One of the most unrecognized people in the field of healthcare is the EMT paramedic. Many people laud doctors and nurses for their contributions, but they often forget about the paramedics, who works just as much to extend healthcare services beyond the walls of the hospital. These are the people who are often the first ones on the scene of an emergency, and they deserve to be recognized as one of the hardest working people in the field.
Who is the EMT paramedic?
A paramedic is a trained individual who provides medical interventions to people who are unable to get to the hospital on their own. They are often first responders in emergency cases, thus, are the first ones who assess a patient’s needs, and provide the necessary treatment to stabilize a patient’s condition in order to safely transport him or her to the hospital. Whether it’s a house call regarding a known illness, or a natural disaster, the EMT paramedic is usually the one called on to give first aid to those who need it.
Aside from being first on the scene, an EMT paramedic has more work to do than just give first aid. They are also required to have the necessary background knowledge and skills on various advance life support equipment, such as defibrillators to stabilize irregular heart rhythms, and mechanical ventilators that provide oxygen to patients who can’t breathe on their own. This entails a lot of training and hands-on experience so that the EMT paramedic would be able to perform such tasks competently. In addition to knowing how to use such equipment on the scene, the paramedics must also be knowledgeable and conscientious enough to check and maintain the sterility and functionality of all the necessary equipment inside the ambulance.
If the job description wasn’t hard enough, paramedics have to deal with hazards that come with the job as well. As first responders, they are always at risk of getting injured at the scene of the emergency, such as in fires or natural disasters, which is why one of their most important responsibilities is to be able to make sure that the scene is safe before they could administer aid. Because there’s always a chance that they would be dealing with injuries and bleeding, they are also continually exposed to blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. Long work hours also put the EMT paramedic at risk of health problems like irregular sleeping patterns, obesity, and hypertension.
Although there are several risks that come with being an EMT paramedic, most EMTs feel that the benefits outweigh the perils. First of all, it’s a steady job in the face of global economic hardships. It’s also an opportunity for career growth, and with each step up comes salary increase and additional benefits.