Past the lights and sirens

Paramedics assist care in new methods, completely different places

Past the lights and sirens
From left to proper: Jennifer Cull, Heather Freeland, Cassy DeJong

“The extent of care {that a} paramedic is educated to supply goes far past most individuals’s understanding of what we will do. Our full scope of observe covers a variety of medical actions, so working in a hospital setting is admittedly an extension of the abilities that we use out within the subject,” Heather Freeland, superior care paramedic.   

For Manitoba paramedics, there isn’t any such factor as a typical day.

With a large scope of observe that sees them stabilize, diagnose and deal with sufferers who’re extraordinarily ailing or injured, most paramedics spend their days working in an ambulance. However their shifts might embody any mixture of 911 response, affected person transport between amenities or — in some areas — care provided in the neighborhood.

In a phrase, paramedics will inform you that their days are unpredictable.

As Manitoba health-care amenities cope with staffing vacancies and a workforce fatigued from greater than two years of pandemic response, some paramedics have raised their hand to assist care in new methods and in several places, together with emergency departments (EDs).  

Jennifer Cull
Heather Freeland
Cassy DeJong

“As paramedics, we recurrently take care of critically ailing sufferers as much as the purpose the place we switch their care to a hospital group,” says Jennifer Cull, a Shared Well being paramedic. “Our training within the paramedic coaching program provides us such a variety of abilities and the flexibility to adapt to quite a lot of circumstances so as to assist shoppers and communities each on and off the truck.”

Cull is one in every of numerous paramedics throughout Manitoba who stepped ahead to assist the continued supply of care in an ED that was experiencing staffing challenges.

Paramedics signed up for shifts when the decision went out, usually commuting lengthy distances to work within the hospital(s) on their days off — at the same time as their emergency response groups have been going through related staffing challenges of their very own.

“I felt valued and appreciated on this function,” says Cassy DeJong, a Shared Well being paramedic within the Interlake-Jap area who signed as much as assist Pine Falls. “Many instances, folks in the neighborhood informed me that they had been very grateful we had been there. It was very nice to listen to, and to know, I used to be serving to to make a distinction for the group and the ability.”   

The paramedic mannequin noticed certified paramedics full an orientation and a few extra coaching earlier than accepting shifts in EDs positioned in Southern Well being-Santé Sud (Altona) and the Interlake-Jap Regional Well being Authority (Pine Falls). There, the paramedics labored to their full scope of observe alongside nurse and doctor colleagues, offering momentary assist that allowed the amenities’ EDs to stay open.

“With the ability to are available in and tackle this function, we provided beneficial assist the place it was wanted. We’re a implausible useful resource with an ideal basis of information. Us stepping right into a medical function simply constructed on that,” Cull says. “On this medical function, I used to be capable of see what occurs after we are saying goodbye to the affected person — the labs, the remedies and the development of the affected person. I now have a better appreciation of what goes on behind these doorways, a complete umbrella of care.”

Heather Freeland, a retired superior care paramedic, got here again from retirement when she heard in regards to the alternative to broaden coaching for paramedics who signed as much as work on this new setting. Since her return, Freeland has led paramedic coaching for ED assist in each the Altona and Pine Falls places.

“By working within the hospital setting, paramedics are capable of work and practise their full vary of abilities that they’ll then take with them out into the sphere. That is particularly helpful for rural paramedics,” Freeland says. “Our intention was to organize paramedics to work alongside the doctor, nurse and whole health-care group, highlighting their ability set whereas offering some aid to our colleagues within the hospital.”

By all accounts, the paramedics’ assist has been welcomed, not solely by the groups they labored alongside however by the communities they served.

“Typically, after we are requested to assist, we reply with ‘The place do you want us and how briskly can we get there?’” DeJong says. “With the ability to assist communities like Pine Falls was one other alternative for us to do what we do properly: adapt to the environment, make selections beneath strain and implement probably the most acceptable and accessible interventions.”

“We’re really right here to assist,” DeJong says, “and one of the best half is seeing fairly unimaginable affected person care come out of it.”

Shared Well being Emergency Response Companies delivers air and land ambulance companies throughout Manitoba. Interested by a profession as a paramedic? Discover out extra at healthcareersmanitoba.ca/ paramedics

Paramedics in Manitoba are a regulated well being career beneath the Faculty of Paramedics of Manitoba. For extra info on the faculty, or paramedic scope of observe, go to collegeparamb.ca.


From Nov. 6 to 12, Manitoba’s well being service supply organizations are celebrating the varied and extremely specialised abilities of our province’s allied well being professionals. Representing almost 200 disciplines working in each sector and space of our well being system, allied well being professionals are important members of our health-care groups.

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