What is an Intensive/Critical Care Paramedic?
Intensive/Critical Care Paramedics or Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance Paramedics are commonly referred to as IC/CC or MICA Paramedics are these highly skilled emergency medical professionals who are highly trained to perform advanced medical procedures that go well beyond that general scope of practice of most paramedics.
Often thrust into situations that require extremely complex life-saving procedures, IC/CC and MICA paramedics possess the superior training and expertise to perform such procedures with precision. In many ways they are the ‘Navy Seals’ of the medical profession – highly trained and good at what they do.
For instance, there would have been a number of Intensive Care Paramedics working alongside search and rescue teams at the Thredbo Landslide of 1997. This natural disaster gripped the nation of Australia as paramedics and rescue workers spent days searching among the rubble in the NSW ski resort. Their fine, courageous efforts were rewarded with the heroic rescue of lone survivor Stuart Diver, three days after Australia’s worst landslide occurred.
It is stories like this that further underlines the need for IC/CC and MICA Paramedics to receive further university education, such as the recommended post-graduate Diploma in Intensive Care Paramedics, before they can practice.
Before you can even consider these roles, a Bachelor of Paramedic Science s required. This can be studied at various universities around Australia. After a few years on-road experience as a paramedic, it is time to consider further training in intensive care methodologies.
See some of the universities offering intensive, critical care education.
The Graduate Diploma in Intensive Care Paramedic Studies aims to:
- enable paramedics to acquire knowledge, attitudes and values relevant to the provision of intensive care treatment in the pre-hospital environment
- provide opportunities for the personal and professional development of paramedics involved in the delivery of high acuity patient care in the pre-hospital environment
- provide foundations of professional development covering the wider aspects of emergency clinical care in the prehospital environment
- develop the critical thinking necessary to provide evidence-based judgement in the field of pre-hospital emergency clinical care.
The Graduate Diploma Paramedic Science (Critical Care Practice) allows you to operate in the increasingly complex environment faced by paramedics on a daily basis. If you are currently an Intensive Care Paramedic holding a previous Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification and wish to deepen your knowledge or are an Advanced Care Paramedic who wishes to practice as a Critical Care Paramedic (or state equivalent), this qualification provides a pathway for you to do so.
Designed to provide the paramedic with the necessary knowledge and skills for a career in critical care.
The course focuses on the clinical issues directly related to practice, and develops a greater depth of understanding to enhance clinical decision-making and critical thinking. Students will learn advanced-level clinical knowledge to apply to their daily paramedical practice, while at the same time learning advanced skills in evidence-based practice and research.
The combination of advanced clinical knowledge and applied research knowledge and skills provides students with the ability to continuously improve their own clinical practice, as well as impact on the organisation they are employed by and the broader Paramedicine community.
Monash university postgraduate diploma emergency health (WA)
This course is designed to provide students the necessary education and training for the specialist intensive care paramedic role including advanced clinical skills, leadership and decision making in order for graduates to provide the highest level of pre-hospital paramedic care in the world. Graduates of the Graduate Diploma of Emergency Health (Intensive Care Paramedic) may be eligible for employment as Intensive Care Paramedics or be engaged in clinical leadership, management or training roles within the emergency health services.
Education for Intensive Care Paramedics
Graduate and postgraduate training and education includes a more detailed study of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology. As a result, Intensive/Critical Care and MICA paramedics are equipped with superior training, enabling them to make difficult and complicated clinical decisions without additional medical consultation.
A list of the advanced life-support procedures that Intensive Care Paramedics are trained to perform in addition to all other procedures found in the clinical practice guidelines, include:
- Advanced airway management, including endotracheal intubation
- Complex management of patients with head injuries, including rapid sequence intubation
- Insert intra osseous (into bone) cannula for advanced drug and fluid administration in pediatric patients
- Treat life threatening chest injuries including pneumothoraxes (collapsed lung) by inserting a chest tube
- Advanced management of cardiac conditions
- Ability to paralyse a patient and insert a breathing tube (intubate) into their lungs
Launch your Intensive Care Paramedic career
If you are thinking about pursuing an intensive care paramedics career and starting from scratch, there’s a bit of work ahead of you and a lot of study.
The Australian Paramedical College offer a pathway into paramedical careers via nationally recognised training programs to prepare graduates for work in the private sector, or as a pathway into university to study a Bachelor of Paramedic Science. An Intensive Care Paramedic must work as an on-road paramedic for a number of years.
Begin your journey with a Career Development Plan.
Having a clear plan to follow is the key to achieving your goals. Let us create a clear paramedical career pathway for you.