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Isn’t it time emergency care nurses caught up with paramedics to administer agreed drugs?

The disadvantages emergency care nurses face because of a lack of agreed clinical guidelines at national level.

When considering administering glyceryl trinitrate to someone with angina, or salbutamol to a short-of-breath asthmatic, emergency care nurses are at a disadvantage to paramedics because of a lack of nationally agreed clinical guidelines.

For years, paramedics have been able to administer a list of more than 30 drugs so patients can receive appropriate, timely treatment.

But for emergency care nurses (ECNs), those patient group directives vary depending on the organisation in which they practise.

First to attend to patient

ECNs work in different clinical settings such as the armed forces, expedition medicine, offshore oil rigs and sports events, and are often the first clinician to assess and treat a patient as triage nurse, majors nurse practitioner, first responder or clinician in the resident medical facility.


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