Ambulance Attendants and Paramedics
On the front line
Ambulance attendants include emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and first aid attendants. They are on the front lines of Canada’s emergency health care system. They work with police officers, fire fighters, and hospital emergency department personnel. They’re the first medical personnel on the scene when there’s an accident or other medical emergency. They provide life support care to the sick and injured at the scene of the accident and transport them to hospitals or other medical facilities.
Ambulance attendants work mainly for hospitals and ambulance services. Many industrial, construction and mining companies employ first aid attendants or paramedics to care for workers who are injured or become ill on the job.
This job is physically, mentally and psychologically demanding. Shift work is a normal part of the job. Frequently, you perform your duties under crisis conditions, often in extreme situations, where there is little room for error. In such circumstances, you are making critical life-saving decisions and have to do so quickly and accurately.
Do you have what it takes?
You use the latest medical technology to assess the extent of an injury or illness and to manage or treat the patient’s condition on their way to the hospital. You are also responsible for taking control of accident scenes in order to protect the patient and to alert other rescue personnel and public bystanders. It is essential that you communicate clearly and accurately with your co- workers, the public and the patient’s families, some of whom may be very upset.
Along with the many challenges are the rewards. Ambulance attendants are well respected in the health care system, and you have the satisfaction that comes from knowing that the medical help you provide can make a difference in saving lives.
Potential employers will be impressed with you if you are reliable and cool in a crisis. You should take pride in your work and deal well with other people, especially in conditions of extreme stress. Perhaps most importantly, you need an ability to react quickly and accurately in emergency situations. And you must have a great deal of compassion for the sick and the injured.