Author: Kailey Guillemin
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Paramedics are vital to the health of any society. They are part of the first response team that get dispatched out when you call 911. These people can be the difference between life and death in some situations.

When you see an ambulance cruising by with sirens blaring and their blinding lights, you know something is wrong. The two people sitting in the front though, they go through intensive training to administer pre-hospital emergency care before transporting patients to the hospital. In many cases, those paramedics are how a patient stays alive before making it to the surgeon.

Paramedics go through paramedicine training. It teaches them to think critically, rationally react in high-pressure situations, and go through research and laboratory experience. They have a wide range of medical knowledge that they take with them in the field.

As exciting as it sounds like to be a paramedic, it’s not a career path that just anyone can handle. These men and women witness tragedy’s that we wouldn’t wish on anyone. When you read of a fatal car accident, or the most recent devastating bus crash with a small-town hockey team, the paramedics are some of the first people to arrive and see everything. There is no sugar-coating they witness.

Still interested in becoming a paramedic? Take a look at the skills you’ll gain and the different career paths available to you.

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Skills Gained from Paramedicine

  • Critical thinking while in the field – assessing injuries or illnesses and determine the correct emergency medical treatment.
  • Effective communication between partner, patient, and doctor when transporting a patient.
  • Priority triage – treating patients and injuries based on their emergencies.
  • Deeper understanding of human behaviour and psychological disorders.
  • Maintaining and operating an ambulance.
  • Understanding our bodies, bacterial pathogens, and pathobiology of human diseases.

Entry-Level Jobs

  • Primary Care
  • Search and Rescue Technician
  • Medical Attendant
  • Emergency First Responder
  • Firefighter
  • Research Assistant

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Graduate-Level Jobs

Furthering your medical education can get you into higher-level paramedic jobs, including:

  • Disaster and Emergency Management
  • Advance Care
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health

Education Path to Become a Paramedic

Each province will have their criteria for an individual to become a paramedic. In Ontario, you’ll need to have your high school diploma, and have taken biology and science. You must have your first aid certification, updated CPR training, Class F Ontario driver’s license, physically fit, and a minimum age of 18.

The first step is to apply, attend, and graduate from the Ontario College Paramedic Program with a diploma. After that, there is a provincial certification exam (Advanced Emergency Medical Care Attendant). Once you pass the exam, you’ll be a licensed AEMCA and can work in the EMS service. When you get your first job, you’ll have to pass the certification exam by the local hospital. After that, every year, paramedics have to undergo training in defibrillation, drug administration, and CPR training.

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Are you interested in becoming a paramedic? What makes being a paramedic intriguing?

 

About author:
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Kailey Guillemin

Kailey graduated with a degree in Journalism and Religious Studies from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan. Now she lives a double life in Manitoba – writer by day and dance teacher by night. When she’s not at her computer, you’ll find her curled up with a glass of red wine and knitting, or obsessively taking photos of her puppy.🐶🐾

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