A description of a unique paramedic role in a Canadian emergency department

Background: Paramedics are known for their role in prehospital emergency medical services. In response to healthcare system overcrowding, and increased demands on emergency departments, roles for paramedics have emerged in hospitals. Aims: The authors describe a well established paramedic role in the emergency department of a busy regional referral centre, highlighting the successes and challenges of the programme. Methods: In this phenomenological study, six paramedics employed at the Charles V. Keating Emergency and Trauma Centre were interviewed. Interviews were analysed using thematic content analysis. Findings: Paramedics at the centre are involved in resuscitation, trauma, critical care transport, airway management, and procedural sedation. Performing procedural sedation is an important part of the role and is perhaps where paramedics have had their greatest impact within the department. Conclusions: The diverse scope of practice paramedics maintain at this centre allows them to work where the need is highest within the department, ultimately improving department flow.

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