Would you like to work in the medical emergency field? This career path is extremely demanding but it will give you the chance to save lives.
Paramedics fall into the category known as emergency medical technician (EMT) and are the highest ranked medical staff on the scene.
They have the most decision making power in an emergency situation due to their intense training.
A paramedic is certified to perform advanced life support (ALS).
This means they are trained to deal with the most fatal injuries and illnesses that people can experience. In fact paramedics are specifically trained to care for high risk patients.
This includes casualties from car accidents, heart attack patients or pregnant women to name a few.
A paramedic is equipped to perform advanced respiratory procedures, administer IV fluids, injections and medications.
To succeed as a paramedic you need to have leaderships skills and be able to handle some of the most stressful and traumatic situations.
Aspiring paramedics must first obtain an EMT-B certificate, which is the foundational level of emergency and medical training.
EMT-B training is offered at community colleges and other institutions. For example the ER24Training Academy offers a broad selection of training programmes for both companies or individuals.
The entrance requirements for these programmes can include an above average comprehension of biology, mathematics and English.
Trainees will receive theory and practical training which is primarily performed in hospitals, ambulances and fire departments.
It takes approximately six months to complete the 120 to 150 hours of training. EMT’s in training will then be required to complete a state certification test to receive official recognition.
Qualified EMT’s are licensed to perform ambulance work or operate in medical centres.
Most people work as EMT’s for a couple of years to get some experience before undergoing the additional 1,200 to 1,800 hours of training to become a paramedic. Often paramedic programs will require at least six months of EMT experience.
Certified paramedics have more job opportunities and higher earning potential.
These brave professionals can be found in hospitals, fire stations, cruise ships and other unusual locations.
This field may not suit every personality but for those who are called to emergency service it can be an exhilarating and rewarding career.
Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)