Primary Care Paramedic (PCP)
This is the medical practice level of most of British Columbia's career paramedics. Primary Care Paramedics (PCP) possess a strong foundation in emergency prehospital care. They are trained to work in unpredictable and dynamic environments while ensuring safe, proficient and efficient patient care and transportation. PCP practitioners are often first on scene to an emergency and are highly skilled in call management including patient assessment and treatment, triage, inter-agency response, scene management and safe transport. Continuing education is a key component and requirement for all BC Primary Care Paramedics – this ensures that paramedic practice aligns with current research and promotes professional integrity and development.
Primary Care Paramedics are educated and equipped to handle a multitude of events ranging from routine elderly and community support (including lift assists and wellness checks) to medical and traumatic emergencies requiring technical skills and pharmacological intervention.
Primary Care Paramedics can administer medication through intravenous, subcutaneous, intramuscular, nebulization, inhalation and sublingual routes. Medications include sympathomimetics, bronchodilators, antifibrinolytics, antianginal, narcotic antagonist, anti-emetic, antihistamine and antiplatelet.
- Salbutamol (Ventolin)
- Dimenhydrinate (Gravol)
- Naloxone (Narcan)
- Entonox (Nitrous Oxide)
- Tranexamic Acid (TXA)
- Normal Saline
Primary Care Paramedics are able to perform a variety of skills and procedures ranging from symptom relief management to critical lifesaving interventions.
- Monitor and obtain vital signs including blood pressure, pulse oximetry and glucose levels.
- Traumatic injury management including musculoskeletal and vascular injuries, spinal injuries and head injuries.
- Airway management and respiratory support including the use of continuous positive airway pressure devices (CPAP), positive end expiratory pressure devices (PEEP), extraglottic airway devices (King Airway), positive pressure ventilation with BVM (bag-valve mask) and oropharynx suctioning.
- The initiation and maintenance of intravenous fluids including normal saline and D10W (carbohydrate substrate).
- Automatic external defibrillation and cardiac and traumatic arrest management.
In addition to their Primary Care Paramedic education from an accredited post-secondary institution, PCP’s have been trained in Basic International Trauma Life Support (ITLS), Airway Intervention and Management in Emergency (AIME) and Prehospital Care for Pediatric Patients (PEPP).