EMS Graduation a boost for KZN's capacity to help patients in emergency pre-hospital situations

08 March 2020

KZN Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has congratulated the 74 EMS officers who graduated from the KZN College of Emergency Care yesterday, during a joyous ceremony held at the Dundee Civic Hall.

The EMS officers have successfully completed a four month skills-based course, which has up-skilled them from Basic Life Support (BLS) to Intermediate Life Support (ILS). Their new qualification enables them to resuscitate patients with cardiac arrest and perform uncomplicated breech delivery, among other competencies.

"We congratulate you. Your graduation is, indeed, a quantifiable improvement in service delivery and quality of care. It means that from today onwards, the people of KwaZulu-Natal now have an enhanced level of pre-hospital patient management."

MEC Simelane-Zulu said the paramedics were now skilled and competent in providing intermediate medical interventions, such as:

  • Nebulisation of patients, with specified medication
  • Administration of scheduled drugs
  • Administering drips for dehydrated patients, both adults and paediatrics
  • Administration of oxygen with specified devices
  • Resuscitation of patients in cardiac arrest and none cardiac arrest situations
  • Defibrillation in certain cardiac arrest situations
  • Management of patients with a decompression of the chest; and
  • Conducting uncomplicated breech delivery and normal delivery during labour.

The province’s Emergency Medical Service is one of the largest in the country, with 2 503 dedicated paramedics in its employ.

The MEC said the graduation took place at a very important time, when changes are being implemented to take Emergency Medical Services to the next level.

Government, through the Health Professions Council of South Africa, is phasing out all short courses that were offered by Public Colleges. This is being done in order to align the qualification with South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA); professionalise EMS education and training; and improve standards.

In order to continue training paramedics, the KZN College of Emergency Care requires accreditation as a Higher Education Institution (HEI) by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) as well as Health Professions Council of South Africa.

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This page last edited on 12 March, 2020

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