Emergency Education at Cleveland State Soaring Into 2020

Emergency Education at Cleveland State Soaring Into 2020

Monday, January 27, 2020 12:00 AM

(Cleveland, Tennessee) – In 1991, Cleveland State Community College began equipping emergency medical personnel through the college’s EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) program. Since then, the college has started AEMT (Advanced EMT) and Paramedic programs.

Though the total number of students in these programs traditionally hovers around fifty, the 2019 Fall semester started with seventy-five students. And this growth is coming just in time.

“EMS is in jeopardy across the nation as enrollment in our programs are declining and older generations are retiring or finding work in other fields that are less taxing on the body,” said Shane Ware, Assistant Professor of EMS Program at CSCC. “Because of this, EMS will soon be deemed a critical profession in Tennessee.”

At CSCC, the growth in students isn’t an accident. Great efforts have been made to attract EMT, AEMT, and Paramedic candidates and improve their training experience. Advanced technology, satellite services at the McMinn Higher Education Center, and the creation of the Health Science Center (slated to open 2021) complete with simulation ambulances all speak to the college’s passion for excellence in this arena.

“Cleveland State has a reputation for providing excellent EMS training for our region,” said Dean of Business and Healthcare Susan Webb-Curtis. “Our instructors are practicing EMTs and bring extensive real-world experience into their classrooms. Their expertise is vital in training new EMS personnel to meet the seriously increasing workplace demand for this field.”

Representing the first level of training, EMTs are competent at assessing patients and handling emergencies with the aid of basic life support equipment. They perform CPR, control hemorrhages, provide non-invasive shock treatment, stabilize fractures and endangered spines, manage emergency births, and more. EMT certification requires 210 classroom hours and 96 clinical hours.

“EMTs are truly the foundation for all other levels of EMS services,” said Wendy Santos, BSN, Assistant Professor who is also a critical care paramedic (CC-P), nationally registered paramedic (NRP), and instructor/coordinator (I/C). “They come into the program and gain great medical knowledge that makes an immediate difference in people’s lives. They want to help people, and they do.”

Those who desire further training work toward becoming an AEMT. These individuals must have EMT certification and perform an additional 210 classroom hours and 96 clinical hours. In addition to EMT skills, they are capable of performing more advanced life support, starting non-medication intravenous therapies, and administering certain life-saving medications.

The highest level of prehospital licensure is the Paramedic. Having achieved EMT and AEMT certification, these individuals undergo yet another 645 hours in the classroom and 700 in clinical rotation. They’re able to perform a range of advanced services, ranging from chest decompression and medication administration to placement of tubes in the throat to allow medication to be given to patients who are unconscious or struggling to breathe on their own.

In the Fall of 2019, new students enrolled in every program. Exciting as this growth is, there’s always room for more.

“Our community, like most, needs more EMS personnel,” said CSCC EMS Program Director DeVette Carter. “We would like to see more students enrolled and more students complete the program so that our local service providers can give the care our community deserves.”

CSCC is the College System of Tennessee’s College of the Year for 2019. The local institution received the Statewide Outstanding Achievement Recognition, or SOAR, Award after being named the College of the Year honor during an awards ceremony last March. The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving more than 110,000 students.

Cleveland State Community College directly serves the people and businesses of Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, and Polk County Tennessee. To learn more, Cleveland State at 423.472.7141 or visit the college online at ClevelandStateCC.edu. Registration is now underway for all CSCC classes on-campus and online for Spring 2020.


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