DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Scope of Practice for Emergency Medical Service Providers
[51 Pa.B. 5901]
[Saturday, September 11, 2021]
Under 35 Pa.C.S. §§ 8101—8157 (relating to the Emergency Medical Services System Act) and the Department of Health's (Department) regulations in 28 Pa. Code §§ 1023.24(d)(1), 1023.25(d)(1), 1023.26(d)(1), 1023.27(d)(1), 1023.28(d), 1023.29(d) and 1023.30(e) the Department is publishing the scope of practice for emergency medical responders (EMR), emergency medical technicians (EMT), advanced emergency medical technicians (AEMT), paramedics (P), prehospital registered nurses (PHRN), prehospital physician extenders (PHPE) and prehospital physicians (PHP).
Skills identified may be performed by an emergency medical service (EMS) provider at the provider's level of certification or registration only if the provider has successfully completed the approved education (cognitive, affective and psychomotor) on the specified skill, which includes training to perform the skill on adults, children and infants, as appropriate. EMRs, EMTs, AEMTs and Ps may only perform the skills identified, through either Statewide or other Department-approved protocols, or skills that may be ordered online by a medical command physician.
As the following chart indicates, a PHRN, PHPE and PHP may perform all skills identified as within a paramedic's scope of practice. Each of these EMS providers may perform additional skills as outlined as follows.
A PHRN who is appropriately credentialed by the EMS agency medical director, may perform other services authorized by The Professional Nursing Law (63 P.S. §§ 211—225.5), when authorized by a medical command physician through either online medical command or through the applicable Statewide or Department-approved EMS protocols.
A PHPE who is appropriately credentialed by the EMS agency medical director may perform services within the scope of practice of a physician assistant under the Medical Practice Act of 1985 (63 P.S. §§ 422.1—422.53) or the Osteopathic Medical Practice Act (63 P.S. §§ 271.1—271.18), when authorized by a medical command physician through either online medical command or through applicable Statewide or Department-approved EMS protocols. When a PHPE functions as an EMS provider, the physician supervision requirements applicable to a physician assistant under the Medical Practice Act of 1985 and the Osteopathic Medical Practice Act do not apply.
A PHP who is appropriately credentialed by the EMS agency medical director may perform skills within a paramedic's scope of practice and other skills within the practice of medicine or osteopathic medicine. A PHP may not perform a skill that the PHP has not been educated and trained to perform.
Under 28 Pa. Code § 1023.1(a)(1)(vi) and (vii) (relating to EMS agency medical director), the EMS agency medical director must make an initial assessment of each EMS provider at or above the AEMT level, and then within 12 months of each prior assessment, to determine whether the EMS provider has the knowledge and skills to competently perform the skills within the EMS provider's scope of practice, and a commitment to adequately perform other functions relevant to the EMS provider providing EMS at that level. EMS providers at or above the AEMT level may only perform skills that the EMS agency medical director has credentialed them to perform.
The Department wishes to highlight the following change to the scope of practice for all EMS providers: Effective November 29, 2014, administration of Naloxone in intranasal or auto-injector form is approved for all levels of EMS providers and is listed under the ''Medications'' category of this notice. This change is under sections 13.7 and 13.8 of the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (35 P.S. §§ 780-113.7 and 780-113.8), which requires the Department, by December 31, 2014, to amend the scope of practice for EMS providers to include the administration of Naloxone. Prior to this change, Naloxone was listed on the approved drug list only for ALS ambulance services and for advanced-level EMS providers. See 42 Pa.B. 4229 (July 7, 2012).
Persons with a disability who require an alternate format of this notice (for example, large print, audiotape, Braille) should contact Aaron M. Rhone, EMS Program Manager, Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, 1310 Elmerton Avenue Harrisburg, PA 17110, (717) 787-8740. Speech or hearing-impaired persons may call by using V/TT: (717) 783-6154 or the Pennsylvania Hamilton Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 (TT).
Category Skill EMR EMT AEMT P* 1 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Airway—Nonsurgical Alternative/Rescue Airway—CombiTubeTM, iGel® Supraglottic, King LT-D AirwayTM or King LTS-D AirwayTM No No Yes Yes 2 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Airway—Oropharyngeal (OPA) & Nasopharyngeal (NPA) Yes Yes Yes Yes 3 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Airway—Pharyngeal tracheal lumen (PTL) No No No No 4 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Bag-valve-ETT/Nonsurgical alternative airway ventilation Yes2 Yes2 Yes Yes 5 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Bag-valve-ventilation—with in-line small-volume nebulizer No Yes2 Yes Yes 6 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Bag-valve-mask (BVM) ventilation Yes Yes Yes Yes 7 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Chest decompression—needle No No No Yes 8 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Chest tube thoracostomy, monitoring of existing tube in a closed system (for example water seal or suction) No No No No 9 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Chest tube thoracostomy, monitoring of existing tube in a open system (for example vented, Heimlich valve) No No No Yes 10 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Chest tube thoracostomy, acute insertion No No No No 11 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) No Yes1 Yes Yes 12 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Biphasic positive airway pressure (BiPAP) for patients chronically on BiPAP for >48 hours No No No Yes 13 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Biphasic positive airway pressure (BiPAP) for patients on BiPAP for <48 hours No No No No 14 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Cricothyrotomy—needle No No No Yes 15 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Cricothyrotomy—open/surgical No No No Yes 16 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Cricothyrotomy—overwire (Seldinger) technique No No No Yes 17 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation End tidal CO2 monitoring/capnography No No Yes Yes 18 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Esophageal obturator airway (EOA)/esophageal gastric tube airway (EGTA) No No No No 19 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Extubation—removal of ETT No No No Yes 20 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Gastric decompressions—Orogastric or nasogastric tube insertion No No No Yes 21 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Gastric decompression by alternative/rescue airway (CombiTubeTM or King LTS-DTM) No No Yes Yes 22 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Head-tilt/chin lift Yes Yes Yes Yes 23 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Inspiratory Impedance Threshold Device (ITD) No No Yes1 Yes 24 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Endotracheal Intubation—by direct laryngoscopy (including video intubation devices), nasotracheal, digital and transillumination/lighted stylet techniques No No No Yes 25 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Endotracheal Intubation—paralytic assisted, rapid sequence induction (RSI) No No No No 26 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Ventilation—maintenance of previously initiated neuromuscular blockade No No No No 27 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Endotracheal Intubation—retrograde technique No No No No 28 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Laryngeal mask airway (LMA) No No No No 29 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Mouth-to-mouth, nose, stoma, barrier and pocket mask Yes Yes Yes Yes 30 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Obstruction—direct laryngoscopy (remove with forceps) No No No Yes 31 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Obstruction—manual (abdominal thrusts, finger sweep, chest thrusts) upper airway Yes Yes Yes Yes 32 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Oxygen therapy—blow-by delivery Yes Yes Yes Yes 33 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Oxygen therapy—humidifiers No Yes Yes Yes 34 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Oxygen therapy—nasal cannula Yes Yes Yes Yes 35 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Oxygen therapy—nonrebreather Yes Yes Yes Yes 36 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Oxygen therapy—partial rebreather No Yes Yes Yes 37 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Oxygen therapy—regulators Yes Yes Yes Yes 38 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Oxygen therapy—simple face mask No Yes Yes Yes 39 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Oxygen therapy—Venturi mask No Yes Yes Yes 40 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Peak expiratory flow assessment No No Yes Yes 41 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Suctioning—meconium aspiration No No No Yes 42 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Suctioning—stoma/tracheostomy Yes Yes Yes Yes 43 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Suctioning—tracheobronchial by advanced airway No Yes2 Yes Yes 44 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Suctioning—upper airway (nasal) Yes Yes Yes Yes 45 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Suctioning—upper airway (oral) Yes Yes Yes Yes 46 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Transtracheal jet ventilation No No No Yes 47 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Single mode, volume controlled automated ventilator (without blender) No No Yes1 Yes1 48 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Ventilators, transport—single or multi-modal, with or without blender, using volume control mode only, on patients >1 year of age with no anticipated need to actively titrate ventilator settings during transport. No No No Yes 49 Airway/Ventilation/Oxygenation Ventilators, that are portable and capable of being transported with a patient and are multi-modal, with a blender, that are used on patients requiring pressure control, pressure support or other advanced setting, or when there is an anticipated need by a healthcare provider involved with the care of the patient to actively titrate ventilator settings during transport, regardless of ventilation mode No No No No 50 Cardiovascular/Circulation Blood pressure—auscultation Yes Yes Yes Yes 51 Cardiovascular/Circulation Blood pressure—electronic non-invasive Yes Yes Yes Yes 52 Cardiovascular/Circulation Blood pressure—palpation Yes Yes Yes Yes 53 Cardiovascular/Circulation Electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring—apply electrodes for single leads No Yes2 Yes2 Yes 54 Cardiovascular/Circulation Electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring—obtain and transmit 12-lead ECG No Yes Yes Yes 55 Cardiovascular/Circulation Electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring—12-lead (interpret) No No No Yes 56 Cardiovascular/Circulation Cardiac monitoring—single lead (interpret) No No No Yes 57 Cardiovascular/Circulation Manual chest compressions—adult, child, infant Yes Yes Yes Yes 58 Cardiovascular/Circulation Cardioversion—synchronized No No No Yes 59 Cardiovascular/Circulation Defibrillation—counter shock—manual No No No Yes 60 Cardiovascular/Circulation Transcutaneous cardiac pacing No No No Yes 61 Cardiovascular/Circulation Transvenous or Epicardial pacing, Management of No No No No 62 Cardiovascular/Circulation Defibrillation—automated external defibrillator (AED) Yes Yes Yes Yes 63 Cardiovascular/Circulation Hemodynamic monitoring/assist (Swan Ganz, central venous pressure) No No No No 64 Cardiovascular/Circulation Intra-aortic balloon pump or invasive cardiac assist device monitoring/assist No No No No 65 Cardiovascular/Circulation Mechanical chest compression device use No Yes1 Yes1 Yes1 66 Cardiovascular/Circulation Thrombolytic therapy—initiation No No No No 67 Cardiovascular/Circulation Thrombolytic therapy—monitoring No No No No 68 IV Initiation/Maintenance/Fluids Central venous cannulation/insertion No No No No 69 IV Initiation/Maintenance/Fluids Central venous line—access of existing catheters with external ports No No No Yes 70 IV Initiation/Maintenance/Fluids External jugular vein cannulation No No No Yes 71 IV Initiation/Maintenance/Fluids Saline lock insertions as no-flow IV No No Yes Yes 72 IV Initiation/Maintenance/Fluids Intraosseous—needle placement and infusion—tibia, femur and humerus No No Yes Yes 73 IV Initiation/Maintenance/Fluids IV insertion, peripheral venous—initiation (cannulation) No No Yes Yes 74 IV Initiation/Maintenance/Fluids Sub-cutaneous indwelling catheters—access of existing catheters No No No No 75 IV Initiation/Maintenance/Fluids Venous blood sampling, peripheral—for clinical diagnostic purposes only No No Yes Yes 76 IV Initiation/Maintenance/Fluids Venous blood sampling, peripheral—for legal purposes only (Applies to Paramedics only, as defined and permitted by Act 142 or 2016) No No No Yes 77 IV Initiation/Maintenance/Fluids Venous central line (blood sampling) obtaining No No No No 78 IV Initiation/Maintenance/Fluids Arterial line—capped—transport No Yes Yes Yes 79 IV Initiation/Maintenance/Fluids Arterial line—monitoring/assist No No No No 80 IV Initiation/Maintenance/Fluids Blood/Blood-by-products administration (initiation and continuation) No No No No 81 Lifting and Moving Patient lifting, moving and transfers Yes Yes Yes Yes 82 Lifting and Moving Patient restraints on transport devices Yes Yes Yes Yes 83 Medication administration routes Endotracheal (ET) No No No Yes 84 Medication administration routes Inhalation (aerosolized/nebulized) No Yes Yes Yes 85 Medication administration routes Intramuscular (IM) No No Yes Yes 86 Medication administration routes Intranasal (IN) No No Yes Yes 87 Medication administration routes Intraosseous (IO)—tibia, humerus or femur No No Yes Yes 88 Medication administration routes Intravenous (IV)—fluid bolus No No Yes Yes 89 Medication administration routes Intravenous (IV)—monitoring or maintaining existing intravenous infusion (crystalloid fluid as published in the EMS medication list in the Pennsylvania Bulletin) during interfacility transport No No Yes Yes 90 Medication administration routes Intravenous (IV) infusion, with added medication, including by intravenous pump No No No Yes 91 Medication administration routes Nasogastric No No No Yes 92 Medication administration routes Enteral feeding devices, Management of No No No No 93 Medication administration routes Oral—over-the-counter medications for pain, fever and hypoglycemia (as listed in the approved medication list) No Yes Yes Yes 94 Medication administration routes Rectal No No No Yes 95 Medication administration routes Subcutaneous No No Yes Yes 96 Medication administration routes Sublingual (Note: EMT may only assist patient with his/her prescribed Nitroglycerin (NTG)) No Yes Yes Yes 97 Medication administration routes Topical No No No Yes 98 Medications Auto-injector benzodiazepine for seizure No No No Yes 99 Medications Auto-injector epinephrine (assist patient with his/her prescribed medication) No Yes Yes Yes 100 Medications Auto-injected epinephrine-primary use—not patient's own prescription No Yes1 Yes Yes 101 Medications Medications as published in Pennsylvania Bulletin by the Department Yes Yes Yes Yes 102 Medications Immunizations as published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin by the Department No No No Yes 103 Medications Over-the-counter (OTC) medications (except as listed elsewhere for pain, fever, and hypoglycemia) No No No No 104 Medications Oxygen Yes1 Yes Yes Yes 105 Medications Auto-injector nerve agent antidote—self or peer rescue Yes Yes Yes Yes 106 Medications Auto-injector nerve agent antidote—patient treatment No Yes3 Yes3 Yes 107 Medications Metered-dose inhaler (MDI) bronchodilator (Note: EMT may only assist patient with his/her own prescribed medication) No Yes Yes Yes 108 Medications Naloxone—Intranasal or intramuscular auto-injector Yes1,6 Yes1,6 Yes Yes 109 Medications Glucagon—Intranasal (powder spray) or intramuscular auto-injector No Yes1 Yes Yes 110 Patient assessment/management Behavioral—Restrain violent patient Yes1 Yes Yes Yes 111 Patient assessment/management Blood glucose assessment No Yes1 Yes Yes 112 Patient assessment/management Portable blood analysis devices, use of (glucometer covered elsewhere) No No No No 113 Patient assessment/management Childbirth—umbilical cord cutting Yes Yes Yes Yes 114 Patient assessment/management Childbirth (abnormal/complications) No Yes Yes Yes 115 Patient assessment/management Childbirth (normal)—cephalic delivery Yes Yes Yes Yes 116 Patient assessment/management Carbon Monoxide CO-oximetry monitoring No Yes1 Yes1 Yes1 117 Patient assessment/management Carbon Monoxide CO—Exhaled Analysis Device No Yes1 Yes1 Yes1 118 Patient assessment/management Carbon Monoxide monitoring, with environmental surveillance devices Yes Yes Yes Yes 119 Patient assessment/management Hemodynamic monitoring/assist (Swan Ganz, central venous pressure) No No No No 120 Patient assessment/management Dislocation reduction No No No No 121 Patient assessment/management Eye irrigation (Note: irrigation through corneal contact device limited to AEMT and Paramedic) Yes Yes Yes Yes 122 Patient assessment/management Intracranial monitoring/assist No No No No 123 Patient assessment/management Patient management per Statewide EMS Protocols and Department approved protocols Yes Yes Yes Yes 124 Patient assessment/management Pulse oximetry monitoring No Yes Yes Yes 125 Patient assessment/management Splinting, extremity—manual, rigid, soft, vacuum Yes Yes Yes Yes 126 Patient assessment/management Splinting, femur—traction No Yes Yes Yes 127 Patient assessment/management Urinary catheterization No No No No 128 Patient assessment/management Wound care, dressing, bandaging Yes Yes Yes Yes 129 Patient assessment/management Wound care, removal of Taser probe/barb No No No No 130 Patient assessment/management Wound drainage vacuum devices, monitoring No Yes Yes Yes 131 Patient assessment/management Wound care, hemorrhage control—direct pressure, wound packing, tourniquet, bandaging, hemostatic agents Yes Yes Yes Yes 132 Patient assessment/management Wound care, irrigation and skin closure with tape or adhesive glue No No No No 133 Spine Care Restrict spinal motion—Cervical collar application Yes Yes Yes Yes 134 Spine Care Restrict spinal motion—Helmet removal or stabilization No Yes Yes Yes 135 Spine Care Restrict spinal motion—manual cervical spine stabilization Yes Yes Yes Yes 136 Spine Care Restrict spinal motion—rapid extrication with precautions to restrict spinal movement No Yes Yes Yes 137 Spine Care Devices to restrict spinal motion—for example—vacuum mattress, extrication devices, scoop stretcher and spine board) No Yes Yes Yes
EMR—Emergency Medical Responder;
EMT—Emergency Medical Technician;
AEMT—Advanced Emergency Medical Technician;
No—The skill is not in the scope of practice for the level of certification.
Yes—The skill is in the scope of practice for the level of certification.
1. Additional training and authorization by EMS agency medical director is required, and this skill may only be used when functioning with a licensed EMS agency that complies with Department requirements for providing this skill.
2. May assist a P, PHRN, PHPE or PHP with this skill only when in the physical presence of and under the direct supervision of the higher level provider.
3. May perform this skill only in the physical presence of and under the direct supervision of a P, PHRN, PHPE or PHP.
4. After July 1, 2015, Statewide ALS Protocol will include any restrictions placed upon the use of this skill.
5. This skill becomes effective July 1, 2015.
6. Department-approved Act 139 training required and approval of the EMS medical director, and this skill may only be used when functioning with a licensed EMS agency that complies with Department requirements for providing this skill.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 21-1538. Filed for public inspection September 10, 2021, 9:00 a.m.]
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