PARAMEDICS SHOULD RECEIVE UNDERGRADUATE TRAINING
It has been emphasized that in Turkey paramedics were the healthcare professionals who provided medical care to sustain life, and they needed specialization in authority and employee rights. Sinan Nural, Chairman of Paramedic Association of Turkey, who delivered a speech at the Paramedic Day event organized at IUE, pointed out that paramedic training in Turkey should be offered at undergraduate level.
Nural stated that currently more than 9 thousand 900 people receive paramedic training in 143 associate programs at 95 universities in Turkey, and he said that undergraduate programs and specialization in this area needed to start. “There is no difference in terms of authority or employee rights between the fresh out of school paramedics who are serving in the ambulances of Ministry of Health and the ones who have already spent 15-20 years in the profession. Therefore, a ranking system is required where trainings, certificates, professional achievements, and such are taken into consideration. Paramedics provide help to people at the most critical time of their life,” Nural said.
Nural said that the vehicles were not built as ambulances originally and that posed a deadly risk to employees. Nural stated the following:
“We are facing many difficulties. Ambulances we work in are manufactured as commercial vehicles which are later transformed into ambulances. There is technical equipment in the vehicles but they are like a ticking bomb for the healthcare employees. There is only a seating place and safety belt available. Everything else is like shrapnel to paramedics. This needs to be improved as soon as possible. We had 136 casualties so far. We wish this to end.”
Prof. Dr. İlgi Şemin, Director, IUE Vocational School of Health Services, stated that she was among the first faculty to have offered paramedic training, and much has progressed since 1993 in terms of training and work conditions. Şemin said, “Paramedics work in the fine line between life and death”. Prof. Dr. Ayla Oğuş Binatlı, Acting Rector of IUE, pointed out that the association process of paramedics took place in Izmir which helped satisfy a great need in the sector. There was also a panel titled “Paramedic Association: From Past to Future” which was moderated by Sinan Yenal where Dr. Ali Ekşi, Umut Uğurel, and Sinan Nural attended as guest speakers.