We just don’t realize it. There’s a lot of discussion about community paramedicine and what that entails. For a while now, there has been additional training and education available for EMS providers in the tactical and critical care arenas. Our care methods are changing. In many EMS systems, we are gradually moving from blindly following the recipe in a cookbook to standing orders where we are actively encouraged to exercise and apply our clinical judgment. Selective spinal motion restriction and pain management are but the first steps. I truly believe that point-of-care labs are coming soon to an ambulance near you.
We may not “officially” recognize it, but we’ve grown. At this point, with all of these additional areas of EMS growth, we are becoming de facto mid-level providers, specializing in delivering unscheduled care in out-of-clinical settings.
If we can change the reimbursement model for EMS to focus on care delivered rather than transportation and we can continue enhancing our education requirements, who knows what might happen?
Deep enough thoughts for you on a Monday?