Written By: Mark Babson
The evolving role and responsibility of a “paramedic” is a concept that has been popular all over the world for years. Recently however, this concept has been taking hold here in the United States.
While in the past, a “paramedic” was thought to be one who only responds to emergency calls via 911 dispatch, today the idea of what a paramedic is is morphing into something else– a “Community Paramedic.” Here are 5 signs the standard role of a paramedic is changing:
1. Headlines in US newspapers and national Emergency Medical Services (EMS) publications such as these:
New York Times – 09/18/2011 – “Responding Before a Call Is Needed”
JEMS – 1/31/2013 – “Minnesota Community Paramedic Program Keeps Patients Out of Hospitals”
2. Paramedics’ “medical scope of practice” is now being evaluated.
Even though this may not change anytime soon, the fact organizations and agencies are reviewing it further indicates the roles and responsibilities of Paramedics are changing.
3. States are beginning to fund EMS agencies for non-emergent/non-911 generated patient visits.
4. Increased interest in Community Paramedicine
Our Community Paramedic Stakeholder Email list has over 150 different represented organizations interested in hearing about, and possibly partnering with, the Community Paramedic Program. This list includes organizations which have never traditionally been linked with EMS services or Paramedics. Some of these organizations include the Idaho Oral Health Initiatives Board, United Way of Treasure Valley, and Central District Health Department – Region 4.
5. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is showing interest
HHS contracted with private companies to design an evaluation tool for Community Paramedic Programs. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. The fact this department has decided to evaluate the potential for Paramedics and Community Paramedics to be used in a national health care model is one of the biggest indicators the standard role of “Paramedic” is evolving.
Learn more about the Ada County Paramedics Community Paramedics program today!