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Hospital sponsorship key toward New Britain EMS paramedic training program accreditation

[May 03 2013] - Already an integral part of New Britain Emergency Medical Services (EMS) paramedic training program, The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) has recently formalized its role, now serving as sponsor hospital, a key step toward national program accreditation.

New Britain EMS is seeking accreditation for its paramedic training program from the Commission on the Accreditation of Educational Programs for the EMS Professions (CoAEMSP). Accreditation, required as of January 2013, necessitates hospital sponsorship. New Britain EMS paramedic training program began January 2012.

David Buono, M.D., medical director of HOCC's Emergency Department (ED) and of New Britain EMS, says, "New Britain EMS paramedics are among the best in the state and through our involvement in the training program we have an opportunity to help them become some of the best-trained paramedics so that when they take care of our patients they will be more than qualified."

David Koscuk, captain, Support Services, New Britain EMS, says, sponsorship "solidifies HOCC as a strategic partner in our paramedic training program." For years, HOCC has provided on-site training ground for New Britain EMS emergency medical technician (EMT) students and in-services for paramedics.

Paramedic program accreditation process is about 18 months, says Koscuk. As a sponsor hospital, HOCC will help develop, sustain and govern the program, he says.

Paramedic training, which involves 1,200 hours of instruction, includes 280 hours at HOCC over three months, during which students have clinical experience in the ED, Labor & Delivery, Special Care Nursery, ICU, Cardiac Cath Lab, and wound care, with most time spent in the ED. From eight to 10 paramedic students are in each of the three-month sessions at HOCC which begin in January and July of each year.

"I look at the relation between the two facilities as very important because we serve the same community," says Nancy Giardina, R.N., M.S.N., HOCC Emergency Department clinical nurse specialist, who provides student instruction. "We are essentially an extension of each other."

While EMT personnel provide basic life support services, paramedics have more training and work closely with ED physicians, says Koscuk, noting paramedics also handle EKG interpretation and airway access.

New Britain EMS handles about 13,000 responses and sees about 11,000 patients annually, with about half of those patients requiring paramedic services.

"We continue to appreciate the efforts of everyone at HOCC with the paramedic students and look forward to many more years of partnership," says Koscuk.