With the growing popularity of paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and emergency medical responders, a career as a paramedic can be a rewarding one.
If you are interested in the paramedic program, it will be a good idea to explore what primary care paramedics do. This post will cover the training requirements, job responsibilities, career opportunities, and qualities one must possess to become a paramedic.
A career as a paramedic can be exciting and challenging at the same time, but the proper training can help you become job-ready through apt practical exposure.
Training Requirements for a Career as a Paramedic
In Ontario, various private and public colleges offer paramedic training under the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Program duration may vary from 1 year to 2 years, depending on the institution.
Private career colleges, such as BizTech College, offer a fast-track 60-weeks program that provides a unique combination of theoretical and lab training. With an emphasis on practical placement and ambulance ride-outs, graduates are ready to provide pre-hospital care.
To become a Primary Care paramedic in Ontario, one must graduate from an approved institution. However, to enter the program, one must meet a few prerequisites, which may differ depending on each school’s requirements.
- Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent
- Biology and Math – Grade 11
- Basic CPR and First-Aid certificates
- A valid driver’s license, Class F
- Must meet physical fitness standards
To start your career as a paramedic, graduates need to clear the provincial certification – the Advanced Emergency Medical Care Assistant (A-EMCA) provided by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
What will you be learning as Paramedic?
As a paramedic, you will respond to critical situations and manage patients and families in stress while performing pre-hospital care. Thus, along with medical knowledge, paramedics need to possess certain qualities to help them achieve better on-job.
Before we move to the qualities of a successful paramedic, let’s look at what paramedic training will help you learn.
- Medical terminology required to perform primary pre-hospital care.
- Understanding of anatomy, physiology and pharmacology required to perform paramedic duties.
- How to assess the extent of patients’ injuries in trauma, stress, accidents, overdose and what emergency treatment should be given.
- How to administer pre-hospital care such as CPR, spinal immobilization, oxygen therapy, and bandaging.
- Operational, ethical, legal and psycho-social aspects of being a paramedic.
- How to establish and maintain intravenous treatment, apply equipment for ventilation and circulation and administer medications.
- Safely transport patients to the hospital and ensure the proper treatment is administered.
- Perform administrative duties and maintain ambulance and emergency care equipment.
What qualities should you have to lead a successful career as paramedic?
Becoming a paramedic is not a job but a career. Being said that, not everyone is suited for the job. However, if you possess the following qualities, it will be a good calling for you:
- Ability to work in a team within the paramedical community and inter-agency.
- Creative problem-solving skills to handle the most challenging situations.
- Ability to stay calm and handle stressful situations without panicking.
- Assertive and open personality with practical communication skills.
- Flexibility to adapt to the unstructured work environment.
- It is a fast pace job, and paramedics must possess physical fitness and strength to stay sharp on the job.
- As a paramedic, you handle different situations on each call. Your openness to learning new things will not only perform better but will help in career growth.
What to expect when you become a paramedic?
Unlike what most TV shows and movies portray, a career as a paramedic is not always glamorous. Indeed, you will work in a fast-paced work environment and learn something new on every call but be prepared for chaos.
Christian Wishnousky, a seasonal advanced care paramedic, shares his experience and what you should expect.
- Everything is an emergency– As a first responder, you might have seen the same situation multiple times, but everything is an emergency for patients.
- Shifts will be long – The shifts are usually 12 hours long, including weeknights and holidays. What does that mean for you? It can be hard to maintain a work-life balance.
- Approach matters – As a paramedic, you must have a positive approach to life. Your attitude will be the most significant impact on day-to-day life as a paramedic.
- Work environment – Canada is a mixed bag for the weather; you need to be mentally prepared to work outside in the cold and enjoy the warm summer days.
- Not a boring job– Every day is different, don’t expect to repeat the same tasks day in and day out.
- Confidence will help – As a newbie in the profession, it is natural to have a certain level of hesitation. It is normal, and the best way to overcome any difficult situation is to ask and follow instructions from experienced partners. Smile and be confident.
- Part of a big family – Paramedics are part of a big community, and you should be open to accepting others and understanding.
- Big bucks – Last but not least, pay is excellent. Your career is what you are going to make of it. If you are self-motivated and want to grow, the sky is the limit.
Interested in what it would be like to be a paramedic in action? Our excellent faculty team, who are active paramedics, can help you explore more about the profession.
Book a campus tour today to learn about the program, admission requirements, and talk to subject matter experts.