Paramedics are the front line of emergency medical care. When you call for an ambulance, you want to be sure you are in the best possible hands. If you have an interest in caring for people and a calm and reassuring manner, the role of paramedic could be for you.
These medical heroes and heroines provide immediate response to emergency medical 999 and 111 calls. You’ll usually be the first senior healthcare professional on the scene and the level of care you provide can range from dealing with life threatening conditions to minor illnesses and injuries. Sadly, many of our paramedics suffer abusive behaviour as they are the first on the scene of most drunken accidents. For their safety, many services are now employing the use of a Body Worn Camera to help deter any potential negative behaviour while paramedics try to do their job. For more information, visit http://www.pinnacleresponse.com/body-cameras-and-the-law/.
You will need:
- a compassionate attitude and outgoing, helpful personality
- a responsible and highly motivated approach to the work
- good communication skills for dealing with patients, their friends and family, members of the public and other healthcare professionals.
- strong team work skills to work alongside other crew and hospital staff
- written communication skills for reporting conditions
- excellent driving skills
- initiative and decision making capability in pressured situations and the ability to remain calm
- good general fitness to cope with lifting patients and equipment
- the ability to relate to people from a range of backgrounds, races, religions and cultures
Ideally you will have some related care experience which may include:
- experience of dealing with the public, in particular sick, disabled and elderly people
- first aid certificates
- voluntary experience in organisations such as St John Ambulance or the British Red Cross
- experience in life-saving techniques, which you can gain by volunteering as a community ‘first responder’ in association with local ambulance services
- office-based work in an ambulance service.
Your work will vary greatly depending on the patient and their condition, but in general you’ll need to:
- provide an immediate course of treatment en route to hospital or at the scene
- use various technical equipment, including ventilators to assist breathing and defibrillators to treat heart failure, in order to resuscitate patients
- carry out certain surgical procedures when necessary, such as intubation (insertion of a breathing tube)
- monitor the patient’s condition
- Communicate with members of other emergency services, such as the police, fire brigade or coast guard and other ambulance services to ensure the appropriate level of response is provided
- work closely with doctors and nurses in hospital accident and emergency departments, briefing them as their patient arrives at hospital
- deal with members of the public and family members present at the scene
- clean, decontaminate and check vehicles and equipment to maintain a state of operational readiness
- produce thorough case notes and report the patient’s history, condition and treatment to relevant hospital staff
As you can see this is a very complex and important profession requiring ongoing training and the need to work long hours in often tense situations. However, the rewards can be enormous when you’ve truly made the difference between life and death.