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Advanced Care Paramedic


Description

Paramedics are perhaps best known to us by their vehicles: loud, large ambulances careering through city streets and down rural roads at all times of the day and night, all across the country, rushing toward danger and distress in an effort to save lives. There are, in fact, a number of different people with varying skills working inside those ambulances, but "paramedic" is the general term we use when talking about these multi-talented heroes.

Each region has its own way of dividing up the work to be done by the paramedics, as different levels of paramedic are trained and responsible for different things. Advanced care paramedics are capable of general first aid, drug dispensing, and CPR, as well as trained to unblock airways using intubation, and cricothyrotomy, intravenous drug therapy, and defibrillator. They also communicate with hospital emergency rooms, doctors, and nurses.

Along with direct patient interaction, paramedics are also required to write reports about the emergency situations they attended, documenting the actions and procedures they undertook. They also maintain their ambulances, equipment, and supplies.

Paramedics are brave, and strong people, who react well under intense pressure, and have great memories when it comes to little details, like which drugs do what in which amounts, and how to help babies who've suffered cardiac arrest. They are faced with possible injury from lifting patients and hearing loss from the sirens. Paramedics are also exposed to violence from drug overdose victims and mentally ill patients, as well as disease; many paramedics wear bullet-proof vests, and all paramedics wear latex gloves to protect themselves from infectious agents like hepatitis and HIV. It takes a special kind of person to take on a role such as this, one who is driven by adrenaline as well as compassion.
 
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Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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