Paramedic

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Paramedics provide pre-hospital emergency care, treatment and specialised transport for patients.

Paramedics respond to '000' calls, providing emergency pre-hospital care and transporting patients to hospital. On arrival at the scene they assess a patient's symptoms and begin appropriate treatment. Future Growth Very Strong Once it is safe to move the patient, they are placed on a stretcher, loaded into the ambulance and transported to hospital, with paramedics continuing to administer treatment throughout the entire process. Paramedics may provide general first aid at large events, such as concerts and sporting competitions. Some paramedics may also be involved in community education programs, such as visiting school children or providing basic first aid training to members of the public.


ANZSCO ID & description: 411111: Provides specialised transport services and emergency health care for injured, sick, infirm and aged persons. Registration or licensing is required. Student Paramedics at ACU Canberra Campus

Alternative names: Ambulance Officer,

Specialisations: Critical Care Paramedic, Industrial Paramedic, Patient Transport Officer (Aus)

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A paramedic needs:

  • to be physically fit and healthy
  • the ability to remain calm and control emotions in stressful situations
  • able to think clearly and act quickly
  • good analytical and problem-solving skills
  • able to follow instructions and guidelines
  • clear decision-making skills and judgement
  • to be able to work as part of a team
  • to demonstrate sound judgement and decision making ability in high pressure situations
  • to enjoy working with and helping people
  • caring, tolerant and non-judgmental attitude
  • high level of communication and interpersonal skills
  • enjoy working with people from diverse backgrounds
  • committed to developing and maintaining skills
  • to be able to keep patient confidentiality.

Duties and Tasks

Paramedics may perform the following tasks:

  • attending accidents, emergencies and requests for medical assistance
  • resuscitating and defibrillating patients and operating life-support equipment
  • drive ambulances to sites of medical emergencies and accidents that may require the administration of advanced life support and transporting accident victims to medical facilities
  • lift and place patients on stretchers, load the stretchers into ambulances and transport patients to hospital
  • assessing health of patients, determining need for assistance, and assessing specialised needs and factors affecting patients' conditions and treat patients on the way to hospital
  • administer pain-relieving drugs and replace fluids, often by inserting tubes into veins and performing therapies according to protocol
  • prepare patient care records and other written reports on the state of patients' injuries and the treatment provided
  • attend public gatherings, such as large sporting events, where accidents or other health emergencies may occur
  • provide routine transport for patients between home and hospital (e.g. for patients requiring further treatment or specialised treatment such as occupational therapy and chemotherapy)
  • transporting sick and disabled persons to and from medical facilities for specialised treatment and rehabilitation
  • instructing community groups and essential service workers in first aid
  • perform daily vehicle and equipment checks, making sure that medical supplies, including drugs are accounted for and that equipment and ambulances are in good working order.
  • follow strict OH&S policies and procedures

Attending
(Source: CareerFAQs)

Tools and technologies

Paramedics use standard first aid equipment, such as bandages, gauze padding, rubber gloves and antiseptics. They also use more advanced equipment such as stretchers and a range of drugs, including high strength painkillers. Ambulances are also equipped with resuscitation equipment, defibrillators (which use an electrical shock to correct an irregular heart rhythm) and a range of other equipment and supplies to treat any injury or illness that they may have to deal with. Paramedics must also wear a uniform.

Working conditions

Paramedics work in teams and in shifts. They work in all kinds of weather conditions. They are required to assist at a range of incidents, including motor vehicle accidents and medical emergencies inside and outside domestic premises, building sites and public areas. They may work in confined spaces, such as under vehicles and buildings, and at sites of hazardous material accidents, such as fires and chemical spills. They work closely with members of other emergency services such as firefighters, police and the State Emergency Service (SES).

Education and training/entrance requirements

Bachelor Degree in Paramedic or Health Science (or equivalent) and completion of an internship program.

The Diploma of Paramedical Science (Ambulance) is still used by some organisations engaging paramedics as the entry qualification for this level. This educational pathway is reducing with a progressive shift to university-based undergraduate or postgraduate education. All major ambulance services across Australia have now made the decision to move to ’entry to practice’ paramedic qualifications via these university programs.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) concurrently trains medics using the Diploma of Paramedical Science (Ambulance) and the Diploma of Nursing (which is required for registration as a Division 2 Nurse with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)) as part of the ADF Medic Course.

Employment Opportunities

Employment of paramedics is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. Emergencies, such as car crashes, natural disasters, or acts of violence, will continue to create demand for these roles. Demand for part-time paramedics in rural areas and smaller metropolitan areas will also continue.

Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increase in the number of age-related health emergencies, which will create greater demand for paramedic services.

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House Parent

Rheumatologist

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Youth Worker

Anaesthetist

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Surgeon

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Vet

Firefighter

Garbage Collector

Midwife

Paramedic

Teacher

Dentist

physio

Optometrist

Chaplain

Nurse

Child Care Worker

Social Worker

Real Estate Agent

Special Care Worker

Chiropractor

Medical Practitioner

Ophthalmologist

Audiologist

Podiatrist

Medical Imaging Technologist

Speech Pathologist

Occupational Therapist

Natural Therapist

SES Officer

Art Therapist

Dermatologist

Psychiatrist

Plastic or Reconstructive Surgeon

acupuncturist

Osteopath

Paediatrician

Neurologist

Indigenous Community Worker

Oncologist

Sports Doctor

Retirement Nursing Home Manager

Cardiologist

House Parent

Rheumatologist

Community Worker

Youth Worker

Anaesthetist

Intensive Care Specialist

Surgeon

Medical Radiation Therapist