In today’s micro-lecture, Australian Paramedical College Hon. Snr. Lecturer Sam Willis talks about the training scope of practice.
Today we’re going to talk about the scope of practice. The scope of practice is something that you will read about and hear about time and time again within your readings, within your courses and particularly when you qualify and become a paramedic who is registered with AHPRA. Let’s talk about what a scope of practice is, and try and relate this to paramedic practice, at the stages that you’re at. Now, a scope of practice really is a set of guidelines, or clinical practices that you’re allowed to undertake while working with a certain clinical provider.
I’ve said clinical provider. Now, when you come to the college, and you’re learning all the different things that we’re teaching you, how to mobilise somebody, the drugs that we’re using, that’s a simulated educational scope of practice. But we have to give you some kind of scope of practice while you’re working in that environment, and the scope of practice that the colleges gives you is very similar to the scope of practice that your likely to see out in clinical practice working with the jurisdictional ambulance service, or a private provider, so they’re not massively different.
The thing that is different is let’s say for example the college teaches you how to do manual defibrillation, how to cannulate and how to give intermuscular injections, but then you qualify with a diploma and your new employers says to you, “No, no, no, you’re not able to use cannulation,” and you’re left asking, “Well, why not?” Well, the reason why not is because your employer is the one who carries the responsibility and has the scope of practice on their record. So in other words, it’s your employer who gives you a clinical scope of practice and not the college. The college takes a wide range of information and experiences to deliver the curriculum that’s laid down by the regulator, we deliver that curriculum, then it’s up to your employer, your new employer, to determine what your scope of practice is.
The college doesn’t give you the scope of practice. The other thing that you will find interesting is that let’s say you work for a Victorian ambulance, versus Queensland ambulance, versus New South Wales ambulance, they will all have slightly different scopes of practice. Of course, even regulation, when the registration that’s recently occurred, that’s not designed to take absolute control over scope of practice. It’s designed to keep the public safe. For example, you might still be able to go and work for Ambulance Victoria when you’ve fulfilled their criteria, and you’ll be able to do, I don’t know, let’s say cannulation again as a simple example, and then you go somewhere else and they don’t allow you to do it.
That’s a scope of practice. What you’ll notice, in all the documents that you read, particularly in the registration documents is, it will say to you, “You must act within your scope of practice.” In other words, don’t do anything that you have not been trained to do. That’s what will make you say if you’re acting within your scope. Okay guys, that’s a micro lecture on scope of practice.
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