Paramedicine continues to evolve at a rapid pace, with paramedics expanding their scope of practice and the range of care they provide across a growing set of practice settings. The last fifty years have seen local ambulance providers with minimal training grow into comprehensive and complex emergency medical systems. Paramedics now provide primary and advanced care in their traditional ambulance settings, but also support patient care in industry, at mass gatherings, in hospitals, care facilities, and community-based programs.
Paramedic education continues to evolve as well. SPEC members are actively engaged in advancing the profession at local and national levels. In the last several years, SPEC members have participated in:
- Research and development of the new national Canadian Paramedic Profile, Code of Ethics, and Practice Standards
- Drafting a national Educational Framework to support these documents
- Developing and supporting the Paramedic Association of Canada vision for paramedicine in 2025
- The executive committee and development of the Canadian EMS Research Network
- The project to develop national standards for Community Paramedicine
- A workshop co-sponsored with PAC to consider the impact on educators of Vision 2025 and the move towards baccalaureate education in paramedicine
In addition, SPEC members continue to collaborate and share information and resources on an ongoing basis.
This year marked the 9th Annual SPEC Educator’s Conference and AGM.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank those who attended, participated, and contributed to the 2016 SPEC Educators’ Conference and AGM. Educators and stakeholders from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia participated in a pre-conference workshop, co-sponsored by SPEC and the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC). Pierre Poirier and Chris Hood – respectively PAC’s Executive Director and President – provided a comprehensive update of trends in paramedicine at the national level and presented PAC’s Vision for 2025. Ron Bowles, president of SPEC, introduced participants to the new Canadian Paramedic Profile. Participants provided insight and feedback on these initiatives and gave valuable input on how to move them forward. The conference included keynote presentations from Dr. Ron Stewart on the history and opportunities for EMS in Canada and Mike McKeage on lessons to be learned from Rural and Remote paramedic practice. Michelle Henderson from EHS Nova Scotia described palliative care projects underway in Nova Scotia. Dr. Judah Goldstein presented on research on paramedic assessment of frailty. Jan Jensen, co-chair of the Canadian EMS Research Network (CERN) provided an overview of CERN and discussed opportunities for paramedic educators to engage in future research. Brad Reid from Medavie HealthEd discussed issues surrounding student competence and confidence. Dr. Ron Bowles, from Justice Institute of British Columbia presented research exploring the differing ways that instructors and preceptors provide feedback and encourage student learning. SPEC would like to thanks Medavie HealthEd for providing support for the conference, and Kathryn Fraser with Great Big Solutions for their ongoing support of SPEC and their contribution to this year’s events.