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Primary Care Paramedics

Action 11

Primary Care Paramedics (PCPs) make up the majority of Paramedics in the province. A PCP is a community college graduate of a program dedicated to the Paramedic profession. The diploma in “Paramedic Studies" is two years in duration and emphasizes anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and mechanisms involved in acute injury and illness. The program involves classroom learning and clinical hours working directly in the field. Once the college program is successfully completed, a paramedic must complete a provincial examination. This certification, known as the Paramedic exam or Advanced Emergency Medical Care Assistant (A-EMCA) exam, must be successfully completed to practice as a primary care paramedic in Ontario. In addition, each PCP must complete many continuing medical education courses on an annual basis to maintain their qualifications. The PCP is also certified by a physician to perform a number of controlled medical acts for individuals experiencing acute injury or illness.

The Primary Care Paramedic provides:

  • emergency patient care
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • patient immobilization and extrication
  • oxygen therapy
  • basic trauma life support
  • patient transport
  • crisis management
  • triage
  • patient advocacy

The PCP skill set includes:

  • semi-automatic defibrillation
  • blood glucose testing
  • intra-muscular injections
  • 12-Lead ECG acquisition
  • pulse oxymetry monitoring
  • administration of symptom relief medications:
    • acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)
    • epinephrine
    • glucagon
    • glucose gel
    • nitroglycerine spray
    • salbutamol

Some PCPs may have enhanced training to include additional medications and/or skills such as:

  • continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device application
  • supra-glottic airway insertion
  • taser probe removal
  • peripheral IV initiation and fluid administration
  • additional medications such as:
    • dextrose (D50W)
    • dimenhydrinate (Gravol)
    • diphenhydramine (Benedryl)
    • acetaminophen (Tylenol)
    • ibuprophen (Advil)
    • ketorolac (Torodol)

Primary Care Flight Paramedic - PCP(F)

The Primary Care Flight Paramedic - PCP(F) functions similarly to their land counterparts, only in an aircraft environment to safely transfer stable patients across the province for appointments and further medical care. They are also responsible for returning patients to their homes towns after treatment and to begin their recovery.