A Chance to Shine
For years – correct that, decades – I have heard EMS is in desperate need of a national college; not the type that teaches the EMS, PCP, Paramedic, ACP program but one that oversees EMS accreditation across the country. What we need is a national certification program for all provinces.
In some provinces, if you take a course in one place, you are taught EMS skills one way, and quite possibly taught differently in another school. Not only that, but your medication and defibrillation skills can be different too.
To add insult to a compound fracture injury, higher level medics like to tease and taunt lesser certified medics. Notice how I said “lesser certified” and not “lesser trained.” For the most part, I am a firm believer that BLS saves the ass of ALS day in, day out. A huge percentage of calls require BLS skills only, some a slightly higher level and a very, very small portion of calls require full blown ALS skills. Most ALS, not all, but most ALS medics need a stern course in humility and appreciation for the entire medical community.
God did not create heaven, earth, sky and then ALS medics on his day off. Schools that teach the ALS program and drill into the minds of ALS students that anything less than an ACP is a waste of humanity need to wake up and smell the saline they are pushing. Each medic is equal and a vital part of the EMS chain; no medic should put down another simply because they chose to spend gobs of money for a course they don’t need. A national college would, I think accomplish a more civilized approach to how medics view each other. Not as BLS vs. ALS but as partners in a team who treat and care for patients and get them to definitive care.
One way to do this is to have the Rex Dulfom National School of Paramedic Accreditation and Humility. We can forgo the “Rex Dulfom” part if you want.
Medics should be able to take a nationally certified ALS or BLS course in any province and travel to any part of the country and work without having to write, ride along or go back to school and get re-certified.
A national EMS college should also provide the certification, rather than a base hospital program or medical director. The college should review the medic’s skills, maintain their certification and if necessary, revoke or challenge the medic on their skills.
Medics cannot travel from province to province, let alone from one region to the next in areas of Canada that do not have an EMS college.
Other medical and non-medical professions enjoy the benefits of being able to move from one part of this great country to next without having to start their entire scholastic process all over again.
Every medic, from EMT to PCP to ACP to paramedic should ban together and demand a college that supports them as a profession united under one body with one skill set, one set of protocols, with the ability to travel and move and carry over your career from one province to the next.
We need a college that protects the medics, not punishes them.
We need a college that promotes the profession so that paramedics of all skill levels are viewed as professionals, English or French, BLS or ALS, West Coast or East Coast, united under one star of life. (A little bloated but I think you get my point!)