Paramedics respond to emergencies. They assess situations and treat patients when they are on their way to the hospital. They can administer drugs, respond to trauma and perform advanced medical techniques to save patients. Paramedics prepare medical records and charts for hospital personnel and they choose the medical facility that is the most appropriate for their current patient.
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Because you are working with people's lives, your work is very fast paced. You will also have varied assignments throughout your shift. If your first call requires you to respond to a car accident, your next call may be a patient transfer from one medical facility to another. You are prepared for emergencies that involve cardiac, respiratory and trauma but each call will be different. Because you respond to emergencies, there may be very little time between cases. Rural areas and small towns use volunteer paramedics because they receive fewer calls.
Paramedics can work both federal and private jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the field of paramedics is predicted to grow. In fact, in 2008, more than 210,700 paramedics had jobs. In 2008, 45 per cent of paramedics worked for ambulance services, 20 per cent worked for hospitals and 29 per cent were government workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a nine per cent growth from 2008 to 2018.
Paramedics earn between £16,451 and £28,106 per year, according to StateUniversity.com. Your wage increases dramatically with experience and additional training. Paramedics may also belong to a union and, in 2008, 27 per cent did, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because someone may get hurt, paramedics attend large sporting events and public gatherings. You need only a high school diploma or GED and 1,000 hours of technical school or community college for paramedic certification. Your education is combined with real-world experience in an emergency room or ambulance.
Paramedics work in all types of weather outdoors. They bend, lift and kneel frequently. Paramedics are at high risk for work-related illnesses and injuries. Sirens may induce hearing loss. You are in contact with patients with all types of illnesses, such as hepatitis-B and AIDS. You must work with patients who are not cooperative and are subjected to life-or-death situations and patient deaths. Paramedics typically work more than 40 hours per week. Turnover is also high.
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- American Paramedics; Paramedic Training Advantages and Disadvantages of Federal Jobs; Darryl Strosnider
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics
- DCSNA; Medical Benefits; Careers in the Medical Field; December 2010
- StateUniversity.com: Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic Job Description
- NAEMT: EMS Careers