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FAQ of the Week: I am a paramedic who is a certified ACLS provider. There are several differences between my EMS protocols and what I was taught in ACLS. What should I do?

FAQ of the Week: I am a paramedic who is a certified ACLS provider. There are several differences between my EMS protocols and what I was taught in ACLS. What should I do?

Your authority to practice is based on your state’s EMS laws. Most EMS systems (local, state or regional) issue system-wide standard operating procedures (SOP’s). These function in many ways like a prospective prescription from the system medical authority authorizing treatment(s) based on defined circumstances. 

ACLS algorithms were developed as educational tools, not prospective standing orders. They are not a prescription. Thus, it is essential that you practice according to the guidelines established by your medical authority. If you have questions regarding your system’s standing medical orders (SMO’s), a fact-finding meeting with your medical authority (e.g. your Project Medical Director) may be useful for EMS leadership and field personnel.

AMRI Staff

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