What does a Paramedic do?
|Citation||Retrieved in 2017 from BLS.org|
Paramedics perform medical services to patients and when necessary, transports them to hospitals or medical facilities for further evaluation and treatment. They respond to emergency situation and injured and ill people depend on them for medical care. In doing so they work closely with police officers and firefighters at emergency sites. Paramedics work both indoors and outdoors as well as in all types of inclement weather. Their work day is very physical and can be stressful, sometimes involving life-or-death situations.
How to Become a Paramedic
A paramedic requires the prerequisites of a high school diploma and a certificate of completion of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), in order to enter a postsecondary education program in emergency medical technology. These training program usually take 1-2 years, however most are not degrees. These programs are only vocational training and consist of assessing medical conditions, dealing with trauma, respiratory, and cardiac emergencies, using medical field equipment, and responding to emergencies.
Many states are beginning to require paramedics to earn an associate’s degree. These programs consist college coursework credits and 1500 hours or more of practical experience. This allows you to administer intravenous medications or advanced wound care for example.
In addition to training a paramedic must get certified through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). NREMT certification requires completion of a certified paramedic program and passing the national exam, both the written and practical parts. Most states also require you to get licensed; check with your states medical board for more information.
Job Description of a Paramedic
When an emergency call comes in from a 911 operator, a paramedic is sent to the scene to help the sick or injured person and, if necessary, transport them to a hospital. He or she may drive the ambulance or they may stay with the patient to monitor them and give emergency care.
Some paramedics work with a helicopter flight team and would transport a patient by air and give medical treatment in route- normally, caring for the serious or critically ill. They are skilled and qualified to asses a patient’s condition and manage cardiac, respiratory, and trauma situations.
They can give oral and intravenous medications, interpret electrocardiograms (EKG’s) and operate complex medical equipment. Some paramedics work on a volunteer basis, but paid paramedics normally work full-time hours, including nights, week-ends and holidays. This occupation is considered physically and mentally demanding.