This Wiki is dedicated to all things related to becoming and being a Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) in Canada. It will initially focus on paramedicine in British Columbia, then expand to include all Canadian provinces and territories. The majority of the initial effort will be aimed at fleshing out details of paramedic training. As the user base expands and more working paramedics are attracted to the site, information for and from a broad cross-section of Canadian paramedics will be created.
You are welcome to read and contribute to these pages. If you see something and you'd like to change, or to add your own information, just click the edit tab at the top of every page. A blue link goes to an existing topic; red links indicates a topic that has not yet been created.
While you're reading these pages, you may wish to refer to the PCP glossary to clarify any specialist terms that you may encounter on these pages.
What is a Primary Care Paramedic?
A Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) is a paramedic who meets or exceeds the National Competency requirements of the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC). A PCP has the skills to assess and manage patients in a pre-hospital setting, demonstrating mastery of the patient assessment model, core paramedic skills, interventions, treatments, procedures, human anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, clinical decision-making, leadership.
Thinking of becoming a Primary Care Paramedic?
If you've ever thought about becoming a paramedic, now is a great time. The field is maturing, and senior paramedics are starting to retire en mass. Paramedicine in Canada is becoming more standardised, and the length of time it takes to become a full-time paramedic gets shorter every year. And as the baby-boomers retire and start to reach the end of their lives, the demand for paramedics will increase further. If you want to a satifying job that will help people and make a difference in your community, becoming a paramedic is a very good career choice.
We have compiled a list of all the steps on How to become a Primary Care Paramedic.
Becoming a Primary Care Paramedic
Becoming a Primary Care Paramedic is a long but rewarding process. You must first get some basic first aid training, then apply for the training at a Primary Care Paramedic Training Institution. The wait list for a seat in a course can be several months or more than a year, depending on where you live and the size of your local training institution. If you have applied for entrance in a PCP training programme, you may want to check out our Advice for PCP Students page so that you can effectively prepare for the start of your course.
Primary Care Paramedic training varies greatly across Canada. In British Columbia, the JI PCP programme is thirteen weeks full-time or nine months part-time, including eight shifts of practical experience working on a real ambulance.
Upon completion of your course and the aquisition of a PCP certificate, you must pass a licensing exam to ensure that you meet the national level of competency. In BC, licensing is done by the BC Emergency Medical Assistants Licensing Board at locations throughout the province. Before attending you licensing exam, you may wish to view the BC EMA Licensing Advice topic.
Once you have your licence, you are eligable to be hired by one of the Provincial and Territorial Ambulance Services to get a job as a paramedic. There are different approaches to Submitting your application to BC Ambulance: some choose to apply early and send updates on their progress as they work their way through the list of requirements. Others wait until they have everything ready and submit a complete application at the end.
Before you go for an interview, you may wish to read the Behavioural Interviews at BC Ambulance topic.
Being a Primary Care Paramedic
This section will contain information useful to working PCPs. It may contain reference material, stories, anecdotes, advice, or anything else that you'd like to see. Here are some thoughts on some useful topics: how to transfer between provinces or territories; life as a dispatcher; lateral transfers; life of a unit chief; different roles within the ambulance service; paramedic specialties; heading for Advanced Care Paramedic certification (creation of an ACP Wiki?); rural verses urban paramedicine.
Retiring or resigning as a Primary Care Paramedic
Paramedics are now eligable for early retirement, like police officers and fire-fighters. Paramedics now receive a good pension and there are opportunities to do many things related to paramedicine when retired from the service (such as teaching, acting as a licensing board examiner, or working for third-party healthcare organisations).
If you are retired from a career an a paramedic (or are considering leaving the field) and would like to contribute to this site, please edit this page and tell us your thoughts, experiences, advice, or anything else.
--Bucket 00:10, 5 September 2006 (UTC)