Tuesday, 12 August 2008

For those of you that don't know

And another thing, I appreciate that it could be anyone reading this so I will try and enlighten you to what us EMT's & Paramedics can actually do for you in your moment in need.

For starters:
Emergency medical Technician (posh name for Ambulance Technician)
The back bone of any ambulance service, a Paramedic shouldn't leave home without one! A decent EMT is worth their weight in gold and even though slightly less skilled, will be there to keep you on track, support and assist you when you need it most.
Skills include (for the majority of UK EMTs): Defribrillation (applying a shock to the heart in shockable cardiac arrest and yes there is non-shockable cardiac arrest aswell), CPR, suctioning of the airway, ventilation using a bag valve mask, oral & nasal airways, traction splintage (special splinting of fractured (#) femurs (thigh bone), 12 lead ECG application, monitoring of vital signs such as blood sugar (BM), pulse oximetry (basically the oxygen% in the arterial blood supply, the best being 100%) and blood pressure (BP). EMTs can administer a limited amount of medications and medical gases such as Oxygen, Entonox (analgesic gas), Aspirin, nitrates, nebuliser therapy, glucose gel, paracetamol oral suspension, Ibuprofen. Also some some life saving injections such as Adrenaline for Anaphylaxis/Severe allergic reactions and life threatening asthma. Others are Glucagen for low blood sugar and Naloxone which is for certain overdose (OD) patients, usually heroin but can be used to treat accidental OD or poisoning of other opiate based medications. There's a lot of other things I'm sure I've missed but because we do it everyday it is sometimes easily forgotten. Some services vary slightly in what there EMTs can do either slightly less or slightly more skilled, this is just a basic overview. I'm sure I'll be put right about the stuff I've missed
One thing that does bug me is that UK EMTs can't administer anti-convulsant meds to stop patients fitting. It's to do with the law which i think needs to be changed! Yeah yeah I know there is supposed to be a Paramedic on every vehicle but this is the real world and it takes longer to train Paramedics.
EMTs work on ambulances, rapid response vehicles (RRV), push bikes and work alone or with another EMT or Paramedic. I'm not even going to mention ECAs (Emergency care Assistants) it will just open up a whole can of worms:>

Next, what Paramedics do.

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