Paramedic Job Requirements and Job Outlook*
Paramedic Job Requirements
The Paramedic’s scope of practice includes basic and advanced skills focused on the acute management and transportation of the broad range of patients who access the emergency medical system. This may occur at an emergency scene until transportation resources arrive, from an emergency scene to a health care facility, between health care facilities, or in other health care settings.
In some communities, Paramedics provide a large portion of the out-of-hospital care and represent the highest level of out-of-hospital care. In communities that use emergency medical dispatch systems, Paramedics may be part of a tiered response system. In all cases, Paramedics work alongside other EMS and health care professionals as an integral part of the emergency care team. The Paramedic must be able to deal with adverse and often dangerous situations which include responding to calls in districts known to have high crime and mortality rates. Self-confidence is critical, as is a desire to work with people, solid emotional stability, a tolerance for high stress, and the ability to meet the physical, intellectual, and cognitive requirements demanded by this position.
The Paramedic’s scope of practice includes invasive and pharmacological interventions to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with acute out-of-hospital medical and traumatic emergencies. Emergency care is based on an advanced assessment and the formulation of a field impression. The Paramedic provides care designed to minimize secondary injury and provide comfort to the patient and family while transporting the patient to an appropriate health care facility.
The Paramedic has knowledge, skills, and abilities developed by appropriate formal education and training. The Paramedic has the knowledge associated with, and is expected to be competent in, all of the skills of the EMR, EMT, and AEMT. The major difference between the Paramedic and the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician is the ability to perform a broader range of advanced skills. These skills carry a greater risk for the patient if improperly or inappropriately performed, are more difficult to attain and maintain competency in, and require significant background knowledge in basic and applied sciences.
The Paramedic is the minimum licensure level for patients requiring the full range of advanced out-of-hospital care. The scope of practice is limited to advanced skills that are effective and can be performed safely in an out-of-hospital setting with medical oversight. The Paramedic transports all emergency patients to an appropriate medical facility. The Paramedic serves as part of an EMS response system, ensuring a progressive increase in the level of assessment and care. The Paramedic may make destination decisions in collaboration with medical oversight. The principal disposition of the patient encounter will result in the direct delivery of the patient to an acute care facility.
Aptitudes required for work of this nature are good physical stamina, endurance, and body condition that would not be adversely affected by frequently having to walk, stand, lift, carry, and balance at times, in excess of 125 pounds. Motor coordination is necessary because over uneven terrain, the patient’s, the Paramedic’s, and other workers’ well-being must not be jeopardized. Different situations will require that the Paramedic be able to perform in the following manner: stand, walk, sit, lift, carry, push, pull, climb, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, reach, feel, talk, hear and see.
Employment of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics is projected to grow 24 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Emergencies, such as car crashes, natural disasters, and acts of violence, will continue to create demand for EMTs and paramedics. Demand for part-time, volunteer EMTs and paramedics in rural areas and smaller metropolitan areas will also continue.
Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increase in age-related health emergencies, such as heart attacks and strokes. This increase, in turn, will create greater demand for EMT and paramedic services. An increase in the number of specialized medical facilities will require more EMTs and paramedics to transfer patients with specific conditions to these facilities for treatment.
*Cited from Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, EMTs and Paramedics, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/emts-and-paramedics.htm
To prepare competent entry-level Paramedics in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains with or without exit points at the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician and/or Emergency Medical Technician, and/or Emergency Medical Responder levels.