COVID-19 FAQS (UPDATED MARCH 30)
In support of COVID-19 response efforts, the government has opened an online portal for Albertans seeking to offer their products or services, including, but not limited to:
- Human resources, like volunteers and paid personnel.
- Personal protective equipment, like face masks.
- Food, water and lodging (hotels, motels and churches).
- General supplies such as fuel, blankets and pet supplies.
- Telecommunications products or services.
- Equipment such as generators, forklifts, lighting and signage.
- Service offers such as child care, consulting and pet care.
- Transportation, such as passenger vans, buses and aircrafts.
Those seeking to offer their support can do so at www.alberta.ca/covid19offersprogram.
If you are a regulated PCP or ACP, section 16(2)(c)(i) of the Paramedic Professions Regulation permits you “to insert or remove instruments or devices beyond the pharynx.” This would include the insertion of a swab into the nasal pharynx for the purposes of testing. As with any restricted activity, it is each member’s responsibility to ensure they have received the proper training and are competent to perform this procedure. PCP and ACP practitioners can refresh their training on nasal swabbing through Alberta Health Services (PROV LAB); or if you are not an employee of Alberta Health services, you can also access this training free-of-charge through the Alberta Paramedics Association website here: https://albertaparamedics.ca/covid-19/?v=707f3a40153b.
The regulation does NOT permit EMRs to perform this procedure for the purposes of testing. The College is working closely with government to determine if there is a need and a method to temporarily revise this restriction and will advise members appropriately of their decision.
This is an unprecedented time for all regulators and we are already consulting with government and other colleges on how best to move forward on a number of regulatory requirements, including how to reasonably manage continuing competence, without compromising safety.
We don’t know how long the pandemic will last and our goal is to make the best, informed decisions possible – as continuing competence is an important way all healthcare providers maintain currency of knowledge in practice.
We continue to discuss appropriate revisions to this year’s requirements and decisions will be immediately communicated directly to all regulated members.
We encourage you to focus on staying safe and healthy, and continuing to provide excellent care to Albertans during this time. Thank you for your patience and trust as we work diligently to determine next steps. Please continue to check your email and the COVID-19 web page for the most up to date information.
Any practitioner who meets registration requirements at any of the three designations (EMR, PCP, ACP) may apply – free of charge – for a three-month courtesy license. This license can be extended to six months if we are still experiencing a need for additional healthcare providers.
If you are recently retired or recently left the profession and want to help out, please contact registration@ABparamedics.com to discuss your eligibility for the courtesy register.
We are automatically extending all provisional registrations by six months to help facilitate the reschedule of any cancelled exam.
At this time, the College has had to cancel the March 27-29 and May 8-10 Provincial Registration Examinations.
At this point we’re looking at all the options for getting everyone through the exam in a timely fashion, and will absolutely communicate to you once we’ve been able to arrange the resources and alternates with the different venues and all the individuals necessary to deliver the exam.
We are working with educators to help navigate the issues of cancelled classes, practicums and volunteer opportunities. This is an unprecedented situation and we are working through this as quickly as possible. Your educators will receive information as it is available and will communicate with you. Please also watch this web page for updates.
I know during this unprecedented time that many of you are all dealing with difficult, and possibly overwhelming, circumstances due to the escalation of the pandemic in our province and as a result of the decisions that have had to be made to keep Albertans as safe as possible.
Be assured, all operations of the College will be maintained; however, a remote work facilitation has been implemented for our staff. At this time, the College is not accepting outside visitors to the office and requests everyone communicate through email and telephone during this unprecedented time.
Additionally, the College is in the process of cancelling the March 27-29 Provincial Registration Examination. All those who are scheduled to write this exam will be notified and those who are provisionally licensed will automatically receive a six-month extension to help facilitate a reschedule.
You are out there every day providing care as frontline workers and are among the provinces greatest assets. There is immense pressure on health care workers and the health care system that already feels spread thin most times. There is no doubt paramedics will rise to the occasion and the call to service – it is what we do. Inside of this and in those quiet moments I implore you to ensure you are taking all precautions you are able to that will help ensure your own safety and wellbeing. What that means is different to all of us, I stumbled upon this resource www.tenpercent.com and their “Corona Virus Sanity guide” it’s the practice of mindfulness, the reviews are good and the following is strong, further to that they offer free access to healthcare workers. There are a number of government provided resources available to assist if you find yourself or your loved ones affected by the virus. If you require assistance, please visit: www.alberta.ca/coronavirus.
As the situation unfolds, the College will continue to communicate through emails, telephone, the website and social media platforms. We will continue to work to answer all of your questions and concerns as best we can.
Stay healthy and safe,