Physio Tips for Paramedics
Being a Paramedic is a physically demanding job!
Physio Tips for Injury Prevention.
Erin Isaac, from Allsports Physiotherapy, is a Senior Physiotherapist who treats paramedics and healthcare workers, and she kindly gave some of her time, to help educate us on protecting ourselves from injury in such a physically demanding job. In the above video, you will here some physio tips for Paramedics and healthcare workers.
Paramedics have demanding tasks in their everyday jobs, from carrying heavy equipment, getting in and out of vehicles, bending, lifting, kneeling and crouching, and sometimes for extended periods of time. Healthcare workers, by their very nature, put their patients first, even if it means injury to themselves. It’s in our DNA to treat and help people. If Paramedics have a very unwell patient, they will do whatever it is in their power to help them, sometimes to the detriment of themselves. Fatigue also plays an active part in the physical demands of the job, because the more tired you are at the end of a shift, the less likely you will be to maintain best practices in manual handling.
The “D” in DRSABCD.
When you think of the “D” in DRSABCD, you typically think of fallen powerlines or traffic incidents for example, and mitigating that risk by putting out traffic cones, or using the fend off position. But, when you think of the “danger”, do you ever think about yourself, and your body position? Especially when doing something so physically demanding, like CPR for example, if there is an opportunity for you to move your body and position yourself in a way that protects yourself from injury, then that is always recommended. You may be doing CPR or treating a patient for an extended period of time, so taking an extra second to help yourself will pay off in the long run. Your body positioning might seem like a minor thing, but treating many patients, over months/years, the repeated exposure can cause injury.
Practical Physio Tips for Paramedics.
Other ways you can avoid physical injury, as advised by Erin in the video above:
- When treating a patient, instead of bending over, kneel down.
- When moving or lifting, pre-activate of your pelvic floor and core muscles.
- Asking your patients to help you as much as they can, if they are able to.
- Avoid prolonged positions, moving around and stretching throughout the day.
- Keeping active on your days off. The more active you are, the higher your baseline level of fitness will be to maintain the tasks of the job.
Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is a common complaint among paramedics. This occupational-related health condition may cause difficulty with lifting patients and equipment. Physical injuries for Paramedics can be quite debilitating, because it interferes with their ability to safely do their job, increasing concerns about the longevity of their careers. This may also lead to emotional concerns, due to the effects it can have on home life and finances.
It’s been found that treatment with the right type of musculoskeletal care provider, like a Physiotherapist, provides the right support to get back to work safely after an injury. Good Physiotherapists will also provide advice on ongoing at-home flexibility and strengthening exercises in order to lessen the chances of reoccurring or new injuries.
The Changing Lives Podcast
The video above is a snippet from an episode of the Changing Lives Podcast.
You can watch or listen to the full episode with Erin Isaac here:
About the Australian Paramedical College
The Australian Paramedical College is the largest pre-hospital health care training provider in Australia, we can help you to achieve your paramedical 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 are not what they could have been.
We live in an era where anything is possible when you put your mind to it. With advances in online learning technology and teaching methodologies, it’s now easier than ever to fit study around your lifestyle. There is no reason why you can not follow your dreams and become that person who saves lives and contributes to the well-being of the community. Apply to study at the College.