TASMANIAN paramedics could learn new skills to help keep people out of acute care hospitals if an extended care paramedic trial program working out of Launceston is successful.
Two Ambulance Tasmania Launceston-based paramedics, Glenn Aslin and Matthew Cane, are leading the 18-month trial which started about a fortnight ago after training in South Australia.
The paramedics run alternate shifts so that one of them is always available in a specially fitted out station wagon to attend a 000 call in the Northern region that has been prioritised as one for an extended paramedic.
``A lot of people don't need to go to hospital but they call us because they don't know what else to do,'' Mr Aslin said.
He said that people living on their own might need simple suturing, catheters changed or minor burns treated.
Mr Cane said that they also tried to help with palliative care patients.
Ambulance Tasmania research and clinical practice co-ordinator Shaun White said that the men had completed practical placements with community nurses at regional areas like Deloraine and Beaconsfield as training before the program started.
He said that the program was not taking away but adding support for community nurses.