Critical Care Paramedic (CCP)
Critical Care Paramedics (CCPs) represent the highest level of pre-hospital and inter-hospital care available in BC. These paramedics operate with the goal of instituting and maintaining tertiary-level emergency and ICU care for the patients with the greatest need while facilitating their transport by air, land, and sea to the appropriate medical facility.
CCPs are a specialized team of paramedics that are selected from the field of accomplished Advanced Care Paramedics, they are then tested utilizing MMI model which has been adapted from Canadian medical schools. CCPs receive an additional 18 months of intense training before being licensed to a CCP level, and are then are eligible for a 6-9 month residency. The CCP residency program is overseen by our physician group to ensure the practitioner is safe, competent, and can function independently at the highest of standards.
This training, funded by the BC Ambulance Service, begins with completing post-graduate nursing studies at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in the field of critical care. Paramedics then receive intense in-hospital training from physicians who have distinguished themselves in the areas of intensive care medicine, trauma surgery, respirology, anaesthesiology, emergency medicine, and infectious disease. Blocks of this training follow a simple-to-complex model and are intertwined with field practicums and high fidelity simulation training where medical theory is put into practice.
By the completion of training Critical Care Paramedics within BC have exceeded the National Occupancy Competency Profiles (NOCPs) for the CCP designation as defined by the Paramedic Association of Canada and signed off by the Canadian Medical Association. With a strong commitment to education the CCP team endeavours not only to apply necessary treatments and care for the province’s sickest patients, but also to ensure a sound understanding of the underlying pathophysiology. Such training creates a team of professionals that regularly bring high-quality care to patients, but also have the ability to critically analyze a situation and adapt and respond appropriately.
British Columbia’s CCPs pride themselves on providing excellent care to the citizens of the province. Physician-led continuing medical education and journal reviews play a large role in the practice of CCPs and allows them to deliver cutting-edge care that is firmly rooted in evidence-based medicine. This philosophy began years ago as CCPs within BC began to integrate the concepts and principles of early goal-directed therapy (EGDT) and lung-protective ventilation strategies for patients suffering from severe sepsis, multi-organ dysfunction, and acute lung injury/ARDS. More recent examples of modern care delivery include the first use of tranexamic acid for major trauma and hydroxocobalamin for cyanide toxicity within Canada in both the pre-hospital and inter-hospital settings. In the near future CCPs anticipate the inclusion of extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO/ECLS) devices and left ventricular-assist devices into their practice as patient care continues to evolve in both need and complexity.
The Critical Care Paramedics of the BC Ambulance service are educated, trained, and able to provide the best in pre-hospital and inter-hospital care. Working as a team they continue to successfully transfer patients throughout the province and beyond while providing critical care to give the sickest patients the best chance of recovery.