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Perils And Scope Of Practice In Emergency Medicine

987 words - 4 pages

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics are the most at risk to sustain injury and the most critical short term health care provider because of the nature of their job, because of the scope of their skills, and because of the skills they have and procedures they are authorized to perform. The job of EMTs and paramedics are to quickly arrive at the scene of the most gruesome accidents, and render aid to potentially fatal injuries. The stakes for an EMT or paramedic are extremely high. If the paramedic is successful he will save lives, if not people will die. These high stakes demand a sense of urgency that is not found most forms of employment. Delivery of such crucial ...view middle of the document...

“Thirty-one percent (20) of EMT fatalities involved air transportation incidents. Nearly all aircraft incidents involving EMT fatalities resulted in multiple deaths.” (Reichard et al 513). The place where EMTs are least likely to die on the job is where the population would see them the most, driving around cities. This may be because the general population is more aware of ambulances in a city where one is driving by every hour. The general population may be less likely to be aware of the ambulances on the freeway. “One-fourth (16) of EMT fatalities were not highway or aircraft incidents. Eight of these fatalities involved other transportation incidents, including those in which an EMT was injured when struck by a vehicle.” (Reichard et al 513). The real surprise is that Emergency service workers die on the job more than other occupations that seem more dangerous in nature. “Our findings indicate that the compensated EMT and paramedic workforce has higher rates of fatal injuries compared with the general population as well as compensated firefighter population.” (Reichard et al 516). “More than two-thirds of cardiac-related deaths and half of stroke-related deaths occur before the patient arrives at the hospital, underscoring the important role of prehospital emergency care.” (Williams et al 189). The care a patient receives in route to a hospital by EMTs and paramedics is critical to the patient’s survival because of the nature of their injuries (Williams et al 189) and the countdown that begins once a patient is mortally injured “The ‘trimodal distribution’ of trauma deaths was first described in 1983, when it was noted that 50% of trauma deaths would occur within the first hour” (Hodgetts and Smith 104). The EMT and paramedics most basic skills are to stop severe bleeding, restore breathing, and defibrillation after sudden cardiac death. EMTs and paramedics can also set broken limbs and give intravenous fluids. Their job is specific in the scope of their practice and what an EMT is authorized to preform and what a paramedic is authorized to preform (Williams et al 189-194). “The EMT-Paramedic is the highest level of prehospital EMS personnel” (Williams et al 191). The paramedic is not only the highest train EMS personnel, but the scope of...

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