Basic Life Support Medic (BLSM)

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Other Vocational Titles
Ambulance Officer, Paramedic 1, Ambulance Volunteer, Ambulance Community Officer, Emergency Medical Technician (BLS)

Definition
A basic life support medic (BLSM) is an individual who has undertaken accredited training in emergency patient care to provide rapid access to clinical assessment, treatment and care in the out-of-hospital environment (particularly in rural and remote areas).

Education
Australia: Certificate IV in Health Care (Ambulance)

New Zealand: National Diploma in Ambulance Practice (level 5)

Operation
BLS Medics respond to, assess and manage patients in an emergency situation and facilitate either the attendance of a higher level of clinical response or transport the patient to a health facility for ongoing care.  The BLS Medic may also facilitate the transfer of patients between health facilities or a residence for which the patient is clinically suitable and there are no other suitable resources available to achieve this.

The BLS Medic is required to operate without direct supervision and perform a defined range of routine and non-routine clinical management strategies in the emergency patient intervention setting.

A BLSM is usually engaged by a statutory ambulance service, private paramedic service or a defence force and may operate in a variety of rural and remote, community, industrial, resource sector, defence or event/public gathering settings including disaster response.  Many of the volunteers operating in the Australian & New Zealand Paramedicine context are expected to achieve relevant competency and operate at this clinical level.

Typically these individuals are deployed as part of a two person crew and operate from an ambulance vehicle that is equipped with a stretcher and a range of clinical equipment.

The BLS Medic takes some responsibility for the work of others and the mentoring and support of student BLS Medics.

Scope of Practice

  • Australian Resuscitation Council –  Basic Life Support including use of Laryngeal Mask Airway
  • New Zealand Basic Life Support as defined by Ambulance Service Sector Standard 8156 & New Zealand National Clinical Guidelines
  • Use of Infection Control practices relevant to clinical environment
  • Attendance at and initial management of the full range of emergency callouts
  • Use of ECG monitor  and pulse oximetry
  • Use of an automated external defibrillator
  • Emergency Management of Cardiac Arrest
  • Administration of a limited range of medications according to protocol to assist with the management of asthma, anaphylaxis, burns, narcotic overdose, chest pain, ACPO, hypoglycaemia, pain control & seizures
  • Mental Health Crisis Intervention
  • Management of patients across the lifespan including emergency childbirth (uncomplicated)
  • Ongoing Management of Intravenous Infusions
  • Spinal Stabilisation
  • Use of stretchers and patient movement devices
  • Emergency triage
  • Emergency driving