ER RNs vs. Paramedics

  1. Hey ya'll

    I need your help/input. My obnoxious little brother is going to school to be a paramedic and was telling me that paramedics can do more than RNs and that they might as well staff ERs with Paramedics!!! :angryfire :angryfire
    Now I am sure that there must be some excellent arguments out there against that statement, I'm just not sure what they are.:angryfire

    I have been reading in the archives here, and I know now that there are certain procedures that Paramedics can do in the field that RNs can't in the ER. But if Paramedics work in an ER, they can't perform those procedures can they?? Like starting a central line or intubating?

    Please, please help me put him in his place already!!! I love my bro, but he is so cocky and arrogant!!:angryfire


    thanx, Les
    Last edit by leslieanne on Oct 11, '05
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   flashpoint
    Please don't refer to paramedics as PMs...is isn't common practice or a common abbreviation.

    There are a lot of skills that a paramedic can do that an RN cannot...it varies from state to state..here, some of the skills are intubation, needle decompression, needle cric, pronouncing death, and a lot of others...

    Either way, it doesn't make an RN any better than a paramedic or a paramedic any better than an RN. Paramedics are very helpful in an ER situation...they have a lot of skills and a lot of training specific to emergencies. However, as we all know, most of what is seen in the ER isn't really an emergency...an to be quite honest, a lot of us don't deal with the non-emergent things nearly as well as an RN would. Paramedics are not taught the nursing process...they are taught very little about therapeutic touch, pharmacology not specific to emergency medications, and a ton of other things.

    Be nice to your brother...talk to him about the advantages and disadvantages to being a paramedic or an RN...but be nice about it...there is no need to stoop to his level and "put him in his place"...someday a lowly paramedic just might save your life!
  4. by   neneRN
    The answers here are going to vary by state and facility, but here's how it is where I am: Paramedics can do much more out in the field, however, in the ER, paramedics cannot do everything that they do pre-hospital. Our medics in the ER can start lines, do EKGs, triage, VS, splints, foleys, CPR, defibrillation, and transport monitored pts. They cannot intubate and cannot give any medications. They cannot take verbal orders or telephone orders except for labs, X rays, CTs, etc. The medics earn much less than the RN in the hospital setting as well.
  5. by   robfall
    Hi; this sort of attitude is common for new paramedics; it's a function of the technical & procedural emphasis of EMS training. A few years of street experience will usually cure it; the best reply is a knowing smile and nod of the head.
    You might remind him that nursing and paramedicine have different focuses and goals. Also, from a 25+ year paramedic; this quite annoying for us to when the new guys act this way!!!
  6. by   leslieanne
    Cotjockey,

    I've edited out the PMs in my post, I believe that I saw the abbreviation used in another thread, and assumed that it was ok. Besides, I was feeling lazy about typing that big long word!! :uhoh21:

    I'm afraid that I worded my post a bit harshly in the hopes of generating a response, I hope you don't hold it against me.

    Thankyou for your response, I appreciate getting any and all points of view on the matter.

    les
  7. by   robfall
    Don't worry about it; paramedics have a wide variety of names or abbreviations (EMT-P, MICP, PM, etc). Which is used depends on location and local practice. Also, you can point out to your brother that nurses don't have to work out in the weather!
  8. by   grannynurse FNP student
    Quote from robfall
    Don't worry about it; paramedics have a wide variety of names or abbreviations (EMT-P, MICP, PM, etc). Which is used depends on location and local practice. Also, you can point out to your brother that nurses don't have to work out in the weather!
    And with a large number of rescue squads, we don't have to go into smokey buildings.:hatparty:

    Grannynurse
  9. by   traumaRUs
    I am a pre-hospital RN in Illinois and volunteer on my rural EMS/fire dept. I do go into the smoky buildings and certainly get dirty. In the ER, as a case manager, I stay (relatively) clean but I still do what needs to be done (ie deal with the drunks, the incontinent, etc).. The roles of paramedics and RN's can be debated (and has been) ad nauseum. They are both contributing members of the emergency team - vital links in obtaining medical care. Good luck.

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