January 30 2018
Kelly Johnston, Senior Communications Specialist
Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
2500 University Dr. NW
Re: Stroke Poster
Dear Kelly Johnston:
We have a few concerns and a lot of excitement regarding poster in the Calgary Airport featuring a program that, we understand, includes your involvement. The “How do we increase the chances of walking away from a stroke?” poster outlines a significant study that would be of great value to our profession.
The Alberta Paramedic Association (APA), is a representative society working throughout this province in an organized and strategic manner to enhance the skills, knowledge and wellness of the practitioners, while promoting an understanding of the profession to the public.
With consideration to the advocacy aspect of our role, we were greatly disappointed to have our profession relegated to being “ambulance drivers” on the University of Calgary poster. Each member of our profession has worked hard to develop an expertise and skill set dedicated to the health care profession. In addition, they make extended daily sacrifices– time away from their families and impacts on their lifestyles – to perform this essential work on extreme schedules. To imply the entire skillset is based on “driving” is extremely derogatory and diminishes the profession. We would be more than happy to publicize an apology to those in the profession regarding this misnomer, as the poster has recently been published on Facebook and significant displeasure is being generated.
Despite, the downgrading of our profession within the study information, it is recognized the value results of such learnings can have across the health industry in the province. Having identified the role of paramedics within the prognosis of those who suffer a stroke demonstrates a potential change or improvement to our practice. In the future, the Association would be supportive of working with organizers of such academic initiatives where it has implications on the paramedic profession. Be it for language verification or support of research criteria.
While we appreciate the intent of the poster and the study, it was a significant misstep to refer to those in the paramedic profession as “ambulance drivers” and we hope you will see the benefit of respecting the profession with a removal of the poster and a public apology.
If we as an Association can be of assistance in this or other matters related to our profession, we hope you will reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or 780-904-3619 and perhaps, such inadvertent misunderstandings can be avoided in the future.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Dusty Myshrall, ACP, Flight Paramedic
December 13 2017
Re: Professional Liability Insurance Clarification
The Alberta Paramedic Association (APA) is an independent, representative organization of its members with an aim of implementing programs and services that improve the lives of paramedics in Alberta. This includes paramedics having a choice in insurance providers. The Association has worked diligently to introduce an alternative professional liability insurance option to provide balance and reduce premiums, or at least prevent rising premiums, in the liability insurance market. We have also worked to ensure practitioners have information to understand this relatively new requirement.
However, an article published by Marsh and disseminated by the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC) in the latest edition of Canadian Paramedicine magazine, misinforms practitioners about their options, failing to accurately report the facts. The APA wants to ensure you have the necessary clarity to support your professional liability insurance decisions.
- While the article stated the cost of insurance through the APA is $75 plus tax, it is actually a APA membership that has a $75 value, including the tax and professional liability insurance that has been designed around the specific needs of practitioners in this province.
- The article also noted that insurance through Marsh has a cost of $59, but failed to mention it is only available to members of PAC, which is a mandated requirement by the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP), at a cost of $17 per year and included as part of the required annual registration fee charged by ACP.
- Additionally, this article fails to bring to light the fact that Marsh insurance does not provide coverage for the timeframe prior to a practitioner’s departure from the profession. It has been established that even if a practitioner pays for professional liability insurance through Marsh, once they leave practice, don’t renew or take a leave of absence, that entire coverage period is void.
Having heard so many concerns from practitioners regarding liability insurance, it is important to the Alberta Paramedic Association that you have the right information available. Please reach out and let us know if you have other questions or concerns relative to the requirement for professional liability insurance. Further details regarding insurance can be found on our website - www.albertaparamedics.ca.
Dusty Myshrall, ACP, Flight Paramedic
In September, Alberta Paramedic Association volunteers could be found set up at a booth in the halls of the University of Alberta interacting with hundreds of Health Sciences degree students. These future Doctors, Nurses, Lab tech's, Occupational therapists, and more, learned about the job of a paramedic both on and off the road. The students were surprised by how independantly paramedics work and the expansive scope of practice!
Big Thank You! To Paramedic Cheryl Cameron for your continued dedication to this important initiative.
Want to be the next volunteer to give a voice to your profession? Go to 'Contact us' Now!!
This is the time of year for reflection. A time to consider where we have been and where we want to go.
The Alberta Paramedic Association Executive have spent the past several months not only reflecting but restructuring to establish an organization that can uphold the paramedic profession and provide for the.
The first years as an Association were spent listening to practitioners and members, hearing the frustrations and learning about the gaps that impact our ability to practice.
Initiatives were started, and many are ready for implementation, such as expansion of the mental health registry, education workshops and various fundraisors. However, changes within the profession, such as the transition to the Health Professions Act and the new requirements it brings, have brought other concerns and needs with them.
Hearing the challenges practitioners face with needing personal and professional liability insurance under the new legislation, the APA has arranged a liability insurance policy tailored specifically for all its members.
It was also made clear to the Alberta Paramedic Association that practitioners throughout the province didn’t feel represented and regional concerns were not being addressed. Part of the new structure includes volunteer delegates from all regions of the province to bring concerns to the Association which can advocate on their behalf or work with partners in the profession to develop the needed resources or programs, much like we did to provide support for those dealing with PTSD.
The Association is committed to hearing from practitioners and working to support them. So, in addition to delegates across Alberta, we have created a new website that provides several ways for practitioners to engage with us and share concerns that we can work collectively to lessen.
These are just some of the initiatives that have been or will be implemented in upcoming weeks to serve our members.
The APA is a collaboration of paramedics from throughout the province working in an organized and strategic manner to provide the supports the profession needs and advocate for the needs of the practitioners.
It was created by paramedics for paramedics, to which it remains dedicated. It is dedicated to you.
An important point that was brought to the APA board of director's attention during strategic planning was the lack of unified paramedic voice regarding entry to practice education.
Until the formation of the APA there was no way for Alberta's paramedics to communicate with schools in a meaningful and impactful way about entry to practice education. Concurrently, there is no format for schools to unify their voice with the voice of Paramedics to provide a strong meaningful collective voice to government and regulators on education items.
On May 29th 2017, the Alberta Paramedic Association had it's inaugural metting of the Collaborative Education Committee (CEC). Schools in attendance included NAIT, SAIT, Portage, and MHC. This committee is designed to unite educators voice in one room and bring the paramedic voice to that group. Due to this committee being rooted in the association, it allows for free open idea sharing and problem solving as well as a forum to provide feedback to numerous stakeholders by invitation to the group meetings.