>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?
I am not aware of any state that licenses the paramedics through their
nursing board. Those states that I am familiar with that do license
paramedics/EMT's do so through their medical board, healing arts board or a
separate EMS agency.
Paramedics currently staff one of our emergency centers. They assist and
supplement the nursing staff by providing patient care and support. They are
not assigned triage duty. They are allowed to perform these duties under
their scope of practice that has been approved by the medical director of
the EC. The nurses enjoy working with them and have not felt threatened by them.
I am sorry that you are having this problem in your state. I think it is
very important to remember that the main function of EMT's/paramedics is
that of an extension of the ED into the field; the old saying that
EMT's/paramedics are the eyes and ears of the physician at the scene of the
emergency still holds true. I believe that there should be no change in your
state's current licensure policy.
Jeff Linzer, MD, MICP
Prehospital Care Coordinator
Egleston and Hughes Spalding Children's Hospitals
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