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Emergency medical responder

This article is about out-of-hospital medical responders. For the American emergency medical credential, see Certified first responder.

Emergency medical responders are people who are specially trained to provide out-of-hospital care in medical emergencies. There are many different types of emergency medical responders, each with different levels of training, ranging from first aid and basic life support. Emergency Medical Responders have a very limited scope of practice and have the least amount of comprehensive education, clinical experience or clinical skills. The Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) is not meant to replace the roles of Emergency Medical Technicians, Emergency Medical Technologists or Paramedics and their wide range of specialities. Emergency Medical Responders typically assist in rural regions providing basic life support where pre-hospital health professionals are not available due to limited resources or infrastructure.

General terms

A medic is a trained medical responder which includes people who provide basic first aid and physicians. The term medic does not imply that the individual provides any specific level of care. In some areas, paramedic is also used as a general term for medical responders. However, paramedic may also be a specific level of training.

A first responder is the first medically trained personnel who come in to contact with a patient. Additionally, there are several levels of training that are referred to as first responders.

Levels of training

First responders are generally trained to provide first aid, basic life support and sometimes basic stress management and stress reduction. These responders may either be lay people or community first responders associated with an ambulance service. In the US the term "Emergency Medical Responder" will largely replace the term "Certified First Responder" beginning 2012.

Emergency medical technicians (EMT) are the next level of providers. Within the United States, there are three common levels of EMTs, each with an increased scope of practice: EMT, Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT), and Paramedic. Paramedics have the most training of the emergency medical responders. Paramedics and AEMTs perform advanced life support.

Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Primary Care Paramedic (PCP), Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) and Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) in Canada are the titles and levels of practitioners recognized by the National Occupational Competency Profile (NOCP) Paramedic Association of Canada.

Generally speaking, emergency medical responders (EMRs) require 80 to 120 hours of training. Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) depending on province, require generally a two-year diploma of paramedicine, Advanced Care Paramedics (ACP) require an additional year of training and clinical experience totalling three years of education and Critical Care Paramedics (CCP) require a final year of education totalling 4 years of education.

Many paramedics in Canada at all levels from emergency medical responder, Primary Care Paramedic, Advanced Care Paramedic and Critical Care Paramedic, are combining their diplomas of paramedicine with a bachelor's degree of paramedicine which is heading towards the standard of educational requirements in Canada. Emergency Medical Responders would not be eligible for these educational advances due to their limited scope of practice and education.

Remote areas

In the field of wilderness first aid, medical providers receive additional training relating to wilderness medicine. There are several levels of certification that parallel the aforementioned levels, which include Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician.

See also

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