Career As a Paramedic – 8 Things to Expect?

Career As a Paramedic – 8 Things to Expect?

Nov 25, 2021 | BizTalk, Healthcare, Paramedic

Career As a Paramedic – 8 Things to Expect?

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  

Provincial Certification

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. 

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