"The funniest thing I ever heard a nurse say was that Paramedics don't belong in triage. "
I am not anti-nurse, but I would like to explore the subject of Paramedics in the ER. Why do nurses run the ER? What is an ER? Emergency Rooms are used to assess newly arriving patients and determine if they need to be admitted to the hospital, or can be treated and sent home. Emergency Room Doctors are equipped to handle a myriad of diseases and trauma, temporarily, until proper long term care can be established. An ER is not meant to be a long term care facility. The idea is get them in and get them out, or admit them. Everybody knows the saying, "Greet them, Treat them, Street them." What is a nurse? The very definition of nursing is to care for in a long term manner, as in to nurse back to health. That is why you see nurses in Hospice and NURSING HOMES!!! What is a Paramedic? A paramedic was created to provide short term care to sick and injured people until they could be cared for, long term, by a doctor or nurse. They specialize in triage and transport. So I ask again, why are nurses running the ERs?
Paramedics have taken over the role of the house-calling doctor. No, I'm not calling us doctors, but we do go to people's houses and treat what we can while we transport to the hospital. We work under an extension of a Medical Directors license as put forth by the Medical Control Office's Protocols. Where I am from, we do not need to call online medical direction for anything, unless we just need advice. I am seeing more and more Paramedics being utilized in the ERs around here, but only under the descretion of the nurses. They are treated as techs. Nurses cannot intubate, do surgical airways, or many other things that Paramedics can do, so why are we taking a role that limits our abilities? Wouldn't it make more sense to place Paramedics in the nurses place, to work alongside of the ER doctors and actually help them treat and care for the patients seen in the ER? I know nurses do that same thing, but not like a Paramedic would be able to. Regardless of how you feel about Paramedics and nurses, the end result should be to the patients benefit, and by having a person who can intubate and do many other things that a nurse cannot, the patient would definately benefit. I'm not saying that nurses need to leave the hospital, but they should have a bigger role on the floors, where long term care is needed. There is a nursing shortage ater all, that would help alleviate the nursing shortage, as well as the Paramedic shortage. Paramedics working in the ERs would get paid much more than street medics (they traditionally have), which would lure more people to the field. It would be a trickle efect.
So why isn't this going to happen? Nursing Union! They have been here longer, took control of the ER long ago, and won't give it up, even if it means that the patient doesn't get the benefit. I'm not saying there aren't nurses out there that cannot intubate, do sugical airways, and whatever else, but they aren't trained that way. They have to take extra classes and whatnot to get the experience. Paramedics are trained that way from the go, and we specialize in short term medical care, like TRIAGE!! When was the last time a nurse intubated as opposed to a Paramedic? When was the last time nurses were put in charge of Triage at a mass casualty incident? I am sure there will be nurses that say, I have, or I do, or I do all the time. They are the exceptions, not the norm. The only way Paramedics will start to win the Battle for the Ers is with higher education. Everything with us starts with more education. I advise all the medics out there to look into higher education and go get your Baccalaureate.
Paramedics need to look into the ERs and explore what could be.
I mean no malice or harm to any nurses reading this. I am not against nursing, I just don't understand this trend we have going in the ERs. This is just the tip of the ice-burg and I could go on, but I don't want to monopolize the blog. PLease let me know what you think. Thank you
3 years ago