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FM2021 – Editorial

In the beginning, our ancestors were ambulance drivers. They would load and go with no skills, except maybe for one: drive fast to deliver the precious cargo at the hospital as quickly as you can. Later the job started to be regulated, the schools accredited, and more skilled providers were on the streets.

For reasons that I do not know, different levels were created, from EMT-B to Paramedic, and many more came later. I imagine that more are yet come.

Each country worldwide, and every region in those countries, has different requirements for the multiple levels. For example, in the United States, an EMT-B is the equivalent of an ICP in Canada. However, only in Alberta and maybe British Columbia. But not Saskatchewan.

This disparity makes it complicated to have labour mobility between different provinces in Canada because protocols and medications change from one to another. In some cases, like Saskatchewan, some drugs vary depending on which health region you are in.

In Canada, we have the EMT that ended up being the PCP. We also have the intermediate level, the advanced care, the critical care, the I-don’t-care care, the-god-care, the I-don’t-know-how-many-more-levels care, and so many more.

Very few other professions have such a complicated structure as that of the paramedics. I have never heard of an architect’s basic level in which one can only draw with pencils and is not allowed to build more than one room. Followed by an advanced level, equipped with a pen and the privilege of building entire suites. And lastly, the critical-level architect who is trained in using AutoCAD and constructing high-rise buildings.

A PCP course in Canada takes a little under a year. In the short time I have worked in paramedicine, I have met people who chose the profession because it is the fastest course with the highest pay after completion. Because of this, it is also one of the most abandoned studies. Many often discover that the job is not for them. Either during class or out on the field after a few weeks on the job.

Suppose we want to professionalize paramedicine levels. In my opinion, we should get rid of so many different levels and create a single paramedic degree that is recognized nationwide with standardized protocols across all provinces. That way, we could easily change from one province to another. After all, it’s not like human physiology or technology change crossing borders.

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Gil Maraboto

Gil Maraboto

Gilbert is an ACP working in Wakaw, Sk, a small town in the prairies. Before moving here, he worked for Mexico City EMS as a Paramedic. Gil obtained a physics from the University of Mexico. He has always been interested in research and science; he enjoys motorcycle road trips and video games.

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