The ambulances that whiz down the street with lights shining and horns blaring are carrying two to three paramedics. They are the first to arrive at an emergency scene and work to sustain a patient’s life until they can reach a hospital. Learn how to become a paramedic, what a paramedic does, and the benefits of the career.
What does a Paramedic Do?
Paramedics or EMTS (Emergency Medical Technicians) care for the injured or the sick in emergency medical settings outside of hospitals. This includes everything from car crashes, gunshot wounds, heart attacks, and severe allergic reactions.
Paramedics are often the first to be dispatched and arrive at an emergency scene. From there, a paramedic will quickly assess the situation and begin administering care to sustain the patient’s life while recording their injuries. Besides providing emergency medical care, paramedics also function as transport for patients who need to go to the hospital to get more treatment.
Paramedics are available all year, day and night, including holidays. They are trained to work in a number of emergencies and must spend their shifts being prepared to go into an assortment of situations, ranging from assessing chest pains to caring for stab wounds. While paramedics are not doctors, they go through extensive training to prepare for every possibility.
How to Become a Paramedic
The process to become a certified paramedic is dependent on state regulations. In most states, a paramedic needs an associate’s degree or in some cases, just a certification or a diploma. In any circumstance, they need to be very familiar with anatomy and physiology, along with identifying health issues. Many also require training in pharmaceuticals to know about drug interactions.
Besides completing a paramedic program and becoming certified, a paramedic must prove they are quick thinkers and even quicker to act. As many paramedics see gruesome injuries, it’s important to set aside one’s fear and get to work to save the patient.
The Benefits and Drawbacks to being a Paramedic
Paramedics are always in demand and desperately needed in the medical field because they are available virtually every hour. Paramedics always work in teams, so no one is left to take care of a situation by themselves. Paramedics also often work with police units, firefighters, and hospital staff to bring the patient excellent care.
The drawbacks include the high rate of “burning out”. Because of long hours and constant intensive work, many people find themselves wanting to leave the profession to spend time with their families or simply get away from the daily trauma. There is also a risk factor when being the first to arrive at a dangerous scene that could include hostile people.
However the benefit of sustaining life and – more importantly – getting a person to a hospital to be saved is very rewarding. Paramedics are absolutely required for a society to remain safe and healthy. If you believe this would be the career for you, explore medical schools in your area that offer paramedical certification.