How to become a Paramedic

Paramedic

Paramedics provide pre-hospital emergency care, treatment and specialised transport for patients.

Personal requirements for a Paramedic

  • Able to remain calm and control emotions in stressful situations
  • Able to think clearly and act quickly
  • Have a caring and compassionate nature
  • Good level of health and fitness
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Able to work alone and as part of a team
  • Able to follow instructions and guidelines
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Clear decision-making skills and good judgement
  • Caring, tolerant and non-judgmental attitude
  • Enjoy working with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Committed to developing and maintaining skills

Education & Training for a Paramedic

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.


Additional information

Before undertaking the clinical placements required by the courses, students will need to obtain a National Police Certificate and a Working with Children Check, and undergo medical and physical capacity checks. Contact the universities you are interested in for full details.

Duties & Tasks of a Paramedic

Paramedics:

  • Drive ambulances to sites of medical emergencies and accidents that may require the administration of advanced life support
  • Lift and place patients on stretchers, load the stretchers into ambulances and transport patients to hospital
  • Assess and treat patients at the site and on the way to hospital
  • Administer pain-relieving drugs and replace fluids
  • Prepare patient care records and other written reports on the state of patients' injuries and the treatment provided
  • Be present at public gatherings, such as large sporting events, where accidents or other health emergencies may occur
  • Provide routine transport for patients between home and hospital (for patients requiring further treatment or specialised treatment such as occupational therapy and chemotherapy, for example)
  • Perform daily vehicle and equipment checks, making sure that medical supplies (including drugs) are accounted for and that equipment and ambulances are in good working order.

Tasks

  • Instructs community groups and essential service workers in first aid..
  • Prepares written reports on the state of patients' injuries and treatment..
  • Assesses health of patients, assesses need for assistance, specialised needs and factors affecting patients' conditions..
  • Transports accident victims to medical facilities..
  • Attends public events where accidents and other health emergencies may occur..
  • Attends accidents, emergencies and requests for medical assistance and provides pre-hospital care..
  • Transports sick and disabled persons for specialised treatment and rehabilitation..
  • Performs therapies and administers drugs according to protocol..
  • Ensures that ambulances are adequately maintained and stocked with medical supplies, and that equipment is in good working order..
  • Resuscitates and defibrillates patients and operates life-support equipment..

Working conditions for a Paramedic

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).


Employment Opportunities for a Paramedic

Paramedics can be based in metropolitan areas or in rural locations. Competition for available places is very strong.


Specializations

Paramedic Clinical Instructor

A paramedic clinical instructor delivers training and support to paramedic interns.

Intensive Care Paramedic

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.

Paramedic

Paramedics provide pre-hospital emergency care, treatment and specialised transport for patients.

  • Average age
    Average age
    40 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Very strong
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    38% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    48 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $2,180
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    High skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    86% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    12,700 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 0.7%
    NSW: 27.6%
    NT: 1.2%
    QLD: 24.9%
    SA: 7.1%
    TAS: 2.0%
    VIC: 28.6%
    WA: 8.0%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0%
    20-24: 7.3%
    25-34: 30.4%
    35-44: 25.2%
    45-54: 23.3%
    55-59: 8.2%
    60-64: 3.9%
    65 and Over: 1.7%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 31.5%
    Bachelor degree: 48.9%
    Certificate III/IV: 7.3%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 6.5%
    Year 10 and below: 1.7%
    Year 11: 0.8%
    Year 12: 3.4%
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