Contemplating life.

International Guidelines and Protocols

Ever wanted to know how other paramedic services work? What drugs they use? What their algorithms look like?

Well, look no further. I trawled the internet, brought my old list up to date and stuck it all in a convenient PDF for your viewing convenience!

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a beginning nonetheless. If you know of any guidelines I have missed, please contact me, I’d like for this to grow.

Have fun!

Naming Conventions

Recent misunderstandings and differences in opinion have reminded me of the multitude of names (and misnomers) applied to our line of work.

For clarification and standardisation, I am using the International Paramedic recommendations:

  • The Paramedic is the professional practitioner
  • A Paramedic Service is the provider of emergency medical services staffed by paramedics; and
  • Paramedicine is the discipline and the area of medical study and knowledge.

Source: International Paramedic. Initiation Document (2011), retrieved from

International Paramedic Day

I recently came across a tweet from a nurse telling everyone about international nurses day – here is some information on wikipedia.

Why don’t we have such a day? When is “International Paramedic Day” ?
Nursing has been around for a long while, and has undoubtedly done a great deal for society. Whilst Paramedicine is not as old, we still contribute greatly to society (at varying levels of respect and trust; compare some parts of the US with Australia). Our position and responsibility in healthcare will only grow as healthcare and paramedicine learns to adapt to new challenges (ageing population, recognition of early intervention, staffing shortages, cost-benefit calculations).
Look up the article on International Observances on wikipedia. Not only nurses get their day, but there are also days for the sick, health, ear and hearing, physical therapy…the list goes on.
There are localised efforts to represent paramedics in the community (e.g. National EMS Week in the US, Thank a Paramedic Day in New South Wales, Australia), but nothing international.
Plan for action: The web is a great way for international communication and exchange. International Paramedic is a great platform for just that, it has some great and influential members, contributors and thinkers from around the world. We all know how underrepresented our profession is at times, how uneducated not only the public, but other professions can be towards our education and interventions. Time for an international push in the right direction!
  • Set a date: Nurses day was initially Florence Nightingales birthday. An appropriate date needs to be identified, ideally having something to do with someone who had great influence on EMS (along the likes of Dominique Jean Larrey perhaps?).
  • Set a timeframe. A day, a week, a month? Anually, Biannualy? Options to be explored.
  • Set an agenda: What International Paramedic Day should represent.
  • Get in touch with the WHO and UN – they already officially endorse a couple of other health related days.
  • Get in touch with various Paramedic Services around the world to implement such a day.
Thoughts, ideas, feedback?

Paramedics Australasia conference #4

My first conference presentation was quickly approaching. There were a few hiccups regarding my time slot (tip: if a presenter drops out, don’t move the other presenters forward – people won’t know, even if an announcement is made), but I managed to start on time. The was even an audience, believe it or not!

Things ran quite well, some good questions were asked and I received positive feedback. I’d love to give you the presentation right here and now, but I am presenting it at my university’s e-culture conference next month, so I’ll wait until that’s done and then pop it up here.

Back to the highlight of the conference:

I was especially keen to meet with Gary Wingrove during the conference – as a founder and driver of International Paramedic, he was a main target on my conference radar. Plus, I had been told earlier that day that there was a conference call on to meet with other IParamedic supporters, and to build upon the inaugural meeting in April.

So after a quick dinner I headed down to the conference call room, and jumped on Gary as soon as I saw him. I think I may have startled him a little, but that quickly gave way to the history and potential direction of International Paramedic. Laid back yet determined, Gary and I discussed the parallels between the International Roundtable of Community Paramedicine and International Paramedic, his thought and my ideas of getting involved. Then it was time for the conference to start. 17 people, 4 of them on the phone – and I got to audio meet Scott Kier, which was a cool surprise!

And sitting in that conference room, I realised that I am sitting in a room with 17 people,   Paramedics from all over the world, and that this is possibly the forefront of the international movement forwards and together for paramedicine. A truly global initiative, with a truly global perspective. Something never done before, but badly needed. And started by über-passionate paramedics, now involving students, academics, government officials, the lot. I’d recommend to keep an eye out for ip, and more importantly, feel free to contribute and take part yourself (for example, the google groups have some great discussions going on)! This is EMS 2.0 taken from the textbook as it being written, and turned in to practice. This is something we can shape. Influence our own profession. How effing exciting is that?

The call came to an end, but not after everybody on the line was encouraged to pitch in ideas and get some direction for the future – getting international representation, putting out documents for international comparison of systems and services, internatoinal exchange and more.

This is the stuff that really gets me excited – the world of paramedicine is growing smaller!