How To Become A Paramedic

What Does a Paramedic Do?

Evaluating the condition of patients, and deciding whether they should be transferred to a hospital or treated at the scene, is an important part of a paramedic’s job. In non-life-threatening situations, you will make key clinical decisions based on your professional judgment.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Paramedic?

In emergencies, you will use state-of-the-art equipment, which includes defibrillators that restore the rhythm of the heart, traction and spinal splints and intravenous drips, as well as administering drugs and oxygen.

You will be trained to drive what is essentially a mobile emergency clinic as well as resuscitate and/or stabilize patients using advanced equipment, drugs, and equipment for a variety of conditions.

For instance, you may be called out to a person that has fallen from scaffolding or an elderly individual with a suspected stroke.

Besides having contact with patients, you will also need to deal with their friends and relatives as well as members of the public, some of whom might be aggressive or highly distressed. You will also be working regularly alongside the police and fire and rescue services. This is unless you decide to work for a private company in that case you may be providing ambulance event service and dealing with injuries/casualties that have occurred at events.

Based at your ambulance station, you will be working shifts, including weekends and evenings, going out in all kinds of weather at all hours of the night or day.

You will be working closely with other community healthcare teams, including GPs, mental health teams, occupational therapists, diabetes specialists, as well as nurses and doctors in hospital emergency departments.

What Can You Expect as a Paramedic?

Paramedics usually work in teams of two: a lead person who is then supported by an ambulance technician, emergency care assistant, or emergency medical technician. Still, you may not be working in teams of two or even out of an ambulance.

You may find yourself working alone while traveling via motorcycle, bike, emergency response vehicle, or even an air ambulance helicopter to help you reach patients. Furthermore, there’s a growing emphasis for paramedics to treat patients at home so that they don’t need to go to the hospital unless it is absolutely necessary.

Personal Characteristics for a Paramedic

You will need to have certain personal characteristics to become an effective paramedic:

  • Maintain your calm even in a chaotic situation
  • Process important information quickly in an emergency, even in a chaotic environment
  • Work by yourself or as part of a team
  • Work quickly and carefully and follow procedures
  • Carry on with your work when others around you are emotional or even aggressive
  • Be confident in yourself and able to reassure the patients and others
  • Prepare to go into unpredictable or unknown situations

Skills Required of a Paramedic

You will also have to possess skills to help you deal with people, drive an ambulance, and get to the location within the shortest time possible:

  • Driving skills
  • Listening skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Competency in using machinery and equipment.

Top Tip!

Always remember the skills required to be a paramedic when you are either writing your personal statement or when preparing for an interview.

Author: Transen