Paramedics tend to the sick or injured in emergency situations. They respond to 911 calls, provide medical assistance and transport patients in an ambulance to the emergency department of a hospital.
Duties and responsibilities
- Respond to 911 calls and travel to emergency locations via ambulance
- Assess patient’s condition and apply treatment
- Provide first-aid or emergency life support assistance to patients
- Drive and transport patients to hospitals via ambulance
- Monitor and tend to patients in an ambulance
- Work alongside police and firefighters
- Communicate observations and treatment to other hospital staff
- Document medical service provided to patient
- Clean and prepare medical supplies, equipment and ambulance
Skills and knowledge
AVERAGE WORKING HOURS
Nights, weekends and holidays
The work environment of a paramedic involves driving or sitting in an ambulance to tend to patients in need and transport them to hospitals and medical facilities. They perform various emergency medical services in the homes of patients or any other location of the emergency.
Paramedics also spend a lot of time in the emergency room of hospitals, and report their observations and treatment to other healthcare staff.
As this is a fast-paced job, which requires quick and immediate responses, paramedics require physical stamina and endurance. Physical strength also comes in handy when having to lift and carry patients. This role can also be stressful as you might often have to deal with life-or-death situations.
Paramedics are also exposed to several illnesses and diseases as well as injuries.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
Specialist training programme
To become a paramedic, you will generally need to complete formal training in emergency medical technology as well as in advanced medical skills. A high school diploma and CPR certification is typically required for entry onto such programmes, which can take up to two years to complete.
Aspiring paramedics must then obtain certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), which includes passing a national exam.
Paramedics must be 18 years old and over, and pass background checks before being accepted into the role. Most paramedics also participate in about eight hours of instruction before being able to drive an ambulance.
Paramedics can advance to other healthcare and medical professions, such as physician assistants and medical assistants. They might also be interested in progressing to administrative positions in ambulatory care companies or hospitals.