Congratulations on considering a career in healthcare. And an added kudos to you for looking into becoming a paramedic. Why?
Because paramedics are very close to being superheroes.
Anyone who has ever needed help from these first responders will agree. And, unfortunately, many people find themselves or their loved ones in emergency situations that depend on the amazing work they do. But what truly makes a paramedic’s job unique is the setting in which they are required to work. Better put, there is no consistent setting. No sterilized hospital room or physician’s office. A setting may be someone’s kitchen, a park at night, a city street parade, the beach, or the front seat of a car. Rescue paramedics received extra training to help people in distress in unusual settings, such as confined spaces, heights, and unimaginable situations.
Paramedic Responsibilities and Skill Set
Paramedics provide pre-hospital care to stabilize patients who are injured or ill and transport them to a medical facility. Often, they are required to extricate victims who are trapped due to an accident. They are licensed to provide treatments such as tracheotomies, manual defibrillation, EKG monitoring, IV fluid therapy, intraosseous infusions, hemodynamic monitoring, needle chest decompressions, and surgical airways. They can administer critical care medications.
Many work out of a fire department emergency medical services station. They work with fire fighters who are in the Special Operations Command. When a call comes in, paramedics are first on the scene. They do whatever is necessary to stabilize a victim’s situation, and then they get them to a medical center as quickly and safely as possible, where they hand the patient off to a physician who can provide long-term care.
A Career as a Paramedic
What personality type is best suited for paramedic work? Certainly, emotional strength is key. The work can also be physically strenuous. Paramedics are required to make quick decisions and provide emergency medical treatment, often with people’s lives depending on their actions. It’s not a good career choice for a person who works best with a routine schedule and in a fixed, reliable environment.
As a certified paramedic, you should have a great opportunity for a rewarding career. The US Department of Labor provides the following information.
- The job outlook from 2014 to 2024 is expected to grow 24%, which is much faster than average occupation growth.
- The national annual median average wage for EMTs and paramedics was $32,670 in May 2016. In New York, the annual mean wage was $41,140.
- Most paramedics are employed by state, local, and private hospitals or ambulatory services.
For more Department of Labor Information:
CAHE offers a twelve-month paramedic program. The curriculum includes courses on patient assessment, pre-hospital care, medical emergencies, and trauma. Clinical rotations are an integral part of the training. Upon completion, students are certified as an Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic.
So, in just a few words, how would we describe a day in the life of a paramedic? Unpredictable, exhilarating, heartbreaking, courageous, lifesaving.
Are you prepared to become someone’s superhero?