Pros And Cons Of Technicians And A & E Support

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Stan Dixon February 2012 In these times of economic austerity, the Paramedic may be a luxury we can’t afford. Technicians and A&E support are effective and cheaper. Discuss this statement using evidence from the literature. The current economic downturn has forced cuts in public services which, for many years, have been taken for granted. As the country struggles to regain control over its finances, is it right to consider paramedics a luxury which can be replaced by less costly emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and A&E Support? Comparing services provided against savings that could be made, I will consider whether there is a case for diluting the medical expertise patients receive when emergency…show more content…
(Department of Health (DOH), 2010). These changes are to occur in a period of financial constraint, with the aim of reducing bureaucracy and empowering front line clinicians. (DOH, 2010). The proposal to use EMTs and A&E support ignores current inefficiencies in the way patients are treated. EMTs, trained in basic and advanced life support, deal with a range of life threatening illnesses and injuries and can administer a range of drugs. (London Ambulance Service, 2012). Basic pay for a Band 4 EMT is £18,402 to £21,798 per annum (Agenda for Change pay scales, 2011). A&E support deal with non life threatening illnesses and injuries. Training includes basic clinical skills, lifting techniques and driving. The idea is to free up paramedic and technician crews for the more serious calls. (Dan Ahmed, 2008). Basic pay for A&E support, Band 3, is £15,860 to £18,827 per annum. (Agenda for Change pay scales,…show more content…
Death rates at major trauma centres are 25% less than those at local hospitals, (MacKenzie et al, 2006). Although journey time to a specialist centre can be longer, paramedics can provide advanced airway management, intravenous access and needle chest decompression for those patients in imminent danger of permanent disability or death. In these cases the paramedic is essential and cannot be seen as a luxury. Based on the evidence I have presented, the paramedic is essential to a successful Stan Dixon February 2012 ambulance service, providing appropriate care to those who use the service. As I have shown, other ambulance services such as East Midlands and South Central currently deploy ECAs working alongside qualified clinicians (paramedics/technicians) and this could be argued to be the way forward. However, in considering the extended skills and knowledge of the paramedic over the technician, it could also be argued that savings could be made by removing technicians altogether. This process appears to have already started, as EMTs are being phased out across the service. Stan Dixon February 2012

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