SCOP Sees The Light? Re: Proposed PCP Upgrade


I haven’t found many talking online about the new upgrade for PCPs in Saskatchewan, aside from The Pulse (SCOPs newsletter). So here is what I have gathered thus far (a lovely combination of heresy and research).

1. For some, the upgrade has already begun. The first class to be educated to the new PCP standards started at the end of August at SIAST (I think). It is being incorporated into the new classes of PCP students. The institute hasn’t posted the course outline online. In fact, no one I know personally has seen it yet.

2. My company is officially on the bandwagon. My colleagues and I are registered to begin probably sometime this October (start date still TBD?). It’s being offered to current practitioners for free. Not to mention, if PCPs opt NOT to take the course by June 2019,  they will be downgraded to EMR status (along with EMTs who have also not completed the earlier PCP bridge).

3. For my colleagues and I there will be 4 days of labs in Regina, some kind of home study (module based), along with a practicum that can be completed at work supervised by appropriate mentors.

4. The really exciting part… the upgrade will include what are currently considered EMT-A (ICP) skills and more! The list includes:  IV insertion, Ventolin, Atrovent, D50W, Narcan, Benzodiozapiens, Intra nasal admin, staple and suture removal. I don’t know if these will be online directed acts or not. I also don’t know if currently online PCP practices will become offline to mirror EMT-A practice.

5. The less exciting part- no peeps have been heard from the union proposing a pay increase to match the new responsibilities. (In fact they aren’t done bargaining for 2013).

6. EMT-As (ICPs) will be phased out and will be required to upgrade themselves in regards to Narcan admin. No one will ever take an ICP course in Saskatchewan again.

7. The obligatory upgrade is an attempt to comply with seven critical categories of the 2011 NOCP standards as identified by SCOPs education committee. See here….

8. Saskatchewan medics will be able to move more fluently between provinces. (Hellooooo Alberta! *waves happily*)

9. The training is also meant to assist PCPs in playing a role in the new collaborative emergency centers which the government has announced it will be introducing as a new primary health care model in the province.

9. Once we have completed our in field sign offs we will be able to practice within our new scope immediately (also not yet posted anywhere…) The available protocol document has not been updated. See here…

10. The latest information posted on the issue by SCOP was in June of this year. The Pulse states, “The proposed changes to the PCP scope of practice were presented to SCoP members at its Annual General Meeting on April 19 and were approved by the Provincial Emergency Services Practice Committee in May. The proposed changes are currently before the College of Physicians and Surgeons.” Guess it went through? See here…

Got that? If all you heard was Narcan- me too! 😀

Too bad the drug-user rate is so low in my town. I don’t really mean that. Or do I. hehe.

Follow me as I head back to school for what will surely be a historic SCOP upgrade. I am mildly apprehensive for various reasons (similar to why you never buy a new car the first year the model is marketed)- but we will see how it plays out.

Never stop learning because you never know what they will throw at you 30 years into your career.


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4 thoughts on “SCOP Sees The Light? Re: Proposed PCP Upgrade

  1. Hey, there. I thought I would offer the little additional information I can after speaking with Rob Moore of SIAST PCP program and also to a representative SIAST satellite PCP program provider site Carlton Trail Regional College.

    1.) If you are interested in the new curriculum, check out the links following. It is the new SIAST curriculum outline.

    Parkland College, Melville campus, lists the same courses but does not give the detail.

    Note that the first two courses in the program series are anatomy and physiology (APHY 164 – Anatomy and Physiology 1 and APHY 165 – Anatomy and Physiology 2) and must be completed by distance education before starting the actual onsite programs…. I have no idea whether these will be required for the “PCP upgrader course” or not.

    There are also courses entitled “Community Paramedicine” and “Fluid Therapy” which were not part of the PCP curriculum previously. The course “Diverse Population Groups” now includes the “Geriatric Education for EMS” course content and certification. (I did notice that there was no mention of “cultural competency” which is disappointing and disheartening as both “new comers” (immigrants from other countries) and Aboriginal peoples often have more contact with EMS or the ER than other groups. Most of us need to be at least become aware of some of our own prejudices and lack of cultural sensitivity if we are going to even strive to provide effective high quality care to all our patients.)

    Note that in reality an “upgrade course” of sorts has already been delivered. The cohort of PCP students who completed the “old curriculum” proram at Carlton Trail Regional College, Humbolt campus, in August of 2013 (this year!) were given a week long session to upgrade them to the “new curriculum”.

    2.) I was told that one of the issues delaying rolling out the “upgrader course” is ensuring that all the preceptor sites for SIASTs PCP programs all have their preceptors have done the necessary skills upgrading. I was told that Moosejaw is happening now/soon and that other sites such as Yorkton and Weyburn, for example, have not yet had the upgrading…. It looks as if those who work at very small stations or services and in industry may have to wait quite a while before getting access to an upgrading course. I was told to call SIAST back in about six months and that hopefully more would be known then. (Well, we have until 2019 before PCPs without upgrading get turned into EMRs. I guess we will have to be satisfied that it is a ways away for now! LOL!)

    3.) Finally, I suggested tthat SIAST be proactive and put up a page on the site outlining the state of affairs in regard to the roll out of the new curriculum and upgrading course(s). It would be great for medics to know what was happening even if it was not much yet! I hope SCoP does the same in terms of revised protocols! Some volunteer to contact them?!

    Well, that’s it for now!


    PS: Continue blogging! You are doing great!

    • Thanks for adding all of that!
      I have been meaning to do an update since obviously what we were told was going to happen at Swift Current hasn’t. I was recently told by our company owner that we will be starting upgrades in January and he seems to think it will be completed within a month. Swift is a preceptor site for students so it would make sense for our employees to be updated before training the now already updated students. However, I am skeptical about the timeline for sure. So until I see more in writing I’m just going to let this one lie.
      And what are they doing with the EMT-A anyways? They will need a mini upgrade in Narcan no?
      Oh, and apparently benzos are not actually on the list for PCPs. The woman originally passing out the info at SIAST sure made a mess.
      It would be nice for SIAST to be a little more forthcoming on the issue (and SCOP for that matter) because so far they don’t seem to be working as a team.
      Anyways, thanks for reading!!

  2. Twice, I saw the comment of PCP’s being downgraded to EMR’s, should they not upgrade by 2019. First of all, regardless upgrading or not, a current PCP, who has taken a CMA Accredited PCP course, Can not be downgraded to a different designation. They can be downgraded to a PCP with restrictions.

    I also find it comical that the SK college doen’t appear to recognize the fact that some SCOP members already have non restricted licenses from Alberta. This license covers 90% of the new upgrade and if it’s good enough for ACP, it should be good enough for SCOP. To not recognize this goes against AIT. It should be treated no differently than ICP’s having to upgrade a coouple of meds such as Narcan.

    • Thanks for the post Dan.
      Please check out the SCOP newsletter link that was included in my blog….it clearly states that PCPs will be downgraded to EMRs in 2019 that do not comply with the upgrade.
      I’m not saying it’s the right thing to do, I’m just saying that is what they are doing. I also agree that there are many inter-provincial issues. As an Ontario PCP I will repeating some skills as well for this upgrade.
      Wouldn’t some national cohesion be nice? I guess that is what they are working towards it’s just going to be a long and bumpy ride.

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