What is a Paramedic?
One of the first questions we get asked is what exactly is a Paramedic and what do they do?
A Paramedic is a health care professional who responds to and treats medical emergencies outside of the hospital environment. They can be referred to as out-of-hospital or pre-hospital emergency health care practitioners. Paramedics typically travel in ambulances or other smaller vehicles to the scene of the emergency. They can work in pairs or alone – depending on their job role.
There are pre-hospital emergency health care practitioners working in the mining and construction industries who typically respond to medical incidents within a designated area. Because of the different settings in which a person can work, there are a variety of career opportunities available.
In Australia, it is compulsory for new Paramedics to have attained a Bachelor of Paramedic Science and be registered under a new national scheme. Laws were passed to protect the title ‘paramedic’; meaning only those persons who have met the requirements (educational as well as by way of experience) have the right to use the term ‘paramedic’ to describe their job role.
In the private sector, unless a person is registered, they cannot refer to themselves as a Paramedic – although there are other names by which they can be referred to, such as;
- Basic Life Support Medic
- First Responder
- Emergency Health Care Medic
- Emergency Medic
- Emergency Medical Technician
- Pre-hospital Emergency Response Medic
Non-emergency Transport Specialist
Some people start out as non-emergency transport specialists. They work for private ambulance or medical transport companies and transport patients from their home to the hospital or from the hospital to another medical facility.
The patient may have a non-life-threatening health condition or a disability that means they are physically unable to transport themselves.
Non-emergency transport personnel typically receive training in driving specialised ambulances. Patient Transport Officers will also possess a level of basic life support training, or in the case of an Ambulance Attendant, they could hold a Diploma of Paramedical Science meaning they are qualified to administer drugs, operate specialised equipment and perform advanced life saving techniques.
Ambulance Transport Attendant
Another entry-level position is the ambulance transport attendant. The attendant may drive the ambulance or assist the driver. They are often needed to help with moving the patient into the ambulance. They perform routine tasks such as cleaning the equipment and resupplying the ambulance. The attendant may also be required to assist the attending Pparamedic. Experience gained as a transport attendant can sometimes be used to earn the necessary paramedic certification.
In the event of a fire, an ambulance will typically accompany a fire engine to the scen. But in remote communities, the emergency services are combined. So, you could find yourself working in a career as a medic or registered Paramedic, riding along with volunteer or professional firemen. The emergencies you might encounter include vehicle incidents, house fires etc.HLT41120 - Certificate IV in Health Care - Information
Working in Private Sector
A person who holds a Nationally Registered certificate or diploma can work in the private sector to provide first aid in non-emergency situations, as well as perform daily tasks like drug and alcohol testing, DNA swabbing and educating personnel to maintain their health whilst working.
The job of the medic/Paramedic in a remote location is particularly important, as a hospital emergency room is not close by. A medic at a mine in a remote location will typically earn more than others working in traditional pre-hospital sectors such as the State Ambulance Service. This is because of the increased responsibilities and the need to stay on site for several weeks at a time.
Employment opportunities also vary in the construction industry. These types of jobs could mean temporary or contracted, but some construction companies keep one or more trained personnel on staff at all times – it all depends on the size of the workforce.
The need for emergency health care professionals continues to grow and there are other industries and settings in which you might find a career of t his type. You may be surprised at the number of job openings in this area of work
Are you ready to become a medic or Paramedic?
To help you find out whether a job in the pre-hospital emergency health care sector is for you, just answer a few simple questions and you’ll receive a personalised career plan. This will really help you to understand what you need to do next.
About the Australian Paramedical College
The Australian Paramedical College is the largest private pre-hospital health care training provider in Australia, we can help you to achieve your paramedical training and career goals.
We offer three courses in the emergency healthcare sector:
- HLT31120 – Certificate III in Non-emergency Patient Transport
- HLT41120 – Certificate IV in Health Care
- HLT51020 – Diploma of Emergency Health Care
Our nationally recognised paramedical training programs provide a flexible and affordable training pathway to employment in the private sector, or as a stepping stone to university to study a Bachelor of Paramedic Science. APC offers you the opportunity to become a Paramedic/Medic, regardless of your educational background. We believe you should still pursue your goals even if your school or college grades have previously prevented you from following a career path you know you’d be good at.
today, more than ever, anything is possible when you put your mind to it. With advances in online learning and teaching methodologies, it’s now easier than ever to fit study around your current lifestyle. A few of hours here and there each week is often all it takes to begin your studies. There’s no reason why you can not follow your dreams and become the person who saves lives and contributes to the well-being of their community. Apply to study at the college.