Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Becoming a Tasmanian Paramedic and our current skill set

I previously posted (before rashly deleting the entire blog) most of the following information.

Becoming a Tasmanian Ambulance Service Paramedic can be done in 1 of 3 ways:
Try this link for some info from the DHHS website
or e-mail: wolfgang DOT rechberger AT dhhs DOT tas DOT gov DOT au

1) being hired as a "student" and completing 3 years on road whilst completing an Associate Degree in Paramedic Studies from the University of Tasmania (previously this was a Diploma in Clinical Practice (Paramedic) or similar, done by distance education via Charles Sturt university (I did this)). See this Newer Post from Tuesday 23rd Feb 2010 for more up to date info.

Some Australian ambulance services are moving away from this style of recruitment. New recruits are now having to complete their tertiary education prior to being employed, which makes changing careers (like I did) much harder for mature aged people, who might have a family and a non flexible financial situation.

2) completing a Degree, Associate Degree or Diploma in the pre-hospital care field (available from a number of universities) and being hired as a "graduate student" and completing between 12 & 18 months on road.

3) being hired on as a qualified officer because you were a qualified officer in another state or country (and have the appropriate education qualifications and experience).

In Tasmanian we moved from Protocols to Clinical Practice Guidelines about 18 months ago. Thus the skill set of a Tassie Paramedic is:
(This is not a complete list, but you get the idea)

Basic life support skills and the further enhancement of:
Interpretation of basic ECG's, SpO2, BSL, Temperature
Manual defibrillation
IV canulation
Limited narcotic pain relief (max 10mg IV of Morphine for non cardiac pain (max of 20mg IMI if no IV access))
Drug therapy (sublingual, oral, IMI and limited IV) for:
Cardiac arrest - Adrenaline IV & fluid
Chest pain - GTN, Aspirin, O2
Musculoskeletal Pain - Entonox, Penthrane, Morphine
Asthma - Salbutamol, Atrovent, O2, Adrenaline IMI
COPD - Salbutamol, Atrovent, O2
Narcotic OD - Narcan IMI
Hypoglycaemia - Glucatol, Glucagon, Dextrose 50% IV
Anaphylaxis - Adrenaline IMI & fluid, Salbutamol
Seizures & Agitated Pt's - Midazolam IMI
SVT - Valsalva Manoeuvre
Fluid resuscitation for Trauma, Anaphylaxis, Hyperglycaemia,
Airway adjuncts - OPA, NPA, LMA, Laryngoscopy and Magill's forceps
Limited Paediatric Guidelines / Pharmacology

My next post will have the upgraded skills of an Intensive Care Paramedic.

Til then, be safe.

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