EDEN PRAIRIE, MN – To assist in expanding access to healthcare in underserved communities, Hennepin Technical College (HTC) has announced that it is the first institution to offer community paramedic training in response to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s signing into law the Community Paramedics Bill which creates certification for emergency medical technicians-community paramedics (EMT-CP). The course begins in May at HTC’s Eden Prairie campus.

Community paramedics will help provide health services where access to physicians, clinics or hospitals is difficult or does not exist, particularly in rural Minnesota, where there is a large population of elderly citizens and a critical shortage of healthcare professionals.

“In areas without easy access to physicians and clinics, the community paramedics can make a real difference in improving citizens’ quality of life and health,” said Kai Hjermstad, program coordinator for HTC’s Customized Training Services. He noted that in addition to serving the need for acute medical care, community paramedics work with public health agencies to identify needs in underserved communities and develop methods to better serve them. Studies have shown that utilizing community paramedics can result in economic savings as they help citizens and communities overcome barriers that prevent them from accessing health services.

Another benefit of the expanded role of community paramedics is their preparation to monitor and provide some treatment to patients with chronic diseases and perform minor medical procedures in the patient’s home. For example, when responding to emergencies involving patients with autism, treating minor injuries in the patient’s home eliminates the added stress of transporting them to an unfamiliar and scary emergency room.

Hjermstad added that with the help of the Minnesota Ambulance Association, state Rep. Tara Mack, Apple Valley, and Sen. Julie Rosen, Fairmont, Minnesota is the first state to pass legislation of this kind.

Experienced paramedics who enroll in the program will complete 96 hours of classroom training at HTC’s Eden Prairie campus, as well as 196 hours of clinical training at various Twin Cities hospitals.

For information about the program, contact Kai Hjermstad at (952) 995-1313 or kai.hjermstad@hennepintech.edu

About Hennepin Technical College
Hennepin Technical College (www.hennepintech.edu) 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. To learn more, visit www.hennepintech.edu or call (952) 995-1300.

HTC is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprised of 32 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 : 2011-05-16 04:51:21