What you need to know about becoming a Paramedic
Not many people understand the full scope of what the job of Paramedics entails. Simply put, they are individuals who are trained to take charge of life threatening emergency situations. Performing lifesaving or life preserving procedures to ensure that the patient remains alive while he or she gets transported to a hospital. If this falls in line with what you hope to do, visit Job Mail and apply for the medical jobs advertised.
What is a Paramedic?
They are responsible for taking charge of situations where an individual has been gravely hurt and in serious need of medical attention. Paramedics are then responsible for making sure that they handle the situation and get the patient to the nearest hospital without losing them.
Paramedic jobs entail responding to emergency calls for help, to assist with taking control of accident or crime scenes that they’ve been called out to. They will examine the victims at the scene and follow their training as best as they can in the act of maximizing the chances of survival.
The job description of Paramedic jobs is very wide, but generally the main thing that a Paramedic does is to respond to emergencies and performing lifesaving techniques on said emergencies. As such, if you would want to work in these medical jobs you can expect your job description to include:
- Responding to emergency calls to carry out procedures such as Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, also known as CPR, in order to help someone who has collapsed or under cardiac arrest; performing the Heimlich Maneuver on people whose airways are blocked by food or some other foreign object; stopping bleeding – particularly arterial bleeding as this has the potential to cause death; and assisting with baby-delivery. There are numerous other lifesaving techniques you may have to carry out as a Paramedic and the above list is by no means exhaustive.
- Assessing a patient’s condition in an emergency and determining the right course of treatment. This will require that you have an acute understanding of the human body in order to carry out an accurate assessment and enough listening skills to decipher what is wrong with the patient whilst having limited information presented to you.
- Following the rules and guidelines learnt during training
- Helping other medical workers in ensuring that patients are successfully transferred to emergency departments and reporting any allergies the patient may have and any observations that may aid in treating said patients to the medical staff in the hospital upon the patient’s arrival.
- Carrying out decontamination of the ambulance in cases where they are dealing with a patient who has a highly contagious disease and informing all relevant medical staff of said disease in order to prevent any further potential contamination.
- In some cases you will be expected to drive ambulances. You will need to have an appropriate driver’s license and training in order to be authorised to drive an ambulance.
- You will have to possess good communication skills to be able to communicate effectively with doctors, patients and other medical staff. As mentioned in previous paragraphs a huge component of your job will involve being an effective communicator.
Education and Registration
In terms of education and qualifications, there is generally one effective path you can follow in order to be able to find Paramedic jobs. Firstly, you will need to have adequate grades in matric to be able to get into a University degree program. If your matric is not good enough to get into University you could, as an alternative, wait until you are eligible to get into the degree program based on senior exemption.
As soon as you are eligible to enter University you would need to register for and successfully complete a Bachelor of Emergency Care. After completing this degree you will be eligible to be awarded the designation of Paramedic by the Health Professional Council of South Africa.
Once you fall under this title you will need to abide under the code of conduct set out by this governing body and ensure that you always remain compliant with their requirements. As an alternative you could also choose to register for and complete a Bachelor of Clinical Medical Practice.
After completing this Bachelor you will be able to be a registered as a Clinical Associate. This professional is in many ways similar to that of a Paramedic and you will in essence be capable for applying for Paramedic jobs and earn a Paramedic salary with your qualification.
If you are unable to do a University course, you could consider doing a two-year National Certificate to become an Emergency Care Technician (ECT). This individual will be under supervision of a BTech qualified Paramedic.
Work environment and salary
As a Paramedic you expect to work in a highly strenuous environment. What makes these medical jobs especially stressful is that you will be under constant pressure. You cannot afford to make too many mistakes because such mistakes could cost someone their life. This pressure can be overwhelming. However some people actually enjoy working under these highly stressful and strenuous conditions. If you are one of those people then this is certainly a career path you should consider.
As a Paramedic you will be expected to work both indoors and outdoors, depending on the emergency situation you are dealing with. In certain instances your work will be primarily inside an ambulance. You will need to have the flexibility to deal with these ever changing work conditions and function effectively regardless of the environment your work takes you to.
Generally, with a Paramedic salary you can expect to earn around R166 000 per year. While a Paramedic salary is not particularly high you will find a lot of fulfilment from the actual work you do on a daily basis. There are few things that are more fulfilling than having the opportunity to save a person’s life each day you go to work.
Find and apply for medical jobs advertised on Job Mail.