Scope of Practice
What do paramedics do?
Paramedics in Prince Edward Island are highly trained health care professionals who specialize in pre-hospital emergency medical care. All paramedics in PEI must have successfully completed a Primary Care Paramedicine (PCP) diploma program, and if they so choose may continue their education in Advanced Care Paramedicine (ACP), and/ or receive a Bachelors of Science in Paramedicine (BScP). Previously paramedics could train as Intermediate Care Paramedics (ICP) and while some still practice that skill-set, training and registration is being phased out.
Some paramedics in PEI practice with additional responsibilities or in roles or environments external to traditional ground ambulance. For more information see our Special Projects page.
All Island paramedics must be licensed by the Emergency Medical Services Board of Health PEI and practice within the provisions made in the Emergency Medical Technicians Act and Regulations.
Listed below are the designations that paramedics in PEI can attain and their scope of practice as per the EMT Act and Regulations.
Disclaimer: The outline of paramedic scope of practice below is for informational purposes only and not to be used as a clinical reference.
Primary Care Paramedic (PCP)
Primary Care Paramedics are health-care professionals who practice in the pre-hospital setting, are responsible for management of emergency scenes and patient care, and are proficient in:
Patient assessment and diagnostics such as conducting triage; obtaining past medical history; conducting a complete physical and ongoing assessment; assessing vital signs; and the interpretation of diagnostic tests such as pulse oximetry, glucometry, and 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG).
Therapeutics such as airway management; oxygen delivery; manual and continuous positive pressure ventilation (CPAP); intravenous (IV) catheter insertion; fluid and medication administration; cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and semi-automatic defibrillation; caring for soft tissue injuries; and immobilizing fractures.
Primary Care Paramedics can administer the following medications:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Acetylsalicylic Acid (ASA)
- Dextrose (D5W, D50W)
- Dimenhydranate (Gravol)
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Ketorolac (Toradol)
Intermediate Care Paramedic (ICP)
Responsible for the above skills and interventions including advanced airway management; advanced cardiac life-support (ACLS); and pharmacological pain management and sedation.
Intermediate Care Paramedics can administer the above medications including:
- Sodium bicarbonate
- Diazepam (Valium)
Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP)
Responsible for the above skills and interventions including surgical and percutaneous cricothyroidotomy; mechanical ventilation; intraosseous (IO) needle insertion; maintenance of a central line; administration of blood products; manual defibrillation; cardioversion; transcutaneous pacing; needle thoracostomy; maintenance of transvenous pacing and chest tubes; and fracture and dislocation reduction.
Advanced Care Paramedics can administer the above medications including:
- Furosemide (Lasix)
- Magnesium sulfate
In special circumstances such as during interfacility transport or on the order of a physician additional responsibilities may be necessary. This includes the administration of a number of medications and drug classes, including but not limited to:
- Anticoagulants and platelet inhibitors
- Haloperidol (Haldol)
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
- Tranexamic Acid (TXA)
- Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI)
- Potassium chloride
- Tenecteplase (TNK)
Updated: April 1 2018