Paramedic in Canada are expected to see continued job growth, primarily as more and more assigned to non-traditional positions, working outside of ambulances in designated locations such as hospital emergency rooms.
EMS services in Ontario include Ottawa Paramedic Service, Region of Waterloo EMS, Toronto Paramedic Services and York Region EMS. Apart from Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Yukon are highly trained paramedics.
Paramedic Training in Canada
Paramedic in Canada get accredited as either as a primary care paramedic (PCP), critical care paramedic (CCP), or the advanced care paramedic (ACP). The applicant has to successfully complete a training course that may vary in various provinces to become a paramedic.
To qualify for admission to a training program, the student must be a high school diploma holder with a minimum C average in English, mathematics and biology. Have first aid certification (CPR) and holds a class “F” driver’s license.
Before beginning the paramedic training, the student must have all immunizations and police background check with a clean history.
Graduates from approved programs are eligible to take the Provincial Registration Examination to apply for registration.
The Alberta College of Paramedics is the regulatory body for paramedics in Alberta. Provincial Exam- The Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators (COPR) examination.
Paramedics in Ontario are regulated under the Ambulance Act (1990) and Regulations and accountable to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Provincial Exam- Advanced Emergency Medical Care Assistant (AEMCA) Examination.
Paramedicine is now a self-regulated profession in Nova Scotia. Provincial Exam- The Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators (COPR) examination.
Levels of Paramedic in Canada
Primary Care Paramedic (PCP)
An entry-level of the profession, the PCP is responsible for delivering basic medical treatment, IV and oxygen administration, cardiac monitoring, external defibrillation, administering medications for emergency situations, as well as trauma immobilization.
With additional training, PCPs are authorized to provide medical care on the level of Advanced Care Paramedic.
In Ontario, students can sign up for the A-EMCA after completing the approved college program. Students will have three attempts to pass the provincial exam. In case, the student fails all three times, he or she has to complete remedial training before the next attempt.
Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP)
Provinces such as New Brunswick and Quebec don’t have ACPs. However, the demand for advance care paramedics is rapidly increasing. ACPs are eligible to bring 20 different drugs, but that can vary considerably from region to region.
They are qualified to perform intubation, intravenous therapy, place external jugular IV lines, administer pain relief, perform needle thoracotomy and perform an obstetrical assessment. ACPs direct access to PCO labs, bypassing the hospital emergency departments has a profound effect on patient survival rates.
To become an Advanced Care Paramedic, the PCP must work between 6-24 months. The applicant needs to complete the 1200-hour training program and pass the required exams and certifications required per provincial requirements.
Critical Care Paramedic (CCP)
CCPs are highly trained individuals with expertise focused on the critical and intensive care unit level care. Stabilizing and transporting patients in hospitals with limited resources with life-saving care is otherwise administered by a physician.
The CCP program takes a year to complete and ACPs with at least one year of experience with certification in necessary trauma life support, advanced cardiac life support, and an aeromedical certificate.
In certain provinces, paramedics are also trained as firefighters or police officers and were given Public Safety Occupation status.
Paramedic Salary in Canada
For paramedic in Canada, salaries depend on their level of experience and the province they operate in.
Paramedic Salary in Ontario
Toronto EMS is the largest paramedic employer in Canada. For primary care paramedics working in the Toronto Region, the average salary is $41.70/hour. Advanced care paramedics and critical care paramedics make an average salary of $118,000/per year and $125,000/per year, respectively.
Paramedic Salary in Alberta
Primary care paramedic operating in the Calgary region, Alberta earns an average wage of $70,000/per year.
Paramedic Salary in British Columbia
The median wage for primary care paramedic in Vancouver Island and Coast region is $30/hour.
Paramedic Academy of BizTech College, Mississauga
Unlike many community colleges, BizTech College is approved for 60 weeks fast track Primary Care Diploma by Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Apart from shorter duration, the college offers a unique combination of classroom, lab training and ambulance ride-outs, which will help you gain a solid foundation and versatile skill-set required on-the-job. With an exceptional record in AEMCA, our graduates are currently working in various ambulance services in the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario.
Get in touch with us for detailed information and personal interview. Contact us
Planning a career in healthcare? One of the questions most students ask themselves is whether to choose paramedic or nurse. Which path in emergency services should you pursue?
Both the fields share similarities and yet are strikingly different in various area. Whether you choose to become a paramedic or nurse, you will be on the frontline of patient care and will be working in a high-pressure situation.
Employees in both professions are characterized as someone who can quickly analyze a condition and symptom and interpret the patient’s condition. So how do these professions differ and which one suits your aspirations?
Paramedic or Nurse – The Training
The training level for paramedics and nurses are different. The skill level required for nurses is more concentrated on within the hospital, while paramedics are trained for emergency medical care on the site.
Paramedics assess the immediate crisis and are not required to provide follow-up care, of which nurses are responsible. The training reflects a significant difference in pre-and post-hospital care.
Training to become a Nurse in Ontario
Nursing and paramedics are both regulated professions in Ontario. Nurses can opt for a two-year associate’s degree program for entry-level opportunities as a registered or licensed practical nurse (RPN/LPN). A four-year bachelor’s degree prepares students to work as a Registered Nurse (RN) in Ontario.
Nurses are required to study chemistry, anatomy, microbiology, nutrition, physiology and psychology, in addition to their other nursing courses. During training as student nurses, they take experience in maternity, trauma, surgery, paediatrics, and psychiatric departments.
Training to become a Paramedic in Ontario
To become a Primary Care Paramedic in Ontario, one should attend a recognized two-year program or can opt for a fast-track paramedic training program and have to clear Advanced Emergency Medical Care Assistant (A-EMCA) certification exam.
Paramedic students also study anatomy and physiology, also need hands-on-training for advanced life support for adults and infants and trauma life support. The training is of shorter duration but rigorous for paramedics.
Average Salary for Paramedic and Nurse
The average salary for registered nurses in Canada is $37.60/hour. Within the profession, one can obtain specialized training that leads to a higher salary:
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Average Salary: $189,488 per year
Nurse Practitioner Average Salary: $108, 084 per year
Clinical Nurse Specialist Average Salary: $85,785 per year
Whilst paramedic and nurse careers are different, the qualities for good candidates are common. Both work on the frontlines of healthcare and need specialized training to provide patient care. Some of the key qualities a Paramedic or Nurse should have included:
Strong communications skills are critical for healthcare professionals. Ability to communicate effectively with patients, family members and co-workers will help one provide safer care.
Paramedics and nurses work under immense pressure and attend multiple patients in a day. Strong attention to detail is a must-have personality trait as it will help them act quickly and provide high-quality patient care.
Problem-solving skills are essential for healthcare providers. Paramedics act in a fast-moving environment and are often responsible for saving lives. Nurses have the most one-on-one patient interaction and are responsible for individual care. Both professionals need to think quick on their feet and provide creative solutions to handle any issue which can cause adverse outcomes.
Physical strength is a must for both professionals as the job includes lifting and adjusting patients and have to be on the feet for most of the shifts. A unique physical and emotional stamina will help you cut down on job stress.
Willingness to learn is a good trait for any career, however with technological advancements in the healthcare industry, one should be able to learn and adapt as required. It is an important quality for career advancement.
Jobs in healthcare are bound to grow, and demand for both nurses and paramedics is increasing. If you like helping people and enjoy serving the community, you can’t go wrong with either of careers.
Want to know more? Visit our Primary Care Paramedic program page for more information or book an appointment to discuss your options with our subject matter experts.
Just like any other job, one of the most daunting tasks is appearing for an interview. Paramedic interview questions include open-ended situational and general questions, where the interviewer can assess you on both professional capabilities and personality traits.
As a primary care paramedic, you will be entrusted with the important job of providing care in an emergency situation. Apart from saving lives, people place their trust in the ability of a paramedic in an hour of need. Becoming a primary care paramedic is rewarding on both personal and financial levels.
As you move forward, the first step is to attain your basic education to become a paramedic, which includes both theoretical and practical experience via ambulance ride-outs. Provincial certification Advanced Emergency Medical Care Assistant (AEMCA) is mandatory in Ontario.
Paramedic Interview Questions
Q: Paramedic job is stressful and isn’t suited for everyone. How do you stay calm in a stressful situation?
This general question is intended to find out more about you and provide the interviewer with additional topics to explore.
Q: Paramedics work in teams and have to interact with other first responders. Can you describe a situation in which you were required to work as part of a team?
An operational question, to get an idea of how you will perform on the job. Best way to answer such questions is to address the situation and describe in detail.
Q: Can you describe a situation where you had to follow specific rules and procedures?
Another operational question, in which interviewer seeks to understand how well you follow procedures. It is a critical trait as a paramedic. You need to focus on your ability to follow strict procedures.
Q: Give an example when you had to flexible or adapt to a situation on the job?
Being flexible and respond according to the situation is a key quality for a paramedic. This question is to understand whether you’re flexible and how you can deal with a changing situation.
Q: How will you deal with a drunken and abusive patient?
Another operational question to see how effectively you deal with people in this condition. You can explain how you will deal with the situation in future or relate to an incident you handled in the past.
Q: What do you do to improve or update your skills as a paramedic?
This question is intended to judge your eagerness to learn and what regimen you follow to stay up-to-date. Paramedics need to spend time to train and maintain their skills.
Q: What will you do if an emergency call interfered with your plan with family?
Question is intended to judge your professional consideration and how will you react to an unexpected work-related emergency.
Other important paramedic interview questions that test your medical and procedural know-how include:
How will you treat a patient with a drug overdose?
What should be your approach for treating broken bones?
How will you approach a person suffering from a burn?
How do you use a defibrillator?
What kinds of life support medication should you have with you?
Describe the process of administering morphine through IV, and what will you do differently for a young patient?
Remember, interviews are unpredictable. Paramedic interview questions also depend on how you answer the situational questions. What interviewer perceives from your answers. Primary care paramedics are expected to be confident and adaptable of the situation, this implies to the interview process as well.
You will be studying under active paramedics who have gone through the interview process and are in the advanced level of practice. Apart from theoretical, practical and exam preparation, our program focuses on interpersonal skills which give you an accurate analysis of areas you need to work on.
Our uniquely designed ‘Clinical Readiness Program’ ensures that you are ready for workforce confidently.
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!
If you want a career which involves helping others, primary care paramedic would be your best choice. Primary care paramedics (PCPs) are trained healthcare professionals that provide pre-hospital care and transport patients to hospital for further medical care.
Working in a fast-paced environment, a primary care paramedic works in a team environment and has to go through to extensive training.
Primary care paramedic is the level 1 profile in emergency care services. With additional training and experience, one can advance a career within the field. Check out the future careers for Primary Care Paramedics.
What are the requirements to become a Primary Care Paramedic in Ontario?
Education – Diploma Program
To become a primary care paramedic, you need to obtain at least a diploma credential. PCP diploma program will help you gain the required theoretical and practical skills needed to succeed in the field.
In class, students learn the theory like anatomy, pharmacology and psychology. Through lab sessions, students learn how to assess injuries and administer pre-hospital care and transport patients safely.
Graduate of Primary Care Paramedic diploma program is eligible to write the provincial certification exam, the Advanced Emergency Medical Care Assistant (A-EMCA). Offered three times per year by the Ontario Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care, successful completion of this exam is required to be eligible for employment as a PCP in Ontario.
Students are tested on Basic and Advanced Life Support Patient Care Standards and the Pre-hospital Care syllabus. The study guide and sample questions for A-EMCA.
Driving an Ambulance
Driving an ambulance is part of the primary care paramedics’ job. In Ontario, you need a Class F license to drive an ambulance. You will be taking both a knowledge test and a road test to get the license.
It is mandatory that you have a good driving record and should not have received four or more demerit points in the year before you start work.
Physical Fitness & Mental Strength
As a primary care paramedic, you will need to lift people, handle heavy stretchers and to kneel down a lot. You need to be physically fit and should have the strength to carry the objects weighing at least 100 pounds.
Paramedics go through stressful situations regularly, thus need to be mentally strong. Ability to stay calm and communicate effectively in tough situations will go a long way in this career.
Paramedic Academy, Mississauga offers 60-week fast track diploma program for aspiring primary care paramedics. Our extensive curriculum is designed to prepare students for the provincial certification – A-EMCA. Practical experience via hospital placements and ambulance ride-outs under the supervision of active paramedics give students an edge during the interview process.
Primary Care Paramedic is a frontline healthcare worker that offer support during emergency medical situations. Working alongside police officers and firefighters, primary care paramedic provides pre-hospital care.
Not everyone is suited to work in this challenging field and students considering a career as a primary care paramedic should possess certain specific qualities.
Here are 6 qualities that primary care paramedic needs to be successful:
Ability to work in a Team
Paramedics work in a team within themselves and often with multiple agencies on the scene. Paramedics need to have a coordinated effort to achieve the best outcome for the patient.
Great Problem-Solving Skills
There is rarely a textbook scenario, and paramedics will find themselves in most challenging situations. Ability to navigate through unpredictable scenarios and find creative solutions is a must. Assessing and diagnosing patients rationally and using best judgement to find effective solutions.
Ability to Stay Calm
Becoming a Primary Care Paramedic means you are signing up for a stressful job. The ability to handle stressful situations calmly, make critical decisions in the midst of chaos is part of the job. As a paramedic, one should be able to stay focused on the treatment and not give in to the pressure.
Physical Fitness and Strength
Paramedics go through a lot of sitting, kneeling, bending and fast face movement on the job. Paramedics may have to pull, lift or push patients of all sizes, this requires physical strength. As a primary care paramedic, one must be both physically and mentally fit to stay sharp on the job.
Good Communication Skills
Paramedics have to communicate with patients, family members and medical professionals in high-stress situations. Good interpersonal and instructional skills are an essential part of the job. Ability to calm the patients, make them feel comfortable and good listening skills are highly appreciated.
Emergencies can happen anytime, and primary care paramedic works in an unstructured work environment. One must be open to change and be adaptive to changing situations. From routine calls to life-threatening emergencies, paramedics should be ready to handle them at any given point of time.
Open to Learning
Paramedics train for life and will experience new things on the job. It is good to be book smart, but one should be open to learning new techniques which can help them become effective healthcare professional. Situational awareness and attention to details is a necessity.
Do you think you possess these qualities? Well, Primary Care Paramedic may be the right career choice for you.
Paramedic Academy of BizTech College offers a unique combination of classroom, lab training, and ambulance ride-outs will help you gain a solid foundation and versatile skill-set required on- the- job.
Small class size offers individual attention and interactive learning under the guidance of practising paramedics, registered nurses and health science educators. Know more about our Primary Care Paramedic fast track diploma program.