I am the pediatric medical director for our metropolitan area ambulance
service. My EMS colleagues (paramedics and EMTs) have recently asked me to
take their side in an issue I know little about from my prior experiences
Should EMTs and EMT-Ps be licensed by the state medical board or
state nursing board?
In ND, the history is that EMT and EMT-P staff are licensed by the same
board as are the physicians in the state, and are required to have a written
contract to work for a physician (like me as their medical director).
As many of you already know, EMTs and EMT-Ps can also be found working
inside hospitals as well, serving roles in the ER, hospital based transport
service, etc. Clearly some ER based EMTs do perform what can be more or
less termed "nursing activities" such as taking histories, physical
assessment, implement physician orders (e.g., splint fractures, apply
oxygen, start IVs). Of course, EMTs and EMT-Ps say otherwise, since they
receive some degree of similar training in many overlapping areas with nurses.
Some in the nursing profession have articulated concerns over possible
usurpation of the "nursing" role in hospitals by non-nurses. In ND this has
led to an effort to change EMS to a nursing board-licensed vocation. EMTs
and EMT-Ps are fighting this initiative. They wish to remain a
physician-directed provider rather than a nurse-directed provider.
Before I speak out in support of either the status quo, or decide to support
the nurses 'initiative I would like to hear opinions of others who may have
been down this road. I honestly have not made up my mind as yet.....
| | |
| Joel T. Hardin, M.D. | Pediatric Cardiology |
| Department of Pediatrics | Pediatric Intensive Care |
| Medcenter One Children's Hospital | (701) 224-6970 |
| 300 North Seventh Street | (800) 932-8758 |
| Bismarck, North Dakota | (701) 255-5839 FAX |
| U.S.A. 58501 | <[log in to unmask]> |