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Unread 06-27-2012, 10:38 PM   #1
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Any paramedics or doctors on this forum?

I'm nearing the end of my paramedicine program and I'm looking at taking some extra certification courses both for my own interest and to make me more hire-able for the limited amount of jobs in Ontario right now.

I'm taking ITLS in August but I'm also interested in taking ACLS and PALS. I was originally told I needed my paramedic certification in order to take ACLS/PALS but have since been told from the director of the programs at Sunnybrook that they have had students take these courses in the past and be successful.

I'm curious if anyone on this forum has experience with these courses and can tell me what I'm in for. From what I've researched ACLS has a lot of emphasis on pharmacology above the scope of practice of a primary medic. Any input would be great as these courses are expensive and I want to be as prepared as I can be.
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Unread 06-29-2012, 08:26 AM   #2
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Surely someone on this board knows what I'm talking about, no?
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Unread 06-29-2012, 09:56 AM   #3
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I would seek out Poopyalligator. He is a doctor, so I would hazard he is most likely to know what you are asking about.




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Unread 06-30-2012, 03:28 PM   #4
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Paging doctor Poop...

Nah, send poopyalligator a pm since he is a radiologist.


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Unread 06-30-2012, 03:53 PM   #5
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Indeed, Dr Poopy (best doctor name ever)




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Unread 06-30-2012, 03:57 PM   #6
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Respect for being a paramedic! That's an incredibly difficult job and paramedics dont get paid nearly enough for what they do.
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Unread 06-30-2012, 04:51 PM   #7
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The pay is a lot better than what it is in the states but still a bit below fire and police. We're getting there though. The college of paramedics has been in the works for awhile and the last I heard it might be seen within the next year or so. Once that is established hopefully we will be seen as more than just ambulance drivers.

Thanks for the replies, I've paged Dr. Poopy.
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Unread 06-30-2012, 08:56 PM   #8
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Unread 06-30-2012, 10:31 PM   #9
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Im studying my basic EMT stuff right now. From what I could gather, Paramedics have an emphasis on pharmacology, and are expected to have a far greater grasp on anatomy/nomenclature. If Im not mistaken they are also trained to set IV drips, and install an emergency tracheotomy using nothing but a Swiss army knife and Bic pen tube. Or maybe that is MacGuyver training. :p


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Unread 06-30-2012, 10:32 PM   #10
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My mom teaches PALS in the US. That's all I know as far as what you said
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Unread 07-01-2012, 11:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodee_Kaos View Post
Im studying my basic EMT stuff right now. From what I could gather, Paramedics have an emphasis on pharmacology, and are expected to have a far greater grasp on anatomy/nomenclature. If Im not mistaken they are also trained to set IV drips, and install an emergency tracheotomy using nothing but a Swiss army knife and Bic pen tube. Or maybe that is MacGuyver training. :p
There are three different levels of medics here in Ontario but the skill sets are set by each municipality. So in my current service I'm able to start IVs but next county over I might not be able to even though technically I have the ability too. The reason for this is because we work under a doctors license and not our own (another reason we want our own college).

It's an enormously rewarding job though (at least right now it is). My goal is to become a critical care flight medic but it will be a few years before I make it there. I'm just focused on graduating right now lol.
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Unread 07-01-2012, 01:41 PM   #12
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Maybe it is a coincidence, but..

Your username is Labrie, you're from Ontario, and you're a paramedic. I once heard James LaBrie say in an interview that if he hadn't had a career in music he would have been a paramedic.

Are your first two names Kevin and James?

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Unread 07-02-2012, 10:15 PM   #13
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ITLS (previously BTLS) is more focused towards what you would have learned in PCP school, whereas ACLS is more aimed towards an ACP/CCP scope. That being said, you'll learn a lot from ACLS and PALS that you didn't learn in school - even if you can't practice the skills in the field (I don't believe Ontario allows for epi during Cardiac Arrests at the PCP scope) and you'll learn other ACLS medications such as a dopamine, vasopressin, lidocaine, mag-sulfate et all.

If you were good with pharmacology in your current program; I'd say go for it, give it a shot. Good luck when you get in the field. I love my career, wouldn't change it for the world.
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Unread 07-03-2012, 07:36 AM   #14
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Thanks for the info!

As PCP we are only allowed to give epi for cardiac arrest if the arrest is thought to be of anaphalaxis in nature. Other drugs like adenosine and atropine etc I would love to learn how to use because I really love cardiology.

There are some schools here that will let you take ACP course right after PCP graduation but I think I should get some more road experience before I jump right in. The other problem is a lot of services around here are not sponsoring their medics to upgrade to ACP anymore due to budget and already having enough of them. So if you want to do it you have to pay for it yourself.

And no my first two names are not Kevin and James lol
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Unread 07-03-2012, 07:59 AM   #15
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I'd recommend a few years experience between PCP and ACP anyways. Some people do the whole zero to hero thing but they usually have a harder time than if they have had real world experience as a PCP first.

If you get paired up with an ACP you'll learn a LOT in the field about cardiac drugs; I don't know if they do it in Ontario, we just got TNK to Thrombolyse in the field, so we're taking big leaps forward for cardiac patients before we even get to the hospital.

I know Ontario is a hard place to find work, we get a LOT of people here (NS) coming from Ontario. If you aren't tied down and want a full time PCP job right out of the gate, making 'decent' money for the area, go to Newfoundland. That's where I started as a PCP before coming to NS and upgrading etc.
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Unread 07-04-2012, 01:04 PM   #16
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I do have a family so it'd be hard to pick up and move. Also my program isn't CMA accredited so I don't know how good my chances would be getting a job outside Ontario. I've got a couple ins at my local service so hopefully that works out otherwise I'll have no choice but to go wherever the work is.

That's awesome about getting TNK. Maybe one day they'll let us use it here. Our last revision of protocols that came out last year gave us a lot more freedom to think on our own. They also brought out therapeutic hypothermia and gave us the ability to TOR patients. The problem is that protocols can be interpreted different ways which has led to a lot of confusion in class, especially for our final scenarios.
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