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What are the Different Paramedic Jobs?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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A number of jobs are available to people who are qualified as paramedics, depending on their level of qualification. People who are interested in paramedic jobs can work in a range of settings, from a fast-paced ambulance service to a research facility where paramedics provide medical care to test subjects. Although paramedics are often associated with emergency response, many paramedic jobs actually involve non-emergency situations.

One of the most classic paramedic jobs is in emergency medical transport. Paramedics staff ambulances, helicopters, boats, and other types of transport which respond to emergencies and transport patients. In these types of paramedic jobs, the paramedics provide pre-hospital interventions which can save the patient's life or radically improve the patient's prognosis. Paramedics can also staff fire trucks and rescue vans used by fire stations, providing emergency medical response at the scene of fires.

Tactical paramedics work with law enforcement and the military, providing immediate medical care in the field. People interested in these types of paramedic jobs need to be able to work well under pressure, and to quickly assess situations for danger level. Working as a tactical paramedic, someone may provide care to members of his or her team as well as bystanders at a scene or people who are injured in the course of an engagement; tactical paramedics need to be able to care for criminals or the enemy as well as their coworkers and people injured in accidents and emergency situations.

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Other paramedic jobs can be found in the hospital environment. Paramedics may staff an emergency room, providing immediate care and treatment for incoming patients. They can work with registered nurses and doctors, processing incoming patients, triaging them, and performing medical interventions. Paramedics can also work in blood labs, or staff a company or corporation, providing basic medical care on site for people who are injured. Clinics may also utilize paramedics for staffing, along with nurses and physician assistants who reduce the workload on physicians.

People who are interested in careers as paramedics should look at the level of certification required for different paramedic jobs to make sure that they achieve the desired educational objectives for the paramedic positions they are interested in. Generally, the higher the certification, the more employable a paramedic is, as he or she can provide more interventions and services. People can also opt to start work at a low certification level, and continue education to achieve higher certifications over time.

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anon989295
Post 4

Being a Paramedic is a very rewarding job! Yes, you deal with a lot of different situations and long hours, and it's definitely not about the money. To become a good paramedic, you need to care about helping people no matter the scene or their status in life. It is wise to volunteer first before spending the time and money for school.

croydon
Post 2

@pleonasm - That was really smart of your sister, to volunteer first to see how she liked the job before committing to more education.

It is certainly a difficult job, probably more than most people think. Most kinds of paramedics work long hours, for less pay than they deserve. I think a lot of them burn out after a few years.

But it is an interesting job and I certainly wouldn't discourage anyone from going into it. I always wanted to have a firefighter paramedic job, although I'm not sure I will ever pursue it.

pleonasm
Post 1

My sister was thinking about becoming a paramedic for a while. She had a medical science degree and was trying to think of a specialty.

She volunteered with the St John's Ambulance group for a while to see if she liked it, and also worked as a medic in the territorial army.

And she did like it a lot. Particularly St John's because she got to go to free concerts and things. She even got to see the Rolling Stones (she was there to make sure oxygen was available if the band needed it!).

But, ultimately, she realized it was not for her after someone died from a heart attack while they were transporting him to hospital.

It wasn't their fault, but it still deeply affected her and she didn't think she could deal with that on a regular basis.

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