Online Newsletter

June 2011
• • • • License or Certification? Office Hours Summer Revival Be Social Free EMS Rx Report

Paramedic License or EMTP Certification
When it comes to being a licensed paramedic or a certified EMTP. Opinions vary and it will depend on who you talk to. Certification : Agency or association grants recognition Licensure : Governmental agency’s competency standards are met Now when you think about it, for most states it is one and the same. Even states that require NREMT “certification” still mandate that you take a state exam or meet state standards to be considered competent to practice as a paramedic in that state. From the NREMT website1 “…Licensure, .. is the state’s grant of legal authority, pursuant to the state’s police powers, to practice a profession within a designated scope of practice. Under the licensure system, states define, by statute, the tasks and function or scope of practice of a profession and provide that these tasks may be legally performed only by those who are licensed. As such, licensure prohibits anyone from practicing the profession who is not licensed, regardless of whether or not the individual has been certified by a private organization.” So, what’s in a name then? Especially if both descriptions are interchangeable and more importantly any state allowing you to work as a paramedic is giving “license” to do it. Well that is just it. Some states like NY and NJ have been getting petitioned for years to change the identification from certification to license, but for some reason it just has not happened. What’s the hold up? Resistance due to education levels? Fears of infringing on other healthcare fields? Perhaps even those EMS insiders who like things just the way they are? Continued…

Paramedic License or EMTP Certification
…. However you look at it. The bottom line in my opinion is that the paramedic profession should be licensed. States cannot continue to dictate requirements and keep it noted as a certification in order to keep other professions happy. Nationwide, paramedics should hold licensure and if need be, individual states can set specific requirements for that region in order for that paramedic to work and practice within a set scope or guidelines. Government agencies need to remove all mention of certification from paramedic programs and gear all education and testing to a licensure format. If that means making exams more difficult, setting higher continuing education requirements and holding individuals to a higher standard overall, then so be it. I think that this would be a move in the right direction for EMS as a whole and a step that is relatively easy to implement. Listen, I don’t have the answers to this or know why with a certainty the word license is not the accepted rule. Maybe we shouldn’t be putting too much energy into this to begin with since in the end it’s just a word. The reality is that, no matter what the state calls it, a state issued "license" or "certificate" is functionally the same and a “license”. The difference to be aware of is that while the terms might be interchangeable for what a state calls it, non-government agencies like the NREMT, are certificates since licenses grant an official privilege (like the ability to drive or practice medicine) whereas a certification is simply a nongovernment agency saying that you have met their standards (like NREMT, AHA, PHTLS). 1- NREMT opinion article.

Summer Office Hours Revival
This week I took off from the live podcast, to give
myself and fellow podcasters from the show a summer time break. I thought it would be a great opportunity to highlight an older episode that focused on summer events and a few other items. I did this episode with podcaster and EMS educator Greg Friese of Titled “Taking Action, Bike Teams, Hot Days and Bellies” this episode was a little over 30 minutes and discussed how to take action with EMS podcasts and blogs which was just one topic in this Office Hours. Special EMS teams where also discussed along with potential fitness concerns when operating within them. Take a listen by clicking here and be sure to leave your tips and ideas in the comments as well. I will be taking one week off from the live podcast each week during the summer and plan on putting a spotlight on either an older episode of Office Hours or even one or two from my favorite bloggers. Here is a recent post about watching out for hyperthermia in kids. Click to read. During my summer rejuvenation, I am also requesting that if you have any EMS topics you would like to see brought to light on Office Hours, to send your ideas and thoughts to me direct at I want to hit the ground running come September.

Be Social
One of the things I enjoy with my websites is
being able to interact with my visitors and fellow EMS peers. With that in mind I encourage you to post comments on any of the sites you visit. Even if it’s negative toward what you see or experienced, this is what helps and motivates me to make things better. Your feedback is what matters and drives me to do better for all my members. I just added new software that runs with Facebook and lets you not just “Like” a page, product or service. But you can also comment using the Facebook interface and separate blog comments as well. The more you post and comment the better. Plus don’t forget that people who comment and contribute to the sites like this are randomly chosen to get some free goodies for participating. Just check out any of the pages at and you will see what I mean. You can also use the traditional comments section below each page as well if you prefer not to use your Facebook interface. Be sure to follow me on FaceBook and Twitter. Join me on FaceBook here Follow me on Twitter here @emssafe

Recommended Resources
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Free EMS Rx Report
Understanding pharmacology can be confusing to any paramedic, new student or experienced field provider. However, it is a necessary topic that must be mastered to enable you to provide the best patient care and help you understand why you are doing for and to your patients. Go claim this free 12 page report that will have you understanding EMS pharmacology in no time. Click here to get it now.

Patch Of The Month
Magnolia Ambulance Corps, Inc.
Magnolia Ambulance Corps, Inc. Provides emergency medical services to the Boroughs of Magnolia and Somerdale, NJ since 1953


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