As you may already know, the Standards of Practice set out the minimum standards in the provision of paramedic services. Each regulated member is required to understand and comply with these Standards, but how does this translate in the day-to-day work of EMRs, PCPs, and ACPs?
In an effort to help regulated members understand and apply the Standards to real life situations, we will be sharing scenarios that give context to the Standards and ideas on how to implement this into practice.
The following scenarios will attempt to address Duty to Report and unprofessional conduct issues:
1.3 Duty to Report
A regulated member is expected to demonstrate professionalism by advocating on behalf of the patient and the paramedic profession by identifying and reporting concerns related to patient care to the appropriate regulatory body. In these circumstances:
Within the paramedic profession, a regulated member must report another regulated member to the College’s Complaints Director when the first regulated member believes, on reasonable grounds, that the conduct of the second regulated member places patients at risk or could be considered unprofessional conduct.
Within the larger regulated healthcare environment, a regulated member must report another healthcare provider to the appropriate college’s Complaints Director when the regulated member believes, on reasonable grounds, that the conduct of the other healthcare provider places patients at risk or could be considered unprofessional conduct.
Tiffany and Joe have been partners for two months and Joe is always late for work. This has resulted in the off-going crew incurring additional overtime and is creating a rift in the working relationship between the two EMS crews. Tiffany is fed up with Joe’s behavior and has tried talking to him about this, but he was dismissive and continues to arrive late for his shift.
Tiffany should follow employer protocol to address Joe’s behavior and poor performance. Although Joe is being disrespectful to his coworkers, his behavior does not constitute unprofessional conduct.
Joe and Tiffany are doing a non-urgent patient transport from Banff to Calgary. Tiffany is in the back with the patient and Joe is driving. During the trip, Tiffany notices that Joe is constantly hitting the roadside rumble strips and when they pull into the hospital ambulance bay, Joe strikes the curb while attempting to park. After they transfer care, Tiffany finds a half empty bottle of alcohol hanging out of Joe’s duty bag. Tiffany confronts Joe and he admits to having “a few sips to calm his nerves” during the transfer.
Tiffany should immediately report this to her employer and the College. Joe’s behavior puts both the patient and his partner at risk and Tiffany has a duty to report as she certainly has reasonable grounds to believe that Joe’s actions would be considered unprofessional conduct.