Primary Care Paramedics are among the most highly-skilled Emergency Medical Professionals. Real-life superheroes, they help people when they need the most and are on the frontline in most traumatic situations. Whilst many hope not to see them on their front door but to have them in times of distress is critical to patient survival.
There are a lot of misconceptions about paramedicine. Many aspirants ask us what it takes to become one? What does the job entail? Is it a good career for me?
Our Primary Care Paramedic program director, Christian Wishnousky, a seasoned advanced care paramedic and currently a superintendent in Peel Regional Paramedic Services sheds light on what you should know before you become a paramedic.
- It’s Not Always Exciting: Paramedics work in high-stress situations and have to provide competent care. But unlike the reel world, the work is 95% boring calls and 5% chaos and stress. Patience is the key skill to succeed in the job.
- Long Shifts: The shifts are 12 hours long, and that includes overnight weekends and holidays. A typical shift includes attending calls for assistance, maintaining ambulance and equipment, waiting with a patient at the hospital until the nursing staff can take over and study or meal between calls.
- Approach Matters: You have to have a positive approach to life to survive the job. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are, your attitude impacts the behaviour and ultimately, the job. You will have to deal with drunks, overdoses and uncooperative patients, but a positive approach can narrow down the difficult communication and smoothen the care process.
- Everything is an Emergency: Always remember that what is an “emergency” to you is not the same as what the public sees as an emergency.
- Work Environment: We are in Canada, and we have to work outside no matter if it’s cold, wet, hot or slippery. However, it is also blue skies, warm and beautiful.
- Not a Boring Job: You will not be repeating the same tasks in and out. Every day is different, one day you might be rushing through the shift handling trauma victims another day you are helping someone through anxiety. Whatever the case, you will never experience the same routine.
- Being a paramedic is a career, not a job: When you train , you train for life. You will go through challenging situations, learn new things every day and increase your knowledge which in fact you can use in real-life situations.
- Don’t Hesitate: As a newbie you may feel uncertain at times or cannot be trusted alone with the patients, it is completely normal. In fact, the best way to get over the fear is to smile, speak with confidence and if you’re not sure, ask another medic.
- Big Bucks: The pay is excellent, and don’t forget that when you’re busy on the job. Your career is going to be what you make of it, and if you enjoy the work, it will keep you motivated.
- Part of a Large Family: When you become a paramedic, you join a family. As a family, there are odd uncles and annoying siblings. We have arguments, and we also have lots of laughs. Try and remember, we are all in the same family, so have some understanding of each other.
Paramedic Academy, Mississauga has trained 100+ aspiring applicants who have been placed successfully in Peel Regional Paramedic Services, Toronto Paramedic Services and Hamilton Paramedic Services. Get started as a Primary Care Paramedic with us!