BCPA members may consider this an open invitation for conference presentation submissions.

The intended themes of the conference are as follows:

The Use of Simulation in Education
Approaches to Practice-based Learning
Research in Paramedic Education
Transition to Professional Practice
Paramedic Education Policy
Innovations in Teaching and Learning
Abstract submission guidance is available here:

The abstract submission form is available here:

Posted onJanuary 18, 2021
CategoriesBCPA, Education, Leadership, Professional Practice, Research
BCPA e-Learning Platform, BCEMALB Credits: 2019 Symposium
We are excited to share the launch of our new BCYPA e-Learning platform to assist members in achieving their licensing education requirements. As a value added service to members, we offer the e-Learning system with member developed content, included in your membership fee. Courses can be found on the website under Professional Development.

We have established a single sign-on system. This means that once you have your sign-on you can access the e-Learning environment directly from our website without the need to re-login to the e-Learning system. You can also use the same credentials to login at

To launch the site, we have formulated the 2019 BCYPA Spring Research & Education Symposium into an On-Line course. For those that were not able to attend, you can now attend virtually. All 7 hours of presentations are on-line by topic followed by a short comprehension quiz and issuance of a certificate. Members have received 7 hours of BCEMALB credit towards licensing for attending the symposium and we will submit the on-line version for recognition as well; in conjunction with your certificate of completion.

Posted onDecember 8, 2019
CategoriesBCPA, British Columbia, Canada, Education, Online Courses, Professional Practice
TagsBCPA, BCYPA, British Columbia, e-Learning, Education, Paramedic, Paramedic Regulation, Paramedicine
BCPA Regulated Health Profession: Paramedic Feedback Survey
Individuals and Organizations now have an opportunity to provide input into the reform of regulated health professions in British Columbia. As part of this process the BCPA will be providing a written submission to the government.

We are seeking input from members and British Columbia Paramedics to inform our submission to the government.

Please take the time provide input to the British Columbia Paramedic Association for consideration in our submissions.

Thank you

Posted onDecember 7, 2019
CategoriesBCPA, British Columbia, Canada, Professional Practice, Uncategorized
Tags#selfregulationforparamedics, British Columbia, Paramedic Regulation, professional college, Professional Practice
BCPA Position Statement on Healthcare Regulation in BC and the Cayton Report
“It is the duty of a college at all times; To protect the safety of patients, to prevent harm and promote the health and well-being of the public.”

Health Professions in British Columbia are overseen by government within a variety of frameworks. Currently, the most common framework is professional self-regulation under the BC Health Professions Act.

Paramedicine does not fall under a college based self governance model in BC and instead is overseen by a government appointed licensing board. The Emergency Medical Assistant Licensing Board (EMALB), oversees entry to practice and maintenance of licensure within BC. Paramedics are actually considered Emergency Medical Assistants (EMAs), within provincial legislation. The title paramedic and its variations is not protected in BC which presents risk to the protection of the public.

The legislation under which BC paramedics are licensed and regulated has not kept up with modern evolutions of medicine. Skills, procedures and authorities in the Act are piecemealed together through a series of schedules that are confusing and fail to reflect current practice. Additionally, education standards have failed to keep pace with the rest of Canada for Paramedics; as a result the primary paramedic employer, BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS), now bears a significant educational burden bridging knowledge gaps that have become entry to practice knowledge expectations in other canadian jurisdictions.

At the request of the Hon. Health Minister Adrian Dix, Mr. Harry Cayton has released a recent report on the status of regulated health professions in British Columbia.

It is the position of the British Columbia Paramedic Association (BCPA), that paramedics in BC should become a self-regulated health profession within the context of any new approach to regulating health professions. Should health regulatory reform come to pass, the BCPA would request a seat at the table designing the new regulatory structure and process.


The Cayton Report, published April 2019, was commissioned at the request of the provincial health minister to address complaints about current self-regulatory colleges. This report breaks into two sections, each with a specific mandate.

Powerful beneficial ideals are frequently born of adversity. As a result of regulatory difficulties with the College of Dental Surgeons of BC (CDSBC), the Hon. Health Minister Adrian Dix commissioned Harry Cayton to investigate and report upon both the CDSBC and BC’s current health regulatory framework (as defined by the Health Professions Act). Mr. Cayton had the excellent foresight to clearly delineate the report into two sections: the first section being a comprehensive reflection upon the regulatory status of the CDSBC, the second section being a comprehensive reflection upon potential regulatory reform for BC’s health professions.

The first section of Mr. Cayton’s report is clear and does an excellent job of outlining issues found within the CDSBC. It has no direct bearing upon paramedic practice aside from serving as a cautionary tale with respect to the duties and obligations of a regulatory college.

The second section of Mr. Cayton’s report is one of the most relevant pieces of government commissioned literature with respect to paramedic practice from the last decade. It clearly outlines reasoning as to why a profession should be regulated for the protection of the public while laying out a potential new regulatory framework to both enhance protection of the public and reduce regulatory costs.

Section 9.14 of the Cayton report succinctly relays the core principles of health regulation reform:

9.14 The overall objectives of reform of health professional regulation should be:

  • To protect the safety of patients, to prevent harm and to promote the health and well-being of the public
  • To provide a framework for safe, competent and ethical professional practise
  • To have the trust of the public and the confidence of regulated occupations
  • To be able to adapt to change and respond to new risks and opportunities
  • To be efficient and cost effective in the interests of all citizens

Each of these points deserves specific address with respect to the future of paramedic practice in British Columbia.

“To protect the safety of patients, to prevent harm and to promote the health and well-being of the public”

As part of his recommendations for the enhancement of patient safety, Mr. Cayton proposes amendment of the Health Professions Act to state “It is the duty of a college at all times; To protect the safety of patients, to prevent harm and promote the health and well-being of the public.” This excellent statement of duty would apply to all health professions falling under the Health Professions Act. At present paramedics are separately regulated through the Emergency Medical Assistants Licensing Board (EMALB) under the Emergency Medical Assistants Regulation. As such, any changes to the Health Professions Act will not apply to paramedicine unless amendments to the regulation include the formation of a BC College of Paramedics.

By comparison the EMALB’s statement of purpose is as follows: “The board, under the authority of the Emergency Health Services Act, sets licence terms and conditions. In addition, the board investigates complaints and conducts hearings where necessary.” The EMALB’s statement of purpose does not include the all important concept of purpose Mr. Cayton proposes for all regulated health professions: “to protect the safety of patients.”

Paramedics know the protection of patient safety must be at the forefront of practice, but a lay member of the public may ask why this concept should be embedded into the regulatory framework. The answer is surprisingly simple. Paramedics on a daily basis perform a tremendous number of controlled medical acts which, if performed incorrectly or inappropriately, have serious potential for patient harm. As healthcare providers performing controlled medical acts, paramedics must have patient safety minded regulation at the forefront of the professional lexicon. Inclusion of paramedicine within proposed changes to the health regulatory framework would ensure patient safety minded governance rose to a place of prime importance within paramedic practice regulation.

“To provide a framework for safe, competent and ethical professional practise”

Regulation governing the practice of paramedicine in BC, the Emergency Medical Assistants Regulation, consists of a 33 page, 5775 word single document. This, as compared to the scope of paramedic practice, miniscule document can not possibly be expected to encompass a framework for safe, competent, and ethical professional practise. By comparison, the allowed scope of practise document alone for BC’s registered nurses is 72 pages in length (professional responsibilities, code of ethics etc., are all separate documents). Current regulatory structure for the practice of paramedicine in British Columbia fails this test. Inclusion of a College of Paramedicine within a restructured health regulatory framework would serve to rectify this healthcare practise inequity.

“To have the trust of the public and the confidence of regulated occupations”

The paramedic profession by and large has the public’s trust, however it has no mechanism to earn the confidence of other regulated health professions. Consistently paramedics rank among the most publicly trusted healthcare workers yet they lack a regulatory college operated by an appropriate blend of subject matter experts and members of the public. The absence of a regulatory college robs the profession of the ability to professionally interact with other regulators for the betterment of patient safety and patient care standards. The formation of a BC College of Paramedics under proposed health profession regulations would alleviate this disparity by creating allowances for interdisciplinary information sharing.

“To be able to adapt to change and respond to new risks and opportunities”

The current paramedic regulatory framework completely fails in this important area. As medical evidence changes, so too does best medical practice for patient safety and best possible care outcomes. The current EMALB structure requires an act of legislation via the provincial health minister to adapt to changing medical evidence. This cumbersome and inefficient structure is neither quick in its ability to respond, nor guaranteed to be directed by appropriate subject matter experts. The formation of a BC College of Paramedics under an updated Health Professions Act would alleviate this impediment to best patient care by Paramedics.

“To be efficient and cost effective in the interests of all citizens”

At present the administrative costs of the EMALB are almost entirely borne by the BC taxpayer. Some degree of cost recovery is achieved through examination fees and licensing fees. Most regulatory college systems of governance impart the cost of operation directly to the regulated practitioner. As Mr. Cayton astutely points out, professional regulation “is a tax on work; a payment for the privilege of working.” What Mr. Cayton is proposing with respect to a health profession regulatory overhaul could include mechanisms for cost sharing amongst regulated health professions. The United Kingdom Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) for example oversees sixteen separate regulated health professions which all share the regulatory costs associated with their various professions. Paramedicine is one of the sixteen health professions regulated under the UK HCPC. The formation of a similar health council in BC would ideally include Paramedicine.


As a significant stakeholder seeking improvement in paramedic professional regulation, the BC Paramedic Association (BCPA) seeks a seat at the table as health profession regulation is reformed and ideally a BC College of Paramedics is formed. Whether under an overarching health professions council or as a separate regulatory college, the time for more appropriate paramedic practice regulation in BC has come.

The British Columbia Paramedic Association (BCPA), is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit, member supported society that represents the profession of Paramedicine in BC. The BCPA advocates for the best out-of-hospital medical care for patients in British Columbia by establishing professional standards of practice, continuing professional development opportunities/education, creating original research, and providing knowledge translation for paramedic practice in British Columbia. BCPA membership is voluntary and the association is not a labour representative.

Posted onJune 6, 2019
CategoriesBCPA, British Columbia, Leadership, Professional Practice
TagsBC Minister of Health, BCEHS, BCPA, Cayton, Cayton Report, Dix, EMALB, Healthcare, Healthcare Regulation, Minister Dix, Paramedic, Paramedic Regulation, Self-Regulation
CERN-RCRSP 2019 AGM & Paramedic Research Symposium in Vancouver – May 6, 2019
CERN-RCRSP 2019 AGM & Paramedic Research Symposium in Vancouver – May 6, 2019
The 2019 CERN-RCRSP will be held on the afternoon of Monday, May 6, 2019 at UBC Robson Square in Vancouver, BC. The Symposium runs from 1230 to 1800.

Highlights of the CERN-RCRSP Symposium agenda are the following:

 Key note address exploring key concepts and trends in Big Data, and how these can inform EMS and paramedicine research in Canada
 Presentations describing current data-related research initiatives in Canadian EMS and paramedicine
 Poster presentations from researchers across Canada
 Updates on EMS- and Paramedic-related research from across the country
 Presentation of this year’s Canadian EMS Research Mentorship Award
 CERN-RCRSP Annual General Meeting

Registration is free and open to anyone interested in Paramedic research! Click here to register. Participate in the 2019 CERN-RCRSP Symposium: Call for Abstracts and Research Updates
Poster Abstracts

CERN-RCRSP is now accepting abstracts that explore both the Symposium theme of Big Data and Paramedicine and research in EMS and Paramedicine broadly.

An abstract review committee will invite a limited number of abstracts for poster presentation or an oral presentation at the 2019 CERN-RCRSP AGM and Symposium. Abstracts should include:

 Primary presenter’s name and contact information
 Title
 Short description (maximum 350 words) summarizing your research and/or its key points

Please submit your EMS and Paramedicine Research Abstracts to [email protected] NOW!

Posted onApril 11, 2019
CategoriesBritish Columbia, Canada, Professional Practice, Research
TagsCanROC, Paramedic, Paramedicine, Research, ROC
PRESS RELEASE – British Columbia Paramedic Association Supports Auditor General’s Report on BCEHS
PRESS RELEASE – British Columbia Paramedic Association Supports Auditor General’s Report on BCEHS
For Immediate Release
February 28, 2019

British Columbia Paramedic Association Supports Auditor General’s Report on BCEHS

Vancouver, BC — The British Columbia Paramedic Association (BCPA), an independent body representing paramedic clinical and professional practice in British Columbia, supports the findings of the BC Auditor General’s Report on the British Columbia Emergency Health Services (BCEHS). Executive Director, Scott Ramey a Critical Care Paramedic says “It appears to be a well balanced report; emphasizing the positive improvements well underway, while outlining within the recommendations some areas BCEHS has already identified for on-going enhancement.”

In particular BCPA shares the view expressed within the auditor’s report that a comprehensive clinical quality assurance and improvement program would serve to improve overall patient care standards. In the interest of public safety such a program would encompass the full emergency health services response profile, ranging from first responder through paramedic treatment and transport. Quality assurance practices previously only applied to paramedic levels of care would serve to enhance patient safety once applied across all levels of care, including first responders. BCPA President, Edward Peters, a Critical Care Paramedic, shared that “The BCPA strives to continually improve patient care through the enhancement of paramedic education and by supporting sound clinical oversight.”

The auditor general made particularly valid recommendations regarding several areas of clinical practice and patient care in British Columbia. The expansion of advanced levels of paramedic care to suburban and rural areas should be further explored and is long overdue.

All levels of responders contribute greatly to the emergency health system. There are areas the BCPA sees opportunities to rapidly and significantly enhance patient care. Of note, the Auditor General emphasized the ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) program in the report. The BCPA supports the addition of Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) 12-lead ECG acquisition, 12-lead interpretation and STEMI bypass. These skills and procedures have to date been restricted to Advanced Care Paramedics (ACP) in BC while other provinces have proven the effectiveness of a PCP STEMI program in broadening accessibility to life saving STEMI care in a timely and safe manner.

BCPA would be delighted to see greater evaluation of the rural and remote inter-facility transport system in future system status reports. BCEHS is a lifeline for rural and remote patients requiring referral to specialty care; often in urgent and emergent conditions far from where these patients reside. The evaluation of these critical care transport services was excluded from the report and is not on the current BCEHS list of active projects outlined within.

The British Columbia Paramedic Association is committed to the translation and application of pre-hospital clinical research for the enhancement of patient care through paramedic derived evidence based medicine. Any opportunity for the BCPA to work with BCEHS toward the enhancement of paramedic education, clinical practice, quality, risk, safety and improved patient outcomes is welcomed.

— 30 —

Scott Ramey, CCP
Executive Director
[email protected]

Posted onFebruary 28, 2019
CategoriesBCPA, British Columbia, Canada, Press Releases, Professional Practice, Uncategorized
Letter of Support for Paramedic Higher Education & Research, BCPA Advisor Dr. Yoon
Letter of Support for Paramedic Higher Education & Research, BCPA Advisor Dr. Yoon

RE: University Education and Research Programs in Paramedicine

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a Clinical Professor within the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of British Columbia. As an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) physician, I have been involved in the operations, education, research and promotion of paramedic practice for the last 20 years. It has been my privilege and honour to have worked and to continue to work with numerous talented, dedicated, and inspiring paramedics. I am an enthusiastic supporter of paramedics and a stalwart advocate for advancing paramedicine as a profession. I strongly assert that the need for university level academic programs specific to paramedicine is vitally important to not only the profession, but to the quality of out-of-hospital medical care.

Paramedicine has evolved relatively quickly as a distinct body of knowledge and skills that continue to play a critical role in health care around the globe. University level degree paramedicine programs have been well established in several other countries including Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Numerous medical schools internationally have recognized EMS as a distinct and major subspecialty of emergency medicine with academic divisions and centres that specialize in out-of-hospital care education and research. Paramedicine is an essential and prominent discipline for virtually all military forces of the world. In this context, the British Columbia Paramedics Association is championing an effort to persuade universities and other organizations to initiate and sustain academic programs specific to paramedicine. We are fortunate to have a critical mass of paramedics who are keenly dedicated and passionate about formalizing paramedicine as an academic discipline. In order to achieve that, university administrations must recognize that our BC paramedics require an organizational vehicle that can establish degree programs, research infrastructure, and an academic milieu that supports excellence in paramedic practice for not only the health care demands of today, but beyond.

We all acknowledge that quality in health care stems from support and achievement in clinical delivery, education, research, innovation and community engagement. We have witnessed paramedic practice in the province move beyond 911 emergency responses and inter-facility patient transfers and into community paramedicine, special operations (including mass gatherings, event medicine and tactical support), disaster management, environmental medicine, HAZMAT management, public health and many other areas of health care. We rely on paramedics to be the front-line providers for mass casualty incidents, pandemics involving substance use and infectious diseases, and time-sensitive life-saving procedures. It is abundantly clear that paramedics are playing a highly prominent and important role in the delivery of health care, but in this province and generally in this country, they are insufficiently supported by our academic institutions.

Paramedics are highly motivated and passionate health care professionals who possess a dedication to life-long learning, inter-disciplinary collaboration, research and clinical excellence. It is long past due for academic institutions and other decision-makers in this province to provide these professionals a formal academic environment to enable them to strengthen and sustain their profession, just like other health professions. Our society takes it for granted that in any person’s moment of medical need, paramedics will be there to use their knowledge and skills to render immediate aid and comfort. I ardently argue that all of us who benefit daily from the security, safety and clinical care that paramedics are always ready to provide us should be doing our best to support paramedicine.

Philip Yoon, MD, MBA, CCFP(EM), FCFP
Clinical Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of British Columbia
Emergency Physician, Royal Columbian & Eagle Ridge Hospitals, Fraser Health
Reserve Medical Officer, 1 Canadian Field Hospital – Ottawa Detachment, Canadian Armed Forces Medical Director, EMS Physician Online Support, British Columbia Emergency Health Services
Vice-Chair, Emergency Medical Assistants Licensing Board, Ministry of Health, Province of British Columbia

Posted onJanuary 9, 2019
CategoriesBCPA, British Columbia, Canada, Education, Leadership, Professional Practice, Research
TagsAdvisor, BC, Degree, Doctor, EMS, Paramedic, Research, Support, Yoon
Leave a commenton Letter of Support for Paramedic Higher Education & Research, BCPA Advisor Dr. Yoon
Longer prehospital time was not associated with mortality in major trauma. A retrospective cohort study.
Longer prehospital time was not associated with mortality in major trauma. A retrospective cohort study.
(Photo Credit: Surrey Now-Leader)

Just released in the Journal of Pre-Hospital Emergency Care:


As more and more research presents on the previously perceived validity of the “Golden Hour” of trauma, this research article provides opportunities to consider a balanced approach of critical interventions versus a purely “load and go” approach. After many years of research showing reduced scene times are the defining factor, much of what is happening with advanced critical interventions with programs such as London HEMS and others, there seems to be a new trend toward advanced practitioners being the defining factor. This is something that we need to watch closely and participate in further research.

An example of an important question; Would advanced critical care practitioners in rural environments capable of treating severely life threatening conditions in the absence of a local trauma centre be better than rapid transport alone to a local emergency department? Recent Helicopter EMS (HEMS) studies have shown that advanced practitioners are perhaps the defining factor in those that are survivable and have not already declare themselves unviable.

Does this support the direction for the future of paramedic practice in British Columbia?

Quote from the study offers some thoughts:

“Our finding of an association between longer on-scene times and longer LOS in those who survived at least 30-days could be attributed to these patients being those who had their immediate life threats corrected in the additional time spent on-scene and thus were less
likely to die.”

Objective: To determine the association between prehospital time and outcomes in adult major trauma patients, transported by ambulance paramedics.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study of major trauma patients (Injury Severity Score >15) attended by St John Ambulance paramedics in Perth, Western Australia, who were transported to hospital between 1st January 2013 and 31st December 2016. Inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) using the propensity score was performed to limit selection bias and confounding. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality and the secondary outcome was the length of hospital stay (LOS) for 30-day survivors. Multivariate logistic and log-linear regression analyses with IPTW were used to determine if prehospital time of more than the one hour (from receipt of the emergency call to arrival at hospital) or any individual prehospital time interval (response, on-scene, transport or total time) was associated with 30-day mortality or LOS.

Results: A total of 1,625 major trauma patients were included and 1,553 included in the IPTW sample. No significant association between prehospital time of one hour and 30-day mortality was found (adjusted odds ratio 1.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.71-1.69). No association between any individual prehospital time interval and 30-day mortality was identified. In the 30-day survivors, one-minute increase of on-scene time was associated with 1.16 times (95% CI 1.03-1.31) longer LOS.

Conclusion: Longer prehospital times were not associated with an increased likelihood of 30-day mortality in major trauma patients transported to hospital by ambulance paramedics. We found no evidence to support the hypothesis that prehospital time longer than one hour resulted in an increased risk of 30-day mortality. However, longer on-scene time was associated with longer hospital LOS (for 30-day survivors). Our recommendation is that prehospital care is delivered in a timely fashion and delivery of the patient to hospital is reasonably prompt.

As a service to authors and researchers we are providing this version of an accepted manuscript (AM). Copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resulting proofs will be undertaken on this manuscript before final publication of the Version of Record (VoR). During production and pre-press, errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legal disclaimers that apply to the journal relate to these versions also.

Posted onDecember 7, 2018
CategoriesInternational, Journal Articles, Professional Practice, Research
Tagscritical interventions, golden hour, HEMS, Pre-Hospital Trauma, Research, scene time, Trauma, TTL
Leave a commenton Longer prehospital time was not associated with mortality in major trauma. A retrospective cohort study.
What is a Professional College and what would it change?
At this point in the development of the British Columbia Paramedic Association most will have heard about a goal to make Paramedicine a self regulated health profession in BC. Many have said “that sounds great but what does it mean?” While others have posed the question “Why do we need that when we already have the EMA Licensing branch?” Both are excellent questions with overdue answers.

Oxford Living Dictionaries defines a college as “an organized group of professional people with particular aims, duties, and privileges.” Specifically a Professional College seeks to meet said aims, duties, and privileges in a self directed manner. To be self directed is to be “under one’s own control.” Paramedics in the province of BC are in no way under their own control from a professional standpoint. Out of British Columbia’s 26 regulated health professions, Paramedicine (or as it’s referred to “emergency medical assisting”) is the only regulated health profession that has failed to engage in self regulatory practices. Nurses, Physicians, Massage Therapists, Opticians, Dieticians, Pharmacists, Physical Therapists, Midwives, and even Podiatrists all have something in common that Paramedics do not; a self regulating professional college.

What have these 25 professions with protected titles realised about themselves that Paramedicine is now learning? These professions have learned that the miss-application of their unique bodies of knowledge poses a risk to the public. Additionally, self-regulated professions understand they are the most qualified to determine what constitutes appropriate versus inappropriate practice within their respective areas of expertise.

How did we end up where we are and what does that mean?

At the inception of what we now refer to as Paramedicine in BC, the provincial government recognised a need for paramedic practice to be regulated for the safety of the public. No structure for paramedic regulation existed at the time, necessitating the creation of the Emergency Medical Assistant’s Licensing Board. Members of the board are government appointed and have no direct control over the scope/standard of practice to which they hold paramedics accountable. Every paramedic in BC has their scope/standard of practice defined by the Emergency Health Services Act: Emergency Medical Assistants Regulation. What all of this means is that standards of practice enforcement is performed by the government (not paramedics). It also means scope of practice changes meant to better serve the public require an act of legislation via the provincial health minister. Enforcement of paramedic practice standards, changes to practice standards, and enforcement of educational standards, are not left to the subject matter experts (paramedics).

How would a self-regulated college of paramedics be different?

A self regulated college of paramedics would fall under the Health Professions Act. Professions covered by this act are responsible for protection of the public by, self regulating practice, ensuring professional/ethical conduct with impartial disciplinary processes, setting educational standards, and enforcing continuing competency standards (exact legal wording can be found under Duty and objects of a college within the regulation). The short answer is that Paramedics would be expected to set and enforce their own standards of practice without being directly controlled by other disciplines or legislators (ie. the subject matter experts would be allowed to set the standards to which paramedics are held).

Edward Peters

BCPA President

Posted onNovember 23, 2018
CategoriesProfessional Practice
Tags#improvingpublicsafetybyimprovingourselves, #knowingtheprocess, #selfregulationforparamedics
Leave a commenton What is a Professional College and what would it change?
Privilege in Paramedicine
At a glance it may be difficult to see how the life of a Paramedic is one of privilege. Between shift-work, long hours, high stress workspaces, ever changing practice expectations, and remuneration vs. cost of living concerns; being a Paramedic isn’t exactly an occupation that will land you on “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous.” Statistics regarding work related stress injuries for paramedics are frightening, with suicide data in particular a major cause for concern. Even those of us who retire “healthy” are more likely to suffer from heart disease than the general public. One might ask “What is this Privilege you speak of?”

A paramedic’s greatest privilege is trust. Paramedics (alongside firefighters, nurses, and physicians) consistently rank highly as one of the most trusted occupations in Canada. In Australia Paramedics are the most trusted occupation a number of years over. On what may be the worst day of a patient’s entire life; not only do they allow paramedics into their homes, they specifically ask paramedics to lead them through whatever crisis has occurred. Patient’s invite a complete stranger (a paramedic) to take control of their personal crisis out of trust and respect for that strangers occupation alone. This public trust extends through all levels of paramedicine, ranging from the Primary Care Paramedic responding to a simple diabetic call to the Critical Care Paramedic initiating ICU care on behalf of a rural sending facility.

With the consistent high degree of trust placed upon paramedics by both the public & other health professionals, it seems unfathomable that paramedics would fail to trust themselves; yet evidence would suggest paramedics do not trust themselves (at least in Canada that is). If paramedics trusted their own judgement as completely as the public seems to, British Columbia would have its own College of Paramedics. A profession that trusts itself has the knowledge, confidence, and maturity to regulate itself for the protection of the public. A profession that trusts itself seeks to build upon the body of knowledge that makes it a unique entity through research and education.

It’s time Paramedicine learned to trust itself. It’s time Paramedics extended their profession the same privilege the public has deemed them worthy of.

Paramedic Self-Regulation: Its Importance and The Big Picture of The Paramedic Profession