Day in the Life of a Paramedic

Becoming a paramedic

The first person to reach the site of a medical emergency is a paramedic. And if you are thinking about becoming one, you need to read the following:

A typical 12-hour shift on the job can start as early as 5 in the morning. The first task is to check all emergency medical supplies, equipment and drugs, and assess the condition of the ambulance to ensure a smooth run.

Once the maintenance check is done, the team heads off to the stand-by point. And then the real day begins.

On a typical day a paramedic can respond to around 10-15 emergency calls, but mind you, there is nothing typical about emergencies (and neither are we able to respond to each).

It can be as simple as an old man who fell off his chair and fractured his arm, or as complex as an allergic pregnant lady who was accidentally exposed to peanuts. And every call needs to be given equal priority even if we know they are not emergencies, like those “calls” where someone wants the ambulance to take them to the hospital, or worse, wants our help with a toothache.

The response time can vary too. But on an average it takes around an hour and a half from the moment a paramedic receives a call until the time they drop off the patient at the hospital (if the situation demands it).

Whatever might be the case, the job of a paramedic is not easy. You need to have the ability to stay cool under pressure, handle every case efficiently, and be prepared to manage irritating family members and abusive folks as the alternative can be fatal.

But if you have the aptitude, the medical know-how, and nerves of steel, then being a paramedic can be the most fulfilling experience of your life.

Paramedics save lives every day. From resuscitating a patient suffering from cardiac arrest to managing a road traffic accident victim, they are trained to handle emergencies in almost the same manner a doctor would.

It is a tiring job. And yes, you will have to face many deaths. But at the end of the day, if you are thinking of becoming one, you will never regret the decision.

For more insights into working in healthcare, check out our Career Paths page for more great medical careers!

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