TJC partners with ETMC

Published on Thursday, 14 August 2014 23:06 - Written by Emily Guevara

A partnership between Tyler Junior College and East Texas Medical Center will strengthen the college’s health care programs and improve professional development opportunities for ETMC, officials said.

The agreement is between the college’s emergency medical services professions program and ETMC EMS.

College and ETMC officials said the partnership, which was announced Thursday, will allow both parties to take advantage of the best each has to offer.

With the merger of the programs, T.C. Howard, who is ETMC EMS director of clinical educational services, will serve as supervisor of TJC’s academic and training programs for emergency medical services professions.

TJC President Dr. Mike Metke said when the previous director of these TJC programs retired, they didn’t replace the person.

Howard will take what is in effect the director position, and the college will hire a coordinator who will report to him, Metke said.

“The best and most sustainable partnerships are those where each one feels like they’ve married up,” Metke said.

This partnership will allow both entities to provide better service and save money, he said. They also will be able to provide better training and better emergency care for the community.

Howard said the partnership will bring together strong academics and strong clinical/field internship opportunities to provide training and enhance the level of emergency medical technicians and paramedics in this area.

TJC students will have access to an ambulance simulator, which will depict real-life scenarios and instruments used in emergency situations, according to a college news release.

ETMC will work with the college to schedule required professional development training for its EMS personnel throughout the TJC service area. The partnership is effective with the start of the fall semester.

“Things in the medical field are changing so rapidly that (medical professionals) need to have that opportunity to continue their education,” ETMC Regional Healthcare System President Elmer Ellis said. “Having TJC and being located on this campus is a wonderful thing.”

TJC offers EMT-Basic, Advanced EMT and Paramedic options for its students.

Local labor data shows that employment of EMTs and paramedics was expected to grow by 33 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the news release.

There also will be a continued need for part-time, volunteer EMTs and paramedics in rural areas and smaller metropolitan areas.