If you are thinking about going through paramedic training, here are some of the skills you may learn as well as the opportunities you could have to work in this field.
What You'll Need to Learn in the Classroom
A good paramedic school should not only give you classroom instruction but also hands-on experience. You can expect to study and understand certain medical conditions as well as the types of injuries you might encounter on the job. You'll also need to study basic pharmacology and how to transport a patient as well as learn good communication skills.
Mastering the Use of Equipment Is Crucial
Besides basic classroom instruction, paramedic training needs to involve working on the type of equipment you'll be using in the field. This might include everything from advanced life support equipment, from heart defibrillators, to Epi-Pens in case of a life-threatening allergic reaction. You'll also need to learn how every piece of equipment or tool in an emergency vehicle works. Since this can't be taught properly by simply reading a handbook, being in an actual ambulance, preferably with someone who already is a licensed paramedic, is key.
If you are studying to be a paramedic, the only way you can truly learn your craft is to get hands-on training in the field. The best way to get this type of experience is to participate in a simulated accident or disaster. Often, these events are staffed by hospital employees or even volunteers from the community who pretend to be injured. This gives you the opportunity to not only learn how a lot of the equipment you'll need works, but also to understand what to expect in a true-to-life disaster!
Your Responsibilities as a Paramedic
As a paramedic, you will be responsible for responding to emergency calls (often through the 911 service). This may include everything from injuries at work to illnesses that have become critical at home. You may also be responding to calls that involve automobile or pedestrian accidents, fires or even drownings. Knowing CPR will be part of your training as well as how to properly determine the extent of the patient's injuries, how to bandage any wounds and how to quickly transport someone to a medical facility.
Job Opportunities in the Field
As a paramedic, you might work for a police or fire department as part of their team of first responders. You could also work for a private ambulance service or even a hospital. Since your goal is to get the people you have rescued to further medical care quickly, you'll have to rely on your paramedic training to be able to make quick decisions and show consideration and sensitivity to the person who has been injured no matter what field you're in.
To be successful in this field, you'll need to be thorough in documenting every single person you've transported to a hospital or other medical facility. This includes being able to successfully communicate to the medical team the extent of a patient's injuries as well as anything else you may have found at the scene. Ultimately, if you like a work environment where you will be responsible for saving people's lives, this could be the perfect career for you!