ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT (ALS)

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Advanced Life Support ambulances operate with a minimum of a certified EMT and a certified ALS provider such as a Paramedic. ALS providers require more training and are able to perform more advanced procedures in an emergency.


ALS providers can handle various emergencies and perform advanced procedures which include but are not limited to;


  • Cardiac rhythm interpretation & treatment
  • Advanced airway management such as endotracheal intubation and surgical cricothyrotomy
  • IV placement
  • Fluid resuscitation
  • Intravenous drug therapy
  • Pain management
  • Advanced Cardiac/Pediatric Life Support

ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT EMS CERTIFICATIONS


The Commonwealth of Virginia currently certifies two levels of ALS provider utilizing the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT.) Advanced EMT and Paramedic are the only two ALS certifications you can become in Virginia. There is a third certification level known as Intermediate or I99 that further testing has been discontinued for. There are still Intermediates in Virginia that can continue to practice as long as they meet continuing education hours to recertify. 

ADVANCED EMT


Definition:


The primary focus of the 
Advanced Emergency Medical Technician is to provide basic and limited advanced emergency medical care and transportation for critical and emergent patients who access the emergency medical system. This individual possesses the basic knowledge and skills necessary to provide patient care and transportation.

Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians function as part of a comprehensive EMS response, under medical oversight. Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians perform interventions with the basic and advanced equipment typically found on an ambulance.

The Advanced Emergency Medical Technician is a link from the scene to the emergency health care system.

[From the: National EMS Scope of Practice Model]


To become an Advanced EMT you must complete a state approved AEMT certification course. These courses are typically 168 hours in length in addition to EMT.


You must be a minimum of 18 years of age to become an AEMT


AEMTs must complete 50 hours of continuing education every 3 years to remain certified in Virginia

PARAMEDIC


Definition:

The Paramedic is an allied health professional whose primary focus is to provide advanced emergency medical care for critical and emergent patients who access the emergency medical system.


This individual possesses the complex knowledge and skills necessary to provide patient care and transportation. Paramedics function as part of a comprehensive EMS response, under medical oversight.

Paramedics perform interventions with the basic and advanced equipment typically found on an ambulance. The Paramedic is a link from the scene into the health care system.

[From the: National EMS Scope of Practice Model]


To become a Paramedic you must complete a state approved Paramedic program. These courses are typically 1000+ hours in length.


You must be a minimum of 18 years of age to become a Paramedic


Paramedics must complete 60 hours of continuing education every 3 years to remain certified in Virginia.

USEFUL INFO


If you are interested in becoming an ALS provider, please feel free to visit the following places to learn more;