Paramedic License or EMTP Certification?

ems paramedic questionsThis content is from the Authorized Transmissions newsletter, but I thought it would be great to pull it out and highlight it all on it’s own.

When it comes to being a licensed paramedic or a certified EMTP, opinions vary and it will depend on who you talk to.

Certification: Agency or association grants recognition

Licensure: Governmental agency’s competency standards are met

Now when you think about it, for most states it is one and the same. Even states that require NREMT “certification” still mandate that you take a state exam or meet state standards to be considered competent to practice as a paramedic in that state.

From the NREMT website “…Licensure, .. is the state’s grant of legal authority, pursuant to the state’s police powers, to practice a profession within a designated scope of practice. Under the licensure system, states define, by statute, the tasks and function or scope of practice of a profession and provide that these tasks may be legally only by those who are licensed.

As such, licensure prohibits anyone from practicing the profession who is not licensed, regardless of whether or not the individual has been certified by a private organization.”

So, what’s in a name then? Especially if both descriptions are interchangeable and more importantly any state allowing you to work as a paramedic is giving “license” to do it.

Well that is just it. Some states like NY and NJ have been getting petitioned for years to change the identification from certification to license, but for some reason it just has not happened.

What’s the hold up?

Resistance due to education levels? Fears of infringing on other healthcare fields? Perhaps even those EMS insiders who like things just the way they are?

However you look at it. The bottom line in my opinion is that the paramedic profession should be licensed.

States cannot continue to dictate requirements and keep it noted as a certification in order to keep other professions happy.

Nationwide, paramedics should hold licensure and if need be, individual states can set specific requirements for that region in order for that paramedic to work and practice within a set scope or guidelines.

Government agencies need to remove all mention of certification from paramedic programs and gear all education and testing to a licensure format. If that means making exams more difficult, setting higher continuing education requirements and holding individuals to a higher standard overall, then so be it.

I think that this would be a move in the right direction for EMS as a whole and a step that is relatively easy to implement.

Listen, I don’t have the answers to this or know why with a certainty the word license is not the accepted rule.

Maybe we shouldn’t be putting too much energy into this to begin with since in the end it’s just a word.

The reality is that, no matter what the state calls it, a state issued “license” or “certificate” is functionally the same and is a “license”.

The difference to be aware of is that while the terms might be interchangeable for what a state calls it, non-government agencies like the NREMT, are certificates since licenses grant an official privilege (like the ability to drive or practice medicine) whereas a certification is simply a non-government agency saying that you have met their standards (like NREMT, AHA, PHTLS).

What do you think? Does it matter?

ems facebook

LinkedInShare

Merit Badges Determining Standard Of Care and…

EMS1This weeks episode contained a few hot topics in EMS news, the standard of care and how merit badges play into it all. Plus the EMT and police issue in NYC AND we went off the rails a bit with a discussion on scene positioning and prior planning.

Thanks to Josh and Tim Noonan for joining in the conversation and to John Broyles for keeping the chat room going.


If you are looking for an employee scheduling and management software, be sure to check out EMS Manager and get your free trial of their innovative software. Give a try by clicking here.

Click here for the link to Tim’s post on Merit badges and standard of care.

LinkedInShare

Should EMS Add Chest Tubes To The Toolbox?

EMS Chest tubes in EMS? Maybe we should stick with what we know here. What do you think? Is your agency doing them or thinking about it?

EMS Manager - If you have more than five employees at your agency then you could use some employee scheduling and management software. With pricing based on agency size you can’t afford not to try out the free customized trial from EMS Manager. Get it here

Be sure to join Jim and Josh over on Facebook

LinkedInShare

National Curriculum, EMS Titles and Hurdles

New titles and changes in EMS levels present some challenges to EMS. Some states are leaving certain level names as is, some are adding another level. These changes also present a challenge to the volunteers in EMS and funding available.

Shouldn’t every state adopt what the National Curriculum has presented? Is this a death knoll to the volunteer system or a chance for them to embrace and meet the changes that look to improve the EMS profession?

Take a listen to this session an give your point of view on the EMS transitions.


Show Notes

Thanks to Tim and Bob for joining us and lending their insight.

Tim Noonan at Rogue Medic

Bob Sullivan at EMS Patient Perspective

Josh Knapp over at WANTYNU

Article mention at The Happy Medic is here

Check out the blog post mentioned during the show by Kelly Grayson here

Thanks to John Br for joining in the chat. Check out his podcast over at 1-Union-801

LinkedInShare

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back – Focus People

Great things are happening in EMS. New drugs, expanded protocols, high tech equipment. At the same time we deal with drug shortages, out dated and unproven standards of care and almost self sabotage of ourselves in the media, constantly putting up with the lowest common denominator in our ranks.

We need to find our focus. Sure work on the new stuff but maybe concentrate on the older issues too that are holding us back as a profession and as providers, lending for less than optimal patient care. How are you and your agency focusing on more steps forward and less steps back.

LinkedInShare