Program or Service
What are paramedics?
Paramedics in New Jersey are certified and regulated by the State Department of Health and Senior Services (http://www.state.nj.us/health/ems/index.html). Education is typically completed at select regional community colleges (such as Union County College or Rockland County College) and includes a minimum of 550 hours of didactic classroom time. After didactic, there are approximately 700 hours of clinical training at the hospital. Departmental rotations include: Emergency Department, Critical and Intensive Care Units, and Operating Room to name a few. At least 400 hours are spent in the field with the MICU. Recertification for paramedics is required every two years, with a minimum of 48 hours of continuing education.
Paramedics in New Jersey also maintain current certifications from the American Heart Association (www.americanheart.org) in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers. Other programs recommended for paramedics include Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (www.phtls.org) and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (http://www.aap.org/nrp/nrpmain.html).
In New Jersey, paramedics operate under the license of physician Medical Directors; typically the physicians are on staff in Emergency Departments of the MICU hospitals. Among the many advanced skills paramedics may perform are the following: interpretation of electrocardiograms, defibrillation and cardioversion, initiation and maintenance of intravenous and intraosseous lines, accessing central venous lines, endotracheal intubation, nasogastric tube insertion, administration of approximately 40 emergency medications (IV, IO, ET, SL, SQ, PO, IM, TD, PR) and chest decompression via needle thoracentesis.
Our MICU responds to approximately 8,000 calls per year. The majority of these requests for our services come from our “primary service area” which includes the following communities: Allendale, Fair Lawn, Franklin Lakes, Glen Rock, Hawthorne, Ho-Ho-Kus, Mahwah, Midland Park, Oakland, Paramus, Ramsey, Ridgewood, Saddle River, Upper Saddle River, Waldwick and Wyckoff. When requested, we also respond to Elmwood Park, Emerson, Haledon, Montvale, Oradell, North Haledon, Ringwood, Washington Township, Westwood and Woodcliff Lake.
What fees are associated with advanced life support services?
The expenses incurred by provision of ALS services to these communities are met by our ability to bill for services rendered. When The Valley Hospital MICU paramedics respond to a call, patients are billed for services provided regardless of whether transportation was provided to The Valley Hospital or to another hospital. These fees are reimbursable by most insurance companies. Regardless of their ability to pay, our patients can expect to receive appropriate and professional pre-hospital care.