Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP)
Advanced Care Paramedics (ACP) provide advanced life support care to residents in BC. In addition to the educational requirements achieved at the Primary Care Paramedic level of practice, ACP practitioners have completed a Diploma Program in Advanced Care Paramedicine at an accredited post-secondary institution. ACP’s are educated and equipped to handle sophisticated and advanced medical treatment to potentially life-threatening emergencies and maintain a targeted response to only the highest acuity calls. ACP’s provide clinical leadership on complex calls and maintain a progressive scope of practice to manage critically injured patients and reduce morbidity.
In addition to advanced pharmacology, Advanced Care Paramedics possess a comprehensive skillset that allows them to begin emergency medical management in the field prior to the patient’s arrival at an Emergency Department.
Advanced Care Paramedics can administer medication through intravenous, subcutaneous, intramuscular, nebulization, inhalation and sublingual routes as well as intraosseous (into the bone marrow through a special procedure). Medications include sympathomimetics, bronchodilators, antifibrinolytics, antianginal, narcotic antagonist, anti-emetic, anticholinergic, antiplatelet as well as antiarrhythmic, electrolytes, analgesics and sedatives.
- Salbutamol (Ventolin)
- Dimenhydrinate (Gravol)
- Naloxone (Narcan)
- Entonox (Nitrous Oxide)
- Tranexamic Acid (TXA)
- Normal Saline
- Calcium Chloride
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Magnesium Sulfate
- Midazolam (Versed)
- Magnesium Sulfate
- Sodium Bicarbonate
Advanced Care Paramedics possess a technical skillset of advanced procedures that enable them to effectively manage critically unstable patients and conditions.
- Monitor and obtain vital signs including blood pressure, pulse oximetry (including waveform), capnography (end-tidal carbon dioxide monitoring including waveform) and cardiac rhythm monitoring.
- Advanced cardiac rhythm interpretation, including early recognition of a myocardial infarction (heart attack) allowing for diversion to definitive tertiary care at a cardiac catheterization lab.
- Management of cardiac arrhythmias including pharmacological intervention, external electric cardioversion, transcutaneous cardiac pacing, and manual external defibrillation.
- Advanced airway management and respiratory support including endotracheal intubation through direct and video laryngoscopy, tracheal suctioning, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), PEEP (positive end expiratory pressure) and emergency cricothyrotomy.
- Advanced trauma management including needle thoracentesis and intraosseous access and infusion.
In addition to their Advance Care Paramedic education, ACP practitioners have been trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Advanced International Trauma Life Support (ITLS), Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP), Advanced Airway Management and Intervention in Emergency (AIME) and maintain annual continuing education requirements.