Letters to the Editor

Letters: Thank your local EMS providers; Comments show misunderstanding of nurse practitioners

EMS providers go ‘beyond the call’

Pennsylvania’s EMS providers responded to 1,606,540 emergency requests for assistance within the Commonwealth in 2018. That equates to a dispatch every 19.6 seconds. Please join me in saying thank you to the local Emergency Medical Service (EMS) practitioners for their dedicated service throughout our communities.

May 19th-25th is National EMS Week. This year’s theme – EMS Strong: Beyond the Call – was chosen to recognize the commitment that emergency medical personnel make to the communities they serve. Not only does their dedication provide round-the-clock care during both personal emergencies and public health crisis events, but their reach extends beyond the call with public education and safety campaigns such as “Hands-Only CPR” and “Stop the Bleed.” Our region – Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties – is home to 1,797 pre-hospital practitioners who help assure that optimal pre-hospital emergency care is available 24/7/365 and is delivered in a safe, reliable manor using a complement of 225 licensed EMS vehicles located throughout the region.

Whether providing patient care as part of a Quick Response Service (QRS) or during ambulance transport; at the Basic Life Support (BLS) or Advanced Life Support (ALS) level; on the ground or in the air; as a career choice or volunteer basis, all EMS practitioners are dedicated professionals who spend countless hours preparing for and responding to family, friends, neighbors, and total strangers in their time of need.

Please join me in thanking the EMS practitioners who serve your community.

Tim Nilson, Bellefonte. The author is the executive director of the Seven Mountains EMS Council.

Comments show misunderstanding of nurse practitioners

I am writing in response to the May 12 article in the Centre Daily Times, “More nurse practitioners seek change to work in rural areas.” I was stunned at Dr. Danae Powers’ comments that demonstrated a lack of understanding for the role of nurse practitioners.

It is true that we do not have the education of a physician, however, many nurse practitioners have practiced in either an ICU or ER setting, very acute areas requiring an ability to rapidly identify changes that must be addressed in life or death situations. This contradicts her claim that a nurse practitioner may miss a diagnosis or delay in treatment. As a nurse practitioner, I have provided care in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine since obtaining my Nurse Practitioner Certification nearly six years ago. I have identified complicated disease processes that were not recognized by a physician, as has many of my peers. While we can prescribe medications, order and interpret testing, diagnose patients, we are met with limitations such as not being able to order oxygen, medical supplies, or hospice care after developing a relationship with our patient as they are dealing with one of life’s hardest decisions.

I would also like to clarify that obtaining Full Practice Authority is only granted after completing three years in the specific practice, having a Collaborative Agreement during that time frame, along with maintaining state licensure and national certification.

Dawn Wincek, CRNP, State College
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