Paramedics respond to ambulance calls providing critical care to patients in need of urgent medical attention (e.g. victims of accidents, violence, and sudden illness, such as cardiac arrests or strokes). They then transport these patients to hospitals or other healthcare facilities for further medical care, keeping patients stable while they’re in transit by using advanced equipment (e.g. oxygen masks, ventilators, and defibrillators) and medical supplies. They also clean, dress, and bandage minor and major injuries, as required.
Paramedics are also responsible for other non-urgent transfers, whether they transport people leaving the hospital after treatment or from one hospital to another. They usually transport patients by land, but some might also do it by air or water.
Paramedics usually work in pairs, teaming up with other qualified paramedics such as emergency care assistants or ambulance technicians, all of which can be employed by hospitals, fire departments, government departments, private ambulance services, and other private sector establishments.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Paramedics are required to complete.
- Responding to medical and traumatic emergencies while complying with standard operating procedures, policies, and directives.
- Diagnosing patients and providing basic life support to seriously ill patients:
- Inserting drips, administering pain relief, and dressing wounds;
- assessing extent of injuries or illness of patients to determine proper treatments; and
- providing advanced emergency medical treatments to patients, administering oxygen therapy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), spinal immobilization, bandaging, and medications, as required.
- Collaborating with ambulance dispatch centres, hospital staff, police, firefighters, and family members to ensure relevant information is collected and proper treatment is administered.
- Complying with safety standards at all times, taking precaution measures to avoid infection and contamination:
- Safely operating emergency vehicles and medical equipment; and
- ensuring the vehicle and its medical equipment are in excellent functioning condition by completing various safety, inventory, and maintenance tasks.
- Maintaining accurate and confidential medical records in accordance with established protocol:
- Documenting and recording nature of injuries and treatment provided.
- Assisting in the emergency room, as required:
- Assisting hospital personnel with provision of medical treatment; and
- assisting with emergency patients’ triage.
- Responding to medical and traumatic emergencies providing basic life support to seriously ill patients.
- Administering proper treatments and medication, directing cares, and providing guidance at the scene.
- Safely operating and maintaining emergency vehicles and medical equipment.
- Maintaining medical records and documenting nature of injuries and treatment provided.
The average Paramedic salary is $55,630 per year or $29 per hour. This is around 1.7 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $39,000 while most experienced workers make up to $78,000. These results are based on 69 salaries extracted from job descriptions.