Paramedic Vs Registered Nurse: knowledge - page 4

It seems that Most paramedics or at least many of the ones I have encountered feel they are more competent in knowledge and procedures when compared to RNs. I'm not trying to start a war here, but... Read More

  1. by   wlgoode
    As a former ALS -P / Helitack firefighter for the US Forest Service let me weigh in here. As going through the EMT training required for Paramedic training I did have some cursory training in Pharmacology. Then another 2 yrs of training for Paramedic training I had a 3 Credit Hour class in Pharmacology. Then in preceptorship and ALS training I learned additionally. Beta blockers slow the heart rate therefore the BP is lowered, Ace inhibitors were developed from snake venom and work in kidneys to inhibit Angiotensin-converting- enyme within the kidney's Renin-angiotension-system. Ace inhibitors work by relaxing blood vessels and slightly reduced plasma volume to reduce BP. This stuff I learned in Paramedic training over 35 years ago. I happened to look in the 2016 College Catalog of Eastern Arizona College which has both programs. Paramedic program is either Certificate or AAS. RN is AAS.
    Because regulations require EMT Cert. prior to P Cert. Combined education credit hours in Allied Health subjects for Paramedic Cert. is 48 Credit hours. Allied Health Credit hours for AAS as RN. is 36 Credit Hours.
  2. by   Mlee81
    Currently an EMT-B working in EMS for a local ambulance companies while attending nursing school. A couple of interesting points:

    1) BOTH Nurses and Paramedics are under "Standing Orders"/ Protocols. Both require verbal or written "orders" by a physician/HCP to execute OUTSIDE of those orders.

    So the entire concept of one working without orders while the other does is a fallacy.

    2) BOTH Nurses and Paramedics Assess, "Diagnose", Implement, and Evaluate. "Diagnose" in quotes meaning both are use their assessment knowledge in emergencies (WHICH IS EXACTLY THE SAME) to help determine an underlining cause to treat the symptoms STAT with the standing orders/protocols/Contact Medical Command/HCP allows. "Diagnose" is not referring to the actual "Medical Diagnosis" the HCP will designate post testing, etc.

    3) BOTH provide much of the same MEDICATIONS for these acute emergency situations on a daily basis. The RN; however, has a VASTLY INCREASED NUMBER of meds/routes, etc that they are responsible for.

    For skills that the Paramedic is expected to be much better than an RN include:

    1) ET intubation - The Physicians in the ER do this the majority of the time. Paramedics are responsible for this in the unit.

    2) Decompression - IBID

    3) Cricothyroidotomy - IBID

    ETC.. so Paramedics are more apt to do things in an EMERGENCY SITUATION that generally the ER Doc would be doing in the ER.

    This continues to be a HUGE issue because ultimately RNs get paid more than Paramedics. There will always be a urine shooting match to see who can shoot farther.

    There is very much an overlap. As one looking to obtain the RN as well as challenge the Medic test (allowed in my current state), I believe that would be MUCH EASIER (not saying it will be easy) to go that route than the other way around.

    I also have EXPERIENCE working in EMS. So for me the issue would be to simply focus and train on the few skills that nursing doesn't focus on.

    Paramedics are very strong in two systems primarily

    1) Cardiac
    2) Respiratory

    Which comprise at least over 80% of our calls. Endocrine for Diabetics mostly.
  3. by   Rocknurse
    This is an old thread but I'll weigh in here. I've never worked as a paramedic but I've done ACLS classes with them and found their knowledge to be very good. Paramedics are trained to do things that a nurse would never do, intubate, place IOs, etc. However, it depends what level nurse you are. As a CVICU nurse I would say that we do more and have a broader more in-depth knowledge because we look after very sick patients requiring skill with lots of different technology: IABP, hypothermia, Swan Ganz, CRRT etc. I'm ACLS trained and have a critical care certification, but I'm not the norm. You can compare paramedics and nurses all day long but there are many different kinds of nurses. A new grad nurse in LTC won't have the same knowledge or skill set as a senior experienced CVICU nurse. When I receive a patient in active MI from a paramedic they know their stuff and do a fantastic job. Paramedics on a flight crew will be some of the most knowledgeable people you'll come across. They're not to be confused with an EMT who don't have the same skill set. As someone mentioned, you can't really call one better than the other as the skillset is different. You can compare a brand new RN grad in home care to a veteran flight paramedic and say that the paramedic knows more, or you can compare the veteran ICU nurse to a brand new paramedic and the nurse will know more. Either way, a nurse or paramedic who has a thirst for knowledge and applies themselves to further their skills, is worth their weight in gold. Don't compare yourself to others or think you are better than someone else. Just concentrate on making yourself the best nurse or paramedic you can be. I've been in nursing for 28 years and I never stop learning.