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What Being a Paramedic Involves

Being a paramedic is about a lot more than lights and sirens and rushing to help someone in need. Paramedics perform clinical procedures, administer drugs, maintain patient records and decide the most appropriate medical facility to take someone to.

Paramedics help people in non-life threatening situations too, from sporting injuries to routine transport between hospitals and health services.

On any given day, a paramedic may:

  • Attend medical emergencies and accidents which may require the administration of advanced life support.
  • Assess, treat and manage the patient’s treatment en-route to hospital
  • Perform invasive techniques such as intravenous canulation, administration of pain-relieving drugs, fluid resuscitation in the trauma setting and advanced airway management.
  • Lift and place patients on stretchers, load the stretchers into ambulances and transport patients to hospital.
  • Prepare patient care records and other written reports on the state of a patient’s injuries and the treatment provided.
  • Triage patients to the most appropriate medical facility.
  • Provide routine transport for patients from home to hospital and return, e.g. for patients requiring further treatment or specialised treatment such as occupational therapy and chemotherapy.
  • Perform daily vehicle and equipment checks, making sure that ambulances and medical supplies (including drugs) are accounted for, and that equipment is in good working conditions.
  • Attend public gatherings such as large sporting events, where accidents or other health emergencies may occur.

Ambulance paramedics work on a rotating roster. The roster covers seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Rosters are provided at least four weeks in advance to ensure adequate planning time.

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