It is a question we are frequently asked… So here goes…
The media is sometimes confused by the difference between an emergency medical technician and a paramedic. Unfortunately, with so many people getting their information from the news media the confusion has spread. At least the days of referring to these trained professionals as ambulance drivers are mostly behind us. Unlike other emergency services, our equipment (the ambulance) precedes our training and certifications by several decades. Now that the training has become much more in depth, ambulance crews do much more than drive.
Paramedics are registered professionals, holding a registration with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC, formally: HPC). Paramedics are also qualified to degree level (as of 2012) and many are trained in further education, such as advanced practice.
Depending on the Trust / Company the Paramedic works for depends on the skills they are allowed to use, at Jigsaw Medical Services Ltd, our Paramedics are not limited in their professional practice and can perform any skill or intervention they are trained to do. The advanced skills available to paramedics includes:
- Intravenous cannulation
- Administration of an array of prescription, emergency and controlled drugs.
- Endotracheal intubation
- Advanced Life Support
- Intraosseous access (drilling into the patients bone)
- Surgical airways (needle cricothyriodotomy)
- Chest decompression (thoracocentesis)
- Advanced clinical examination & ECG recognition.
- …. And more!
Technicians (or EMT’s) are able to perform immediate life support and basic interventions, they are also able to administer a small range of intra-muscular and oral medication. They are trained in basic clinical examination and paramedic assistance skills. They are able to work independently (and are the minimum level of skill who are able to work alone in most ambulance services).
EMT’s are the backbone of many services and often work with emergency care assistants (who are non-clinical support staff) or paramedics.
There is currently no regulation, protection or registration of the ‘Technician’ profession.
In terms of events, Technicians are usually more than adequate. But for larger or more high risk events, paramedics would usually be required.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries!!