Intensive Care Paramedic (ICP)

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Other Vocational Titles
Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) Paramedic, Clinical Manager (Royal Australian Navy), Intensive Care Paramedic (ALS), Level 5 Paramedic

Other Roles Using This Level of Practice (+additional specialist training)

Rescue Paramedic, Special Casualty Access Team Paramedic, Underwater Medic (Royal Australian Navy and Australian Army)

Definition
An Intensive Care Paramedic is an advanced clinical practitioner in Paramedicine who provides medical assessment, treatment and care in the out-of-hospital environment for acutely unwell patients with significant illness or injury.

Education
Pre-requisite: Paramedic (with postgraduate experience)

Post Graduate Study e.g. Graduate Diploma (ICP) or Masters (ICP) and completion of an internship program.

The Advanced Diploma of Paramedical Science (Ambulance) is still used in some Australian locations as the entry qualification for this level.

New Zealandcurrently requires either an industrial training qualification or a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Paramedic Practice. New Zealand Defence Force currently uses a Level 6 Graduate Diploma in Health Science to achieve this level.

Operation
ICPs respond to patients experiencing an acute, life threatening emergency. They provide rapid and specialist clinical assessment by implementing a targeted management plan for patients with significant alteration or challenge to normal homeostatic function.  Whilst this role is tasked with providing clinical oversight during the management of these cases all patient care is undertaken in collaborative context with other paramedic staff or health care professionals in attendance.

The ICP is required to make rapid, often complex and critical clinical judgements without direct supervision.  Individuals are responsible for their own continuing professional development which may be supplemented by employer-provided training.

An ICP is usually engaged by a statutory ambulance service, private paramedic service or defence force and may operate in a variety of community, industrial, resource sector, defence or event/public gathering settings including disaster response.

This professional may be deployed as part of a two-person crew operating in an ambulance equipped with a stretcher and specialist clinical equipment or may practice as a single operator from a purpose-designed response vehicle (typically a marked station wagon).

Defence force ICP’s deliver out-of-hospital care as solo practitioners and in team environments alongside other health professionals or a merger of specialties. ICP’s engaged in defence forces provide health care to support and maintain the health and well being of defence force/allied personnel and civilians in times of conflict, disaster or peacetime.  This may include the delivery of health care within austere environments and on/in a variety of platforms such as on land (on foot or in-vehicle), aerospace or on ships. They may attend in situations ranging from a controlled environment through to routine and emergency medical management where a paramedical response is required.

The ICP may take professional responsibility for the mentoring and support of paramedics, developing ICP’s, paramedics and students.

Scope of Practice

  • Includes paramedic scope of practice
  • Australian Resuscitation Council – Advanced Life Support
  • New Zealand Advanced Life Support as defined by Ambulance Service Sector Standard 8156 & New Zealand National Clinical Guidelines
  • Advanced airway management (including medication facilitated intubation in some jurisdictions)
  • Intra-osseous access
  • External cardiac pacing and synchronised cardioversion
  • Advanced clinical management of pain, ACS and cardiac dysrthymias including cardiac arrest, trauma and abnormalities of ventilation
  • Use of an expanded range of medications relevant to the role