Teaching ALS Providers About the Healthcare System

medcu-for-emtreviewSMIt has been 50 years since the EMS White Paper was released. In that short time, EMS has transcended early expectations of trauma-focused service into an EMS system that has strong roots in healthcare.

Whether it is Medicare, private insurance or Mobile Integrated Healthcare, EMS providers and systems are more deeply intertwined with the federal government and insurers. Consider the following situations:

  • A patient has an extremity fracture. The paramedic tells the patient she wants to start an IV and provide analgesia. The patient asks how much it will cost. They have a high deductible and must pay out of pocket.
  • A patient’s HMO requires him to be transported to a specific hospital. This may extend the call significantly or not provide the patient with the care they need for their condition.
  • A patient wants to be transported to an urgent care facility instead of a hospital because their insurance will pay for everything there minus their small deductible.

The medical-legal-ethical scenarios we used to give our students were simple and straightforward situations regarding refusal or negligence. The issues our current students will face are nothing like the relatively simple issues of old.

Limmer Creative provides high quality review and study material to students—and helps educators prepare these students with our Dynamic Learning Exercises available with the FREE Educator account at EMTreview.com. In addition to our full series of BLS exercises, we are launching our ALS series with our ALS Introduction to Healthcare exercise. In it we ask students to explore some of these patient care and system-wide issues they are likely to face on the street. This exercise has implications for the EMS system as well as clinical decision-making and can be used as early as the first day of class. Use them as individual exercises or as group activities—in or outside of class.

We will continue to post our ALS Dynamic Learning Exercises throughout the academic year. You can find our first exercise here. Please let us know how you use it in your classroom.