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An Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) is qualified to provide advanced life support care and works on an Advanced Life Support ambulance. Their scope of practice includes advanced patient assessment, cardiac rhythm interpretation, defibrillation, drug therapy and airway management. ACPs may also pursue other opportunities such as becoming a Critical Care Paramedic working as a flight medic.
Role in the Community
ACPs responds to emergency calls in various environments. They must provide an advanced level of care established by the medical director of the service. They work alongside other agencies such as the police and fire departments, and interact daily with hospital personnel.
A Typical Day
A typical day begins when you come in to relieve the last crew on duty. After a briefing from the crew you and your partner begin your vehicle and equipment check. No day is a typical day. Every call is different. You may respond to a shortness of breath that was actually an emotional patient who just needed to be calmed down. The next call could be to a high stress car crash with multiple trauma patients. Interactions with other health care professionals happen on a daily basis and teamwork is essential to patient care.
For a complete list of admission requirements, please see the Advanced Care Paramedic Program listing.
A paramedic’s work is physically and mentally demanding. The more physically fit you are, the better you will be able to handle the demands and stresses of the job. Lifting and moving equipment and patients in various environments are daily job functions. Fitness standards and physical assessments vary with different services. Some may require a mandatory fitness test as part of the employment prerequisites while other services may require a medical and physical assessment.
Program of Study
The ACP Program provides in-depth training in assessing, interpreting, and providing advanced life support to the critically ill or injured. This program may be completed in 18 months. Courses are delivered using a combination of independent study, classroom sessions at the Paramedic Academy, clinical sessions in hospital and on-ambulance time in metropolitan centers.
At the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS), the starting rate for regular, full-time ACP/ALS paramedics is $31.00 per hour. The BCAS wage range for ACP/ALS has a maximum hourly rate of $35.75. Source: BC Ambulance
Employers & Job Prospects
In British Columbia, ACPs are employed by the British Columbia Ambulance Service. ACP graduates can also explore opportunities in other provinces by checking the licensing requirements required by the particular service.
Last updated October 28, 2014