Kaiser Health News: The Pandemic Exacerbates the ‘Paramedic Paradox’ in Rural America

EXCERPT: “Paramedics are often the most highly skilled medical providers on emergency response crews, and their presence can make a lifesaving difference in rural areas where health services are scarce. Paramedics are trained to administer specialized care from the field, such as placing a breathing tube in a blocked airway or decompressing a collapsed lung. Such procedures are beyond the training of emergency medical technicians. But paramedics are hard to come by, and a long-standing workforce shortage has been exacerbated by turnover and resignations related to pandemic burnout. Larger departments are trying to attract paramedics by boosting pay and offering hefty signing bonuses. But small teams in underserved counties across the U.S. don’t have the budgets to compete. Instead, some rural crews are trying to train existing emergency responders for the roles, with mixed results.” FULL STORY: https://fluence-media.co/38F35Tn