Saint Thomas Completes Third Critical Care Paramedic Licensure Program

--Program Improves Access to Critical Care in Rural Areas--

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Saint Thomas Emergency Medical Services (STEMS) and the Saint Thomas Chest Pain Network, both divisions of Saint Thomas Health Services, are pleased to announce the completion of their third Critical Care Paramedic Licensure Program.

This year’s participants completed the state licensure examination at a 90 percent passage rate, nearly 40 percent above the state average.

“With this license, the graduates of the Saint Thomas Critical Care Paramedic Licensure Program are able to provide some of the most advanced out-of-hospital care to patients in critical situations,” said Nancy Davis, Network Clinical Coordinator and EMS Liaison with the Saint Thomas Chest Pain Network.

The program was introduced in 2008 as a way to improve the care received by critically ill patients in rural areas when being transferred to larger, urban medical centers, which are many times hours away. It was the first critical care program in the state to gain approval from the Tennessee Department of Health Division of Emergency Medical Services and is the only medical provider in Middle Tennessee to currently offer the course.

The course includes instruction from specialists, such as cardiologists, neurologists and ER physicians, from across Middle Tennessee, from whom the EMS providers gain skills in management of tracheotomy tubes, cardiac interventions, initiation and management of ventilators, chest tubes and surgical airways and more.

“While these paramedics were already trained to treat critically ill patients, this license allows them to understand at a cellular level how their treatment affects the patient and increases the patient’s chances of attaining the highest quality of life in the future,” said Program Director Greg Spurlock, a Critical Care Paramedic and Certified Flight Paramedic.

The Critical Care Paramedic Licensure course is a more than 200-hour program, 72 hours of which are based in a clinical setting. The course began January 22 and concluded on May 6 with the licensing exam administered by the state.

The course included 20 participants from 12 Middle Tennessee counties: Rutherford, Williamson, Sumner, Dickson, Lawrence, Davidson, Grundy, Bedford, Marshall, Pickett, Henry and Henderson.

“We are pleased to be the leader in Critical Care Paramedic Training in Tennessee. We have taught more classes and demonstrated a higher success rate than any other institution in the state, and we are now setting the benchmark for pre-hospital care of critically ill patients,” added Spurlock. “Physicians often depend on these paramedic providers for the transport of very sick patients from outlying hospitals to larger, urban facilities, such as Saint Thomas and Baptist Hospitals.”

In addition to Spurlock and Davis, the program was also led by Jeff Pender, logistical coordinator from STEMS. For more information on the Critical Care Paramedic Licensure Program, please call 284-RIDE or visit

About Saint Thomas Health Services

Saint Thomas Health Services is a faith-based ministry with more than 6,500 associates serving Middle Tennessee. Saint Thomas Health Services’ regional health system consists of four hospitals – Baptist and Saint Thomas in Nashville, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro and Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville – and a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures in diagnostics, cardiac services and ambulatory surgery as well as medical practices, the Center for Spinal Surgery, clinics and rehabilitation facilities. STHS is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. For more information, visit


For Saint Thomas Health Services
Morgan Lynch, 615-254-0575

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