Level II Paramedic Training
This program increases level I paramedics’ knowledge and skills base to prepare them to work with level II paramedic providers. It involves 192 hours in-class didactic, 72 hours at a clinical site and a minimum 156 hours of supervised internship with a level III paramedic and preceptor.
At the completion of this program, the level II paramedic has an extended knowledge base in pathophysiology and advanced patient care. This paramedic is also able to perform all skills and administer all drugs normally given by level I paramedics as well as: interpret 3-lead electrocardiograms, start intravenous lines, prepare drugs for intravenous administration, and electrically convert specific life-threatening heart rhythms. There are currently 181 level II paramedics working for Toronto Paramedic Services.
Level III Paramedic Training
The level II paramedic program was designed to satisfy the required expansion of advanced paramedic patient care in Toronto, while respecting the economic constraints faced by Toronto Paramedic Services and the City of Toronto. The first level II to level III paramedic upgrade program began in late 1995. By September, 1997, forty-eight level II paramedics had participated in the program. This program required the level II paramedic to complete another 144 hours of classroom instruction, 160 hours clinical hospital instruction, and a minimum 288 hours internship with another level III paramedic and preceptor. Although the level III paramedic has added skills, such as intubation, needle thoracostomy, drug administration and others, the education of the level III paramedic focuses on the added responsibility of being the critical decision maker and problem solver in the care of the patient. There are currently 241 level III paramedics working for Toronto Paramedic Services.
The Driver Education section is responsible for completing driver’s license abstract reviews, accident review and in-vehicle driver education. In addition to these programs, driver education provides internal services for licence renewals, licence upgrades and driving awards.
Advanced Life Support Educator Program
The Paramedic Services Education and Development Unit’s increased involvement in advanced paramedic education, both internal and external, required an increase in its number of instructors. Currently there are eighteen staff involved in advanced paramedic education with titles of Senior Faculty, Faculty or Field Training Officer. After a challenging selection process, paramedics are selected to participate in an intensive three-week paramedic educator program. Upon completion, the new instructors are required to provide instruction in a level II or level III paramedic class alongside an experienced instructor, before taking responsibility for a class themselves.
Preceptor Training Program
One of the most important components of the level II and level III paramedic training programs is preceptorship (internship). Experienced level II and level III paramedics participate in an eight-hour preceptorship training workshop. These workshops train paramedics in adult education principles, student observation skills, program documentation and in the program’s expected learning outcomes. When completed, the level III paramedic is able to take a level II or III paramedic student. This workshop is also offered to level I paramedics wishing to precept a college paramedic student.