specialized health care including emergency care and intensive units, in primary health care including reception and emergency units, and in the private sector, for example in ambulances. You can also be employed internationally.

RDI and cooperation with world of work

Almost half of the studies is conducted in cooperation with the world of work. Clinical practice in different nursing and health care environments strengthens your working skills and participation in multiprofessional networks. The Bachelor’s thesis is related to local development projects or other work-related development tasks.

Cooperation between teaching and RDI (research, development and innovation) provides you with experience in development projects connected to local, national or European networks.
Cooperation between RDI and teaching gives you opportunities to participate in local, national and international development projects. The Degree Programme in Emergency Care is part of Xamk’s research, development and innovation activities, under the theme of Sustainable Wellbeing. The aim is to promote the sustainable wellbeing, business activities, expertise and competitiveness of the region by improving the conditions for renewal, growth and entrepreneurship, as well as national and international innovations.

In RDI projects you will participate in multidisciplinary teamwork with local service providers, and university staff and students. Xamk is cooperating with Aalto University, enabling new opportunities for RDI and teaching development projects.

Learning environments

Learning environments in Kotka include an ambulance, an apartment, simulation classrooms and a diverse outdoor area for practicing emergency care, the assessment for the need of treatment, and patients’ transportation to the emergency department of the training hospital on our campus.

Simulations are used widely in Degree Programme in Emergency Care. The only ambulance simulator is situated on Kotka campus. The ambulance simulator includes a completely equipped ambulance with full capacity for professional emergency care and communication practice. This virtual, modern learning environment also includes wide screens to project various learning environments.

With the ambulance simulator you will be able to practice real-life situations, such as driving and patient treatment and surveillance during the transport, together with challenging patient transfers. The ambulance reacts to its driving in a realistic way. You will see, hear and feel the situation, as if it was real, and you gain skills in safe and anticipatory emergency driving, which will be beneficial for you in working life.
Paramedic education includes a lot of clinical practice, implemented in various workplaces of health care environments.