EMTs embark on intensive training course
A night with Hennepin EMS Education and their Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course – Dispatch sounds through the radio—a call reporting a domestic altercation. The EMTs in training gather their materials, grab their bags, and head on out. The elevators open, and the sounds of an argument greet them. Paramedics Erin and Jonny are in character and have been waiting for them. Instantly, the team assesses the situation. The couple is upset with each other. There is no physical sign of injury, and the woman is pregnant.
The couple continues to brush away the EMTs, refusing any help needed. Still, the woman says something that catches the EMTs’ attention. She starts complaining of stomach pain and wants everyone to leave. Looking at each other to ensure they heard it; the team asks the pregnant mother questions about her pain. With permission, they examine her to find that the baby is crowning. Immediately, they start prepping to deliver a baby as a domestic call turns into a labor and delivery.
While the red student team delivers a baby upstairs, the purple student team is dispatched to someone who seems intoxicated or possibly has a medical problem, such as a stroke. Assessing the situation and working together with what they’ve learned from their training, they discover the patient is a diabetic with a low blood sugar issue.
For four hours a day, two days a week, these 16 students gather at Hennepin Healthcare to learn and prepare to become an EMT. The course is delivered in a combination of lectures, practical applications of the material, and group work on patient assessment and medical trauma.
After gaining 160 hours of training during the 10-week course, the students can go on to take the national written exam to get their EMT license.
What are EMTs?
EMTs provide out-of-hospital emergency medical care and transportation for critical and emergent patients. EMTs have the basic knowledge and skills to stabilize and safely transport patients from non-emergency and routine medical transport to life-threatening emergencies.
Vik Rozenbergs has been with Hennepin Healthcare for 35 years and has overseen the EMT training program for 14 years. “The students keep me wanting to come back,” he said. “I enjoy seeing many of my graduates down the hallway as paramedics,” said Vik.
How EMT training builds a team that represents our community
Hennepin Healthcare is building a team that represents the diversity of our community, and this EMT training is one piece of the strategy.
“BIPOC communities have historically been reluctant, apprehensive, and flat out terrified of the healthcare systems in America due to unfair treatment and care,” says Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist Michael Hodges. “Seeing someone who looks like you, speaks your language, or can culturally relate to you eases the barrier to simply accept and or seek care. Diversifying the EMS program is a small step in this process to honor the mission and values Hennepin Healthcare aims to accomplish. The more our system reflects the community we serve, the healthier the relationship and people of the community are.”
Through the EMS education programs, careers as a dispatcher/technician (EMD/EMT), paramedic, educator, and or responder are all possible. To make the program accessible and equitable, the EMS department also offers individuals the opportunity to go through our program for free as well as be paid during training. We only require a two-year commitment to Hennepin Healthcare after Graduation. There is also tuition reimbursement for Hennepin team members who want EMS training.
What do people learn in the course?
The course breaks down into six different areas:
- Labor, delivery, and pediatrics
- Airway and breathing
At the six-week mark of the course, Vik and the Hennepin EMS team put on their actor caps. As you read in the scene at the top, they set up possible calls and scenarios in the six areas—each with a twist. After the EMTs-in-training arrive at the scene and evaluate the situation, they perform the care needed and transport the patient to the hospital. An EMS team member oversees each team and debriefs the call together.
Beth K. is an EMS Dispatcher for Hennepin Healthcare, and she is taking the course to fill a requirement to be EMT-certified for her role. “The staff are very invested in helping everyone do well and making everyone an EMT that feels confident,” said Beth.
“I didn’t expect to have this much fun,” says Alissa R., who is taking the course as a steppingstone to becoming a firefighter.
- Registration for summer 2024 will open in April and classes will be from June 3, 2024 – August 12, 2024
- Registration for the fall 2024 will open in July and classes will be from September 11, 2024 – November 18, 2024
Contact Vik at [email protected] to register and learn more about the course and pricing.