Community Paramedic Program at Hennepin Technical College

Since the Community Paramedic program’s inception in May 2008, Hennepin Technical College has trained and prepared more than 300 community paramedics across the country, with 100 of these students residing in Minnesota. This innovative program has not only served students from rural Minnesota, it has also served students in states as far away as Idaho, Florida, Maine and North Carolina. Although this comprehensive training program includes 64 hours of mandatory in-classroom time, that doesn’t mean students need to reserve a seat at the Eden Prairie campus!

From its inception, the HTC community paramedic program was built around incorporating ITV Technology in the classroom, conveniently allowing students to attend classes via their personal computer, at home or from remote locations with Wi-Fi access. This delivery method puts students virtually in the classroom where they “attend” instructor lectures, demonstrations, and PowerPoint presentations. But easily interacting with the instructor or guest lecturer is just one of the benefits of this technology.

“I enjoyed being able to study from home, and attend classes from my home – I wouldn’t have been able to attend this program while working full time, otherwise”, said David Glendenning from Wilmington North Carolina. “I was even able to reach out to students throughout the country and see how other areas are implementing their community paramedicine programs.”

HTC trains community paramedics to provide health services where access to physicians, clinics or hospitals is difficult. Expanding access to health care for underserved groups in Minnesota and around the country has been shown to significantly reduce the costs for health care providers and taxpayers. Effectively reaching and training the potential students for this program, many of whom live out-of-state, is an important part of the program’s success.

“Our students can attend from anywhere in the country, and this gives us the ability to work with potential candidates who otherwise could not attend on-campus,” said Kai Hjermstad, program coordinator for HTC’s Customized Training Services. “This option keeps us at the forefront of community paramedic training, because we can partner with health agencies and clinics that might otherwise not have the resources to run their own community paramedic training programs.”

In Minnesota, the Community Paramedics Bill, signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton, created a new certification for emergency medical technician -- Emergency Medical Technicians-Community Paramedics (EMT-CP). Studies have shown that the community paramedic model saves money by helping citizens and communities overcome barriers preventing them from accessing health services, and many states are following suit.

Experienced paramedics who enroll in the program will complete a total of 112 hours of classroom training at HTC’s Eden Prairie Campus, as well as 196 hours of clinical training at various hospitals, earning 12 college credits. The course runs several times a year, with the next sessions August 27, 2014.

New this year, Hennepin Technical College will be hosting its’ first Community Paramedicine Conference, October 23 and 24, in Bloomington, Minnesota. The conference is designed to educate, train and support community paramedicine professionals from across the country.

About Hennepin Technical College
Hennepin Technical College is Minnesota’s largest technical college, serving more than 10,000 students at campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie. HTC offers more than 45 programs of study, leading to certificates, diplomas, an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degree. The college offers many evening, weekend, and online courses. In addition, cutting-edge continuing education is available through HTC’s Customized Training Services.

HTC is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprised of 31 universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 260,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 164,000 students in non-credit courses.

Last updated by jlaabs : 2015-05-27 08:25:41