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  1. Comanche, I commend you on proving your point instantaneously. :roll: Seriously though... this is a DISCUSSION forum and the very point of such a site is to encourage open communication between people with different opinions. And let's make sure they are REALLY paramedics and not just someone saying they are to save a lengthy explanation of the different levels of care. Anyone entering into a career field should do a thorough investigation of all aspects including available institutes to complete training, as well as job prospects in the area they wish to work. To lscilley it would be excellent for you to speak with practitioners of any level, at the services with which you imagine you will want to work one day. I would even go as far as trying to get a ride along as it's a great opportunity to try the service out to confirm if you like the general feel of the place and it's employees. Not to mention... sometimes you can get a giant foot in the door for a future practicum site. It's what I did to secure my practicum site with a service that (for the most part) preferred to take only medic students . There are many schools in Alberta for EMS training, and it's quite possible that the schools with the better reputation might actually just be very good at sweeping their messes under the rug. Who really knows.
  2. I went to NAIT last year and was pleased with the education. I felt prepared for practicum, ACoP testing, and the job itself. I have friends who went to ESA this past year and they have been pleased in the same manner as myself. They seem well prepared and educated and have had success with ACoP. Equally so I have watched classmates struggle in both these programs as well as others and who have had more difficulties with ACoP. Much of the onus is on the student for ultimate success wherever he/she goes.
  3. I was taught to find the pulse in the brachial and trace it towards the AC, then place my bell between the AC and about 1/3 up the arm on the path I had traced. I've watched others place it directly on or near the AC and wondered... tried it myself and I found it to be bit less accurate / harder to hear.
  4. LOL Mobey no worries... I totally like the thread topic... we're cool As for the terms used... I've always been under the impression that the use of PCP based on NOCPs was to set a standard across Canada as a minimum and that it was the goal to unify the title (and practice) of practitioners across the country. And as such, that Alberta has been the biggest stick in the mud preventing any further progress being made for standardizing practice. (Again... just the impression I've been given). I am proud to carry either title. I can just as easily "boast" about my Alberta scope practice by saying I'm an Alberta PCP if that's what's so important. I'd like to see less confusion in the eyes of the public. And I welcome any changes which would facilitate that. My job is the same regardless of my title (EMT or PCP) but it's easier to prove that if we're using the same language. A mechanic is still a mechanic even if he's called an automotive repair technician.
  5. I nearly fell out of my chair when I realized that you posted something I could agree with... but fortunately for me I regained my composure as I continued to read. This comment causes me great concern. First of all... we have a responsibility to educate the general public whenever an opportunity arises. I too tire of having to explain all the differences between levels in Alberta as well as how that compares across Canada... but I'm always glad that I do because the reaction I get from the public is consistently amazement that things are so complicated when other areas of health care are not and I know I have just gained another voting citizens support for anything we may fight for in the future. I consider it education... as a practitioner it is my responsibility to do so ACCURATELY. Secondly... at the very least I will say 'I am an EMT or PRIMARY care paramedic'. If I was in a rush I might say just EMT. NEVER EVER would I claim to be a higher level of practitioner then I really am because it is a lie. And as such, because you never know what might happen, or who might be around to hear... it would destroy my credibility. If the person is unfamiliar with health care... the importance of providing true and accurate information is even MORE crucial then with another health care professional.
  6. I disagree. :wink: I personally prefer the idea of a longer PCP program... however I have been employed in a capacity which allowed me the perk of reviewing curriculum from schools in various provinces (BC, AB, Sask, Ont, NS) and there are other criteria which would weigh into the equation. To compare strictly hours... between schools and provinces which subscribe to very different ideologies of how to deliver the program as well as provincial requirements which vary... is a lot like comparing the fuel efficiency of multiple vehicles without taking into account the type of fuel being used or the type of vehicles being compared.
  7. Ummm just to amend your details about NAIT Mobey...Ambulance practicum is 8 to16 weeks, depending on the call volume of the ambulance service you have been assigned to. I do believe it is required to complete 300h in addition to meeting all competencies (including 25 emerg calls). As Dust commented...regarding Alberta being a leader or not... it is VERY difficult to compare between provinces. Comparing one province which uses a top heavy educational approach (Alberta with the highest level of practitioner having the longest program) to another which is bottom heavy (i.e. Ontario which requires the lower level of practitioner to have the longest program) is like comparing apples to oranges. Your information above is very informative...although a little incomplete. I would be interested to see it taken one step further with a comparison of the subsequent training to the Advanced care level. That might provide readers with a better picture.
  8. Welcome AGM... if you want to get a better feel for Dust's take on things one of the best tools is to search out his posts. He's got a lot and if nothing else they are full of interesting bits! If you view his profile you will see an option to see all his posts. Be prepared... comfortable chair, maybe a cup of coffee... and read away. In the process you'll likely come across some equally informative topics.
  9. This is true. However it has to do with how we portray ourselves... There is a lack of professionalism, integrity...and even just comprehension of what either of those are within our industry in North America. I am embarrassed to be associated in the mind of the public with some of the practitioners that have tainted our image. However I have two choices when I contemplate how to deal with it: 1. Whine and complain and seek sympathy where I can get it, and criticize everyone else for their part in it... or 2. I can suck it up, and try and educate my colleagues and the public each and every day with each and every encounter I have. I opt for the second. And as such, I strive with my imperfect human abilities, to refrain from participating in any of the negative behaviours which are the very reason for the struggle we face as an industry. This includes no childish criticisms or tantrums, discouraging gossip, and behaving with as much professionalism both on the job and off as I can. Do you really feel that it's these things that are confusing the public? It's a lack of recognition from the government, a lack of public education, inconsistencies within each province as well as between provinces, and a generally immature unprofessional population which unfortunately portrays the industry to the public. Did you know... CMA tow truck drivers (and other companies that I've seen) ALSO where navy clothes with reflective striping? Did you know that there are locksmith trucks that are old ambulances converted, and mobile soup kitchen trucks that are old ambulances, as well as private recreational vehicles that are old ambulances... It's not our vehicles, or our clothing which will gain us respect in the eyes of Joe Public. It is our colleagues, our behaviour, our professionalism, and our integrity both on duty and off. We have a transfer service similar to what you describe... affiliated with the same service I already mentioned. Because they are employed by the same company they wear the same uniforms, albeit with slightly different patches. Their units are similar to the BLS vans. In addition the office staff with this service also wear the same uniforms. I don't see anything wrong with any of this. There are much bigger battles to be fought. How about national reciprocity for starters? I will add though, if the vehicles are as you describe them (ambulance style decals, star of life, lights)...could they be in violation of regulations? I'm not overly familiar with this side of things, but here in Alberta we have provincial regulations which set the standard for our units to a bare minimum. I believe it might pertain to just the equipment but are there bodies that regulate the exterior appearance of vehicles... and if so would the examples you listed be in violation? Perhaps that would be an appropriate avenue to pursue to effect change.
  10. I am surprised Dust! What is it you don't see about the long term evolution? Granted things are as they are in Nova Scotia as they try and get everything consistent... I don't think it's by any mean mediocre. Nothing in our society can just be changed and fixed over night... it takes time. I believe the NS process is the way to go to see true and permanent long term progress in this industry. They took a severely fractured industry and turned it around to create standards to benefit everyone. NB and really all the maritimes are the same. I was there a couple months ago to do some extensive research and although everyone gripes about the same thing (pay) in this country I did not come across anyone the felt things were anything but an improvement from the pre-provinicial system. All our other health care runs provincially... why shouldn't EMS? The only change I WOULD like to see, is that it be managed by someone OTHER then an insurance company.
  11. I can't speak to how things are done where you are, but here in Edmonton we have a transfer service as well. Interhopsital Ambulance (Edm) is a private ambulance service which runs ALS and BLS units, responds to emerg and non-emerg calls, and employs a full range of EQUALLY TRAINED and QUALIFIED EMT's and PARAMEDICS in addition to their EMR-staffed Specialized Transportation Service (STS) service. The units are ambulances...period. With fully qualified practitioners on board, if an already sick patient being transported to another facility starts to circle the drain would you prefer that they did not have the resources to intervene? Would you prefer that they weren't able to step up priority with L&S (according to protocol of course) and get the patient to a hospital faster? I know plenty of reputable practitioners who work for both the transfer service as well as an emerg service and enjoy both. In some cases, while doing long distance transfers these same practitioners have come upon real emergencies more often then with their other employers. And if you are working for the transfer service, but come across an accident or anything...you are required to stop and assist until another unit arrives to take over. Our transfer service staff wear uniforms like any other practitioner... and why shouldn't they? They are identified the same as anyone else... by the shoulder flash. They are registered EMTs and Paramedics. They have gone to school the same as anyone, they have worked the same as anyone, and most importantly they provide patient care just like we all do.
  12. Are there stats out on what equipment services are using? I've been prostituting myself to a number of different services and keep seeing the Zoll... As for 12 leads for BLS... interesting question. I know Nova Scotia PCPs do 12 leads but only have the diagnostic skills to determine if it's a right sided MI or not. If the only real advantage is to send the strip to the hospital... because of the possibility of poor placement and even a poor read is it really worth it to take that extra bit of time. If the patient is potentially that serious I agree that ALS would be at the very least already called, and even if they're not available transport to the nearest facility would be our number one priority. As much as I enjoy the idea of expanding scope I also think it's more important to remember our number one goal, which is to get the patient to the hospital for definitive care. Getting a 12-lead isn't going to change OUR treatment for the patient at this point. We can't interpret it... our skills for placement are often weak... the hospital can usually get a much better picture... and we can't do anything to fix whatever it might show.
  13. Jesse202... there is an advantage in Alberta to consider (the flip side to the above insular comments). Each service in Alberta is its own entity, either private, non-profit or municipal owned. Which means that one service is not the case for all services... It takes research and instinct to figure out which are good, and which to stay away from. A service's potential is only as good the attitude of its employees. Spend a day or so with any service that you are interested in and just listen and watch the staff... that's the greatest tipoff in my opinion. And is applicable no matter what province or country you want to work in. Staff that see a problem and are willing to effect change and make an effort to keep morale positive can strongly impact the working environment as compared to constant negative attitudes of obstinate and indolent staff who only point out problems but never offer solutions. Don't let the paltry sentiments deter you from your choices... that is just one opinion and in EMS EVERYONE has an opinion. Some are just a little more professional and diplomatic when expressing it.
  14. If that's the case then, and if you understand economics then you'll know with any booming economy (aka job opportunities) there is also a skyrocketing cost of living. In my opinion, and after never ending research for a constantly changing industry... there are three provinces in this country which have proven themselves as leaders. In alphabetical order only... Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Ontario are those three. The reasons for this vary and I'm sure if you delve into the industry within those three provinces you'll understand better. They all offer a different but valid approach to EMS education, management and scope of practice. The quality of schools in each of these places vary of course and it's a matter of opinion which are the good ones and which are not. But all three provinces house some good ones. Alberta is dying for practitioners at all levels (PCP/ACP) because the oil patch is sucking them out with the temptation of money. However cost of living (housing especially) is ridiculous pretty much anywhere you would want to go now. Wages are...alirght but could be better...and if you don't mind a 50 year+ mortgage you might be happy. Ontario can be a challenge to find work at the PCP level, but if you come in with ACP training I do believe it gets easier. I don't know the housing situation in Ontario too well but I imagine it is dependant again on where in the province you are located. I get the impression that ACPs are quite pleased with their income though. Nova Scotia is the same job wise... it's difficult to get secure full time work as a PCP but they are eager for more ACPs for sure. However Nova Scotia also offers various opportunities for practitioners at ALL levels which can help subsidize the PCP seeking full time income. Pay is good if you live in the less populated areas...but because of standardization it leaves something to be desired in the more urban region.
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