What Does an Ambulance Technician Do?

Nick Mann

An ambulance technician is a person who treats people who have experienced medical complications or have been in an accident. These individuals usually work with other team members to stabilize patients and transport them back to a medical facility. Being successful in this career often requires someone who is empathetic, team oriented and able to handle stressful situations. Generally speaking, it takes a minimum of a high school diploma and an emergency technician training certificate to get into this field. Some common job duties of an ambulance technician include evaluating the condition of patients, stabilizing patients, getting patient information, transporting patients and maintaining equipment.

Ambulance technicians stabilize and treat patients until they can get to the hospital.
Ambulance technicians stabilize and treat patients until they can get to the hospital.

Upon reaching the emergency location, an ambulance technician will make an initial evaluation of a patient's condition. This is usually the first thing he will do, and is essential for getting the situation under control. For example, he may check a patient's vital signs, evaluate breathing and ask the patient to describe the events related to the emergency. If a patient is incoherent, he might converse with other individuals to obtain as much information as possible.

Ambulance technicians are trained to perform CPR on people of all ages.
Ambulance technicians are trained to perform CPR on people of all ages.

After an initial assessment, the ambulance technician will attempt to stabilize the patient. If the patient is bleeding from a wound, he would treat the wound or place a tourniquet around it. For a patient suffering from a heart complication, he might use a defibrillator. Since an ambulance technician can be faced with a wide array of medical problems, he must be knowledgeable about numerous life-saving procedures and know how to use needed equipment.

An ambulance technician must be able to handle stressful situations.
An ambulance technician must be able to handle stressful situations.

Along with this, he will try to get as much information on the patient as possible. This can include things like the patient's name, address, physician and previous medical history. If a patient is coherent, an ambulance technician will usually ask the patient directly. Otherwise, he will attempt to obtain this information from a patient's family, friends or anyone else on the scene. Having this information is helpful for hospital doctors who treat a patient later on.

An ambulance technician is responsible for maintaining the equipment on an ambulance.
An ambulance technician is responsible for maintaining the equipment on an ambulance.

Once a patient has been evaluated and stabilized, an ambulance technician and other team members will transport the patient to a medical facility. If the situation is severe, he may provide treatment during the transport. Otherwise, he will try to keep a patient calm until further medical assistance can be given.

In addition, the ambulance technician will usually be responsible for maintaining the equipment on an ambulance. For example, he might have to refill oxygen tanks, keep bandages stocked and check inventory. Along with this, he may be required to routinely clean the ambulance to keep it sterile.

An ambulance technician may check a patient's vital signs upon reaching the location of an emergency.
An ambulance technician may check a patient's vital signs upon reaching the location of an emergency.

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