Book Review: Community Health Paramedic

I had the opportunity to read a copy of the new AAOS Community Health Paramedic textbook:

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It provides concise overview of the logistical, interpersonal and clinical aspects of preventive healthcare and chronic disease management. I think it provides a good foundation for paramedics interested in working as a community paramedic, and also a valuable resource for paramedics working in traditional 911 response and interfacility transfer roles.

The book begins by covering the roles of community paramedics, boundary and ethical issues, cultural competency, paramedic well-being and principles of patient education – which is big part or scheduled patient encounters as a community paramedic, but also on 911 calls for frequent flyers.The textbook goes on to cover medication needs assessment, care planning and telemedicine with the patient’s physician.

The chapters about pathophysiology, assessment, pharmacology and chronic disease management go into slightly more depth than standard paramedic textbooks, and cover assessment tools such as body weight measurement and assessing chronic wounds. I found material in these sections to be easier to read than in other textbooks. There is also a chapter about immunizations, which is a role many traditional EMS providers have taken on. The book concludes with an appendix of procedures for chronic wound care.

I believe that Community Health Paramedic is a great starting point for community paramedics, but is not sufficient by itself. Each section is worthy of its own textbook, which may be supplemented with nursing textbooks.

The material in Community Health Paramedic may not be sexy, but I think it is important for anyone who goes on calls at nursing homes, cares for patients with pressure ulcers, a diabetic patient who refuses to go to the hospital. Which is everybody in EMS.

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