Paramedics provide pre-hospital emergency care, treatment and specialised transport for patients.
To become a paramedic you usually need to complete a degree in paramedic science or paramedic practice at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics are normally required. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks. Students may be eligible, or required, to complete training with the ambulance service in their state or territory upon graduation.
Paramedics may perform the following tasks:
Paramedics work in teams and in shifts, and in all kinds of weather conditions. They are required to assist at a range of incidents, including motor vehicle accidents and medical emergencies inside and outside domestic premises, building sites and public areas. They may work in confined spaces, such as under vehicles and buildings, and at sites of hazardous material accidents, such as fires and chemical spills. They work closely with members of other emergency services such as firefighters, police and the State Emergency Service (SES).
Paramedics can be based in metropolitan areas or in rural locations. Competition for available places is very strong.
An intensive care paramedic attends life-threatening emergencies such as heart attacks and car accidents, and gives intensive treatment to patients before arrival at hospital. They receive more training in the areas of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology to increase their capacity to make complex clinical decisions without medical consultation.
A paramedic clinical instructor delivers training and support to paramedic interns.