A paramedic is an integral part of the first response team when an emergency call is made. Upon arrival, the paramedic will immediately perform diagnostic procedures and begin preliminary treatment that will aid the patient before and during the ambulance ride to the hospital. This requires critical thinking to make the right diagnosis and identify the right treatment, which will entail the administration of complex first-aid treatment and life support medical care for the patient before he or she reaches the hospital. The paramedic must be able to coordinate with other members of the emergency medical team and with the police and fire department members who might be on-scene after a 911 call. The job also includes basic routine maintenance of emergency vehicles and communications used by the paramedic, and the employee must ensure that his or her ambulance stays stocked with functioning first-aid equipment and supplies. A paramedic must be able to operate equipment such as electrocardiograms, external defibrillators, and bag-valve mask resuscitators, and must be able to effectively use that equipment in stressful advanced life-support situations. This member of the team will also be responsible for administrating drugs either orally or by injection, and will often be required to perform intravenous procedures under a doctor’s supervision. As the job requires a uniform, a paramedic must maintain the uniform and keep it clean and intact. Before becoming a paramedic, an applicant must complete basic and intermediate EMT training programs or earn an associate of applied sciences degree in the appropriate paramedic or EMT academic program. This can take one to two years to complete.
- Administer complex first-aid treatment and life-support care to sick or injured persons in prehospital setting.
- Maintain vehicles and medical and communication equipment, and replenish first-aid equipment and supplies.
- Coordinate work with other emergency medical team members and police and fire department personnel.
- Perform emergency diagnostic and treatment procedures, such as stomach suction, airway management or heart monitoring, during ambulance ride.
- Administer drugs, orally or by injection, and perform intravenous procedures under a physician's direction.