PCP Programs – details

PCP (Primary Care Paramedic) Program

Primary Care Paramedic

Program Overview

The Professional Medical Associates’ Primary Care Paramedic Program has been specifically designed to address the needs of EMRs looking to upgrade. Those completing this program would be eligible for registration as Primary Care Paramedics with the Alberta College of Paramedics. The course is based as a completer program, so many of the components previously addressed in our EMR course will be briefly reviewed to ensure retention without constant repetition. The course also includes the information required to cover the latest scope of practice for PCP personnel. This includes material presently in Schedule 18 of the Health Professions Act, as well as the new Alberta Competency Profile from the Alberta College of Paramedics and the National Occupational Competency Profile of the Paramedic Association of Canada at the Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) level.

Those enrolling in the program must have completed the Emergency Medical Responder (or FMR) program. The focus of the completion program is on the assessment of the patient – strategies to assess particular portions of the body rather than rote memorization of phrases and the ability to assimilate information. Competency for entrants is assessed by completion of a practical scenario at the EMR level, and the successful completion of the selection process.

The last few years has seen unprecedented changes in the fields of health care and post-secondary education. In both areas, funding has been reduced, and funds available must be used more efficiently than ever before. Coupled with this, are new needs that are developing. One of the most obvious is in the area of local hospital access. Many of the smaller communities have had the number of acute beds reduced, and this will be addressed, in part, by increasing the availability of ambulance service in the community. EMR personnel are not sufficient in some communities, which considering the transport times, or even availability of an ambulance within a short period of time.

The goal of this course is to provide the PCP with the skills, knowledge and confidence to appropriately manage various traumatic and medical emergencies. The course also offers the opportunity to become registered health care practitioners as members of the Alberta College of Paramedics. The benefit for potential students is that they are eligible for registration as an PCP, and can benefit from ongoing continuing education. Provision of educational opportunities such as PCP in the rural communities of Alberta will also address many of the problems and concerns that may result from closures of local emergency facilities. In addition, there will be an increase in the frequency of inter-facility transfers and the need for advanced skills of the PCP to appropriately and safely transfer patients to higher levels of care.

The program will be presented through a delivery model appropriate to the needs of the adult learner. This includes lecture and practical sessions, supplemental interactive multi-media presentations and home-study and review packages. We also offer online resources allowing students to access reference information and assignments. This increases communication between instructors and students, and allow for ongoing continuing education to maintain proficiency.

Applicants must possess and submit:
•A program application form with current information, required documentation, and program selection and assessment fee,
•Current resume and letters of recommendation from either Medical Director and/or employer, and
•Certification of completion for Health Care Provider CPR within the last year.
• The selection focuses on the applicant’s ability to succeed based on current and past work and educational experience. Applicants will be notified of selection process designed to identify suitable students.

Program Delivery
The program is centered around assessment based management of the patient, with the course divided and presented in terms of body systems. The delivery model allows the student to integrate various assessment and management modalities to present an overall treatment plan. The program is delivered in a series of comprehensive lecture and practical sessions on a rotational basis. The goal of the program is to allow EMR practitioners to attain employment at the BLS level, while maintaining current employment and building on existing knowledge. The didactic portion of the program is presented over a period of 4 months. Practical experience and lab practice forms an integral portion of the didactic portion and allow the student to gain a high level of competence and confidence in their ability to assess and manage the patient. The didactic portion is followed by an extensive hospital and ambulance practicum. The practicums allow the students to put their knowledge and experience to work, while allowing further learning.

Post Graduate Affiliation
Graduates are eligible to complete the Provincial registry examination process and apply for registration with the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP).

Fees and Expenses
Tuition fee (2023/2024): $10,450 to $10,950. Program fees for the program include all associated certification fees (Fundamentals of Airway Management, PHTLS, PEARS, GEMS, etc.) through the program, as well as all books, study manuals, learning assessments and assignments necessary for the successful completion of the program. Depending on placement for clinical rotations, additional costs for travel and lodging may apply in addition to costs for uniform for practicum.

See selection process details.