I had the ability to see the future. There are many things wrong with the state of EMS in the “states” and you can find many good people providing the scientific proof of what needs to be fixed. Yesterday I had the unfortunate chance to see how it could work, and provide better health care for everyone.
My wife was injured at home. I was working on the ambulance. He called me and said she was hurt and didn’t know if she needed stiches. She already had the bleeding controlled. I called my dispatch and said that I was going to check on my wife (we were available and relativly close).
I met her at home and checked the wound. I cleaned the wound, decided that it did not require stitches, dressed the injury and made sure she was ok. I even advised her to take Tylenol for pain (my wife is so smart she was already using a cold compress to decrease the swelling).
The following morning she made an appointment with her primary care practicioner (PCP, GP) for antibiotics & tetanus shot. Yes folks this was just that simple. A paramedic decided that the injury did not require stitches and advised the patient to follow up with their doctor. Sounds familliar? It occurred to me that this is similar to the UK’s
NHS. Paramedics can decide what level of care the patient needs. If my patient was anyone but my wife they would have demanded to be seen at the emergency room (wasting time and money). Why is this so hard to understand? I firmly believe that community paramedicine (or even training paramedics to the level of Physician Assistant) is the future of American EMS. We just need to get the physicians and the law makers to see why we need Community Paramedics.