Just like any other profession, the role of a paramedic comes with certain challenges. Many people ask me “how physically demanding is being a paramedic?” and some people (quite frankly), don’t like my response when I tell them that it’s a highly demanding and physical role. But, generally the sense of fulfilment that comes with the job provides comfort and security regardless of the challenges. If you’ve decided to become a paramedic, you’ve chosen a worthy cause. Typically, the paramedics enjoy what they do, helping to save lives and giving hope to hopeless situations.
Working as a Paramedic
At any accident or emergency scene, the paramedics are usually the first healthcare professionals to arrive. They are the senior ambulance service experts at any emergency. A paramedic is usually one of the two-person ambulance crew, with the second crew member serving as ambulance assistance. At the scene of accident or other forms of health-related emergency, a paramedic will assess the situation and determine the appropriate treatment to be given to the victim prior to getting to the hospital. Any decision has to be taken quickly and in a calculative manner. Therefore, a paramedic must be well trained, and possessing special skills and characteristics which have been outlined in our previous article.
Now, what are the challenges and current paramedic issues being tackled on a day-to-day basis?
Challenges of Being a Paramedic
In the course of discharging their duty, paramedics do not only handle patients, but also have to deal with members of the public or relatives of the patient. This can be quite challenging as some of these people may behave in certain unruly manners . Some of the people present on the scene of emergency could be drunk or violent, while others may show uncontrollable outbursts of emotion. The paramedics have to deal with all these situations and bring calmness along with the policemen in the course of discharging their duties. Indeed, the job of a paramedic is physically demanding, whether in the aspect of trying to revive patients or dealing with a third party.
Current Issues in Paramedic Practice
Also, the ambulance crew are often vulnerable to physical and verbal abuse in the course of discharging their duty. The frequent exposure to physical and verbal abuse is directly associated with the increasing rate of alcohol-related call-outs.
Impact on Social Life – Current Paramedic Issues
Also, another major area of challenge in working as a paramedic is the social life that is likely to be impacted. Since a paramedic can be called upon at any time, there is hardly time for a social life, especially when working weekend shifts and night shifts. However, the leave period can help make up (a little) for the time lost for unsocial hours.
Luckily, a paramedic is sufficiently prepared to cope with every aspect of the job. This is also why you must possess certain qualities in addition to the required qualifications before you can be employed as a paramedic.
It’s also great to know that help is provided to assist a paramedic in coping with the challenging aspects of the job. For instance, counselling, chaplaincy as well as debriefing systems have been put in place. Also, further courses for managing stress are available. Do not hesitate to take advantage of any of these helpful facilities, if and when the need arises.