Critical Care Provider Course

A course of critical patient management

The Critical Care Provider (CCP) course is designed to introduce the framework of critical patient management to paramedics, nurses, and other health care professionals who need to provide practical and effective care to the fragile patient.


The Critical Care Provider course was developed in a joint effort between Lakes Region EMS, Hennepin Healthcare, and Life Link III, combining years of expertise in air and ground critical patient transport with the tradition of high quality education by Minnesota’s oldest teaching hospital.

It is the philosophy of the course to augment the student’s approach to the critical patient with a view embracing whole body physiology, and how effective treatment demands this consideration.

Further, conceptual models are worked with, guiding prioritization of treatment, and the balance of swift action versus deeper analysis of the patient.

Collaboration in learning

A course of insight and skill…

The fragile patient is the most difficult patient to understand. For the most part, healthy individuals have the ability to manage themselves, with multiple processes coordinated in a flurry of speed and interaction. The healthy person is commonly studied, with the view of normal physiology ever expanding. But the fragile patient is more difficult – very tough to study and understand. Thus, sometimes the treatment pathway is uncertain, as is discerning truly what is wrong, and we find ourselves reverting to the benchmark of normalcy, trying to force the endangered patient into the realm of the healthy. All too often, though, this misunderstands the physiological goal of effective healing. Thus, we should always strive to better interpret the language of the failing body and what it requires of our touch.

…offering clinical clarity

This course strives to offer clinical clarity in understanding and managing the patient’s needs by first examining life maintenance with four interconnected components – airway, lung function, hemodynamics, and sedation.  Skills to support these components are tutored in a stepwise fashion and further refined in small group skills/simulation sessions.  

Beyond this, individualized patient analysis and management is emphasized, looking at fluid status, electrolytes, coagulation, tissue damage, inflammation, and acid/base balance.

This is the reality of intensive care: at any point, we are as apt to harm as we are to heal.

Atul Gawande

High Fidelity Simulation

Full days of simulation and skills give hands-on experience in applying the concepts developed through coursework.

The course consists of 18 four hour sessions, held weekly, plus 2 monthly eight hour skill/scenario sessions.  Beyond this is the expectation of out-of-classroom work, including viewing recorded lectures, completing homework assignments, reading from assigned resources, and participating in discussion posts. A minimum of 4 – 6 hours a week is needed for studying and homework outside of the classroom, with many students reporting up to double that amount of time. Course credit is 110 hours of contact hours.

Concept and Skill Development

The first half of the Critical Care Provider course equips the learner with a conceptual “toolbox”, teaching the foundational background for managing a critically ill patient’s airway, pulmonary function, hemodynamics, and level of sedation and analgesia. The second half of the course examines the pathophysiology of specific disease processes, and the best practices for managing these diseases.  Throughout both sections of the course, learning occurs through a preparatory lectures that are then clarified and applied in-class through expert insight, small group discussions, and case studies, designed to promote both conceptual understanding and practical application. During full day labs, high-fidelity simulation provides an incredible opportunity to apply your learning to real-life cases.

We emphasize a broad vision, considering the whole patient, not just focusing on the obvious malady.

Remote Learning Option

Classroom sessions will have the options of in-classroom (with proper COVID precautions), or online, through Zoom meetings.  There are also two Saturday full day simulation/skill sessions, where in-person attendance is required.  These will occur utilizing appropriate COVID precautions, with small groups, distancing, and masks.

COVID-19 Precautions- All classroom sessions will be available remotely through simulcast distance learning processes. Those attending in person will be expected to continually wear a mask, as well as comply with other requirements. Location and availability of classrooms may vary according to assessed COVID-19 transmission risk.

Precautions during the skill/simulation sessions will be appropriate to local risk assessment and will include small group modules and mandatory mask wearing plus other safeguards, as appropriate, to the contemporary risk. Skill/simulation dates and times may have to be altered or rescheduled in recognition of local contemporary risk assessments.

Next Course- Fall 2022

Tuition – $1495
Does not include textbook

Course Dates

January 19th – May 19th, 2022

Currently scheduled Saturday sessions-

Classroom Location
Hennepin County EMS Education
600 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(Downtown Minneapolis)

Supplemental Reading. Not Required

For more information, call (651) 243-5534 or use the form below.

Clinical Strength Builds Heart

Critical Care Provider