Hi everyone! I am about to start as Camp Medic for a few weeks. The job may go to an RN, LVN, or EMT. I am pretty sure that I am the only medical professional on site, and I will be in charge of medications as well as all medical care. A hospital is close by for any emergencies. I feel prepared to handle any care, but I am wondering, what is my scope of practice in this situation and how is it that an EMT can dispense medications? Any other advice for me as I prepare for camp? Thanks!
Jun 22, '13
Check with your state dept of EMS. In my state only an EMT-P can administer medication under orders of an ER physician or assist a patient with own meds. EMT-B's can only assist with the administration of patient's own MDIs, nitro SL, aspirin, or epipen.
Jun 22, '13
You should certainly check with your State EMS agency, or whichever EMS Office provides 911 protocol coverage for that area, and ask them about this situation. Chances are you'd be providing medication with parent approval for that child, or according to a specific set of instructions provided by the child's parent.
Chances are pretty good that the camp would be considered a "closed medical system" instead of a prehospital type of arrangement. I was an athletic trainer and we functioned under a closed system where most medical decisions were delegated, by the team physician, to the trainers unless/until we specifically required 911 for further care/transport of an injured athlete.
It's certainly worth figuring out that stuff because it affects your liability and scope of practice, which could be wider than you might otherwise have if you're working strictly as an EMT.
Jun 24, '13
Technically ....... as nurses we administer meds.....we do not dispense them. The machine/pharmacy dispenses them.
Now in most stated you are NOT allowed to administer meds even the over the counter ones because you should "know better............as an EMT you should know where your scope of practice is located on the state's EMS website. You should also have been told what you can and can not do in your EMT class.
You need to check with your state......some states will allow this IF you have received training AND you are under the direction/direct supervision of a RN.http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OEHFP/...edications.pdf
I would check with your state EMS board and proceed with extreme caution.
Jul 3, '13
Agree with everyone above saying YOU need to check. A camp I have worked for in the past routinely used EMT's to cover for nurses until I proved to them that they were not legally allowed to do so and were jeopardizing their credentials and causing themselves a medical liability. Good luck. I hope you find good answers to your situation.
Jul 3, '13
LOL. It is very ironic that Esme12 posted that link. That is the EXACT one I used!
Oct 16, '13
I know the summer is over and this is too late for you but...
I had the same job in a camp and was wondering that also. (I was officially an RN the last week or 2 as I past NCLEX a few weeks before the end). When the health inspector cam he asked me how I give meds. I told him I check the 5 rights, blah blah blah. And he said "then..."
me:" uh.. i give it to them...?"
him: well you are an emt you cant administer meds"
him: "here is how it officially works: you are supposed to check make sure its the right med, patient, etc. then you it it on the counter and let them open the bottle themselves and take"
so we are just observing them take it. that is how they get around it and can let EMT "give out meds"
BTW I thought he was gonna shut down the camp because I got that question wrong but he was really nice about it
Oct 17, '13
I interviewed at a camp where the meds were given by a "retired couple from Florida" as the camp director described it. He was pushing that as a selling point, because "you won't even have to touch the meds". So an EMT giving meds isn't the most horrifying thing I have heard. EMTs do receive the 5 Rs of medication administration and how to give MDIs as part of their training. I don't think an EMT functioning as a med tech is the worst thing, however it's not something I would have done when I was an EMT because of the scope of practice concerns. I think now as a nurse I can view these positions as a med tech who happen to be EMTs. Like all med techs they need proper supervision and training independent of whatever certifications the employee may hold. I don't think it's appropriate to have EMTs in the primary care or the unsupervised medication dispenser role. The education and training involved in this highly specialized profession is not designed to meet these roles.