Training for Community Paramedicine Programs
Training requirements to practice as a community paramedic or community emergency medical technician (EMT) vary depending on state scope-of-practice regulations; there are no uniform community paramedicine regulations across states. Many local jurisdictions or emergency medical service (EMS) agencies also have their own existing training standards. If that is the case, program administrators and staff may be able to adopt existing curricula to fit the needs of their program.
Depending on state and local regulations, some community paramedicine programs may require their staff to become Certified Community Paramedics. The International Board of Specialty Certification administers this designation and provides information and guidance specific to the community paramedic exam (CP-P), including a handbook with a content outline and sample questions to prepare for the certification exam.
EMS programs may require that their community paramedics be CP-P certified; however, this process can be too costly or require too much time for rural programs. Often, rural EMS agencies employ EMTs, who would need to be trained to the paramedic level and then to the community paramedic level. As an alternative, EMTs may be trained as community EMTs (C-EMTs), or what is nationally known as a primary care technician. Another option is for mobile integrated health programs to send a community nurse or primary care provider on home visits to conduct health screenings while the paramedic conducts home safety checks. This type of program does not expand a paramedic's scope of practice and does not require additional training.
Programs may also benefit from seeking feedback from students who have participated in their training and are currently working in the field. These employees will be able to provide insight into how a program's training should be altered and updated to meet the unique needs of the local rural community.
A number of training resources already exist and are widely used across the country, including curricula from Hennepin Technical College and Eagle County, Colorado. Several of the resources described below have been adopted or adapted by rural community paramedicine programs.
Resources to Learn More
Community Health Paramedicine
Targeted for academic settings, this teaching resource outlines how to develop a successful community paramedicine program by taking into consideration a variety of factors including personal safety and wellness, professional boundaries, cultural competence, chronic disease management, and communication strategies.
Organization(s): American Academy of Osteopathic Surgeons
Community Paramedic Program Handbook
Provides information about developing and evaluating a community paramedicine program. Includes insights regarding program feasibility, state regulations, partner commitment, training, policies and procedures, and evaluation. Resource is free to accredited institutions.
Organization(s): North Central EMS Institute, Western Eagle County Health Services District, Paramedic Foundation
MIH-CP Program Toolkit
A toolkit supporting the provision of healthcare using mobile integrated healthcare-community paramedicine (MIH-CP). Provides a variety of resources, tools, and informational videos for training community paramedics and for implementing a successful program.
Organization(s): National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT)