As a paramedic, you may be trained to provide critical care on the spot to patients in severe, urgent need. Similar to an emergency medical technician, paramedics respond to high-priority calls and arrive on the scene in an ambulance or another emergency vehicle. Paramedics, however, may receive more training and are often called upon to administer drugs. Depending on individual state laws, they may also be tasked with using complex machines, such as electrocardiograms, and interpreting the results.
Is a Career as a Paramedic Right for Me?
A paramedic is a leader who is calm and resourceful in stressful situations, has physical strength and stamina, and may administer drugs appropriately. Paramedics are ready for any emergency situation night or day, summer heat or winter chill. They treat every patient with care whether the patient is cooperative, uncooperative, unconscious, hysterical, or dangerous. The paramedic may be able to assess any emergency situation and prioritize the important tasks.
As a leader, a paramedic makes clear confident decisions and is able to quickly communicate these decisions to onlookers, others responding to the emergency, the patient, and the hospital. A paramedic's self confidence reassures those involved and contributes to controlling chaotic scenarios.
Remaining calm and resourceful in stressful situations
Every emergency medical situation is stressful, but there might be added layers of need and abilities required in order to handle the situation appropriately and successfully. Paramedics must always behave in a fashion that benefits the patient no matter how the patients or onlookers are behaving.
Physical strength and stamina are necessary too
They may have to be let down a cliff to reach and treat a patient whose car has gone over the edge. They may have to treat flood victims in torrential rains. Even in good weather, movement of equipment and patients requires paramedics to be in good physical condition.
Leading a team means responsibility
The paramedic must be able to quickly obtain the patient's medical and drug history as well as any drugs the patient is currently taking. The knowledge of drug interactions and accurate assessment of the patient's health are vital for the paramedic. They are legally liable if any drugs are not properly administered or if any drugs cannot be accounted for.
Oral and written communications are key
There is no room for misunderstandings in an emergency medical situation. Communications with medical professionals at the hospital must be accurate. Communication with the patient, the patient's relatives or friends must not only be medically appropriate, but culturally appropriate as well.
Excellent judgment at all times
Although their environment may be ever changing, they may able to function at their highest level consistently. They demonstrate that they are stable in crises.
A career as a paramedic may involve skill, good physical capabilities, immediate and accurate response, high moral character, and stability.
List of Schools Offering Paramedic Programs
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- Offers health care and business programs that prepare students to enter the working field in as little as 8-16 weeks.
- Provides morning, afternoon, and evening classes for most courses.
- Offers career placement assistance to help students with their resumes, job-searching techniques, interview practice, and more.
- Engages students through hands-on learning in labs, internships, and externships.
Gives students the option to break up tuition costs into interest-free payments over the course of their education.