Paramedic

A paramedic is a medical professional, usually working as part of the emergency medical services provision in a given area. Their primary role is to provide pre-hospital advanced medical and trauma care, followed, where appropriate, by transfer to definitive care. Although most paramedics are field based in ambulances or response cars, some may undertake hospital based roles, such as the treatment of minor injuries.


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Last Updated: February 26, 2014, 10:31 pm
Question 1 of 51

Your shift ends in 10 min. and you have accomplished all your duties, how would you utilize your remaining time?
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Career Field
Job Satisfaction
Interview Difficulty
Healthcare
Vacation
Hours per Week
Health
100%
Easy
Provided
Three Weeks
42 Hrs/Wk
Education Requirements

Both a high school diploma or equivalent and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification are prerequisites for most postsecondary educational programs in emergency medical technology. Most of these programs are postsecondary non-degree award programs that can be completed in less than 1 year; others last up to 2 years. Paramedics, however, may need an associate’s degree. Educational programs in emergency medical technology are offered by technical institutes, community colleges, and facilities that specialize in emergency care training. High school students interested in becoming EMTs or paramedics should take courses in anatomy and physiology.

Work Environment

They work both indoors and outdoors, in all types of weather. Their work is physically strenuous and can be stressful, sometimes involving life-or-death situations and patients who are suffering. Most paid EMTs and paramedics work in metropolitan areas. Volunteer EMTs and paramedics are more common in small cities, towns, and rural areas. These individuals volunteer for fire departments, providers of emergency medical services, or hospitals and may respond to only a few calls per month.

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Related Careers

Paramedic Reviews

Jun 9, 2014
Why did you choose this profession?
I enjoy caring for other people, I enjoy a challenge, no two days are the same, and you continue to develop and learn.
Jun 20, 2014
Why did you choose this profession?
I enjoy helping people and get a fair deal of personal gratification from doing so. I also enjoy the diversity of the job and the medical feild.
What do you enjoy about being a Paramedic?
I enjoy the comrodery witing the organization and the diverse situations we encounter daily.
What areas do you dislike about being a Paramedic?
I would have to say long offload delays however it is part of the job and I have no problem with doing it.
Jun 21, 2014
Why did you choose this profession?
I chose this profession because I believe everyone deserves a second chance in life and actualy people out there realy need emergency care.
What do you enjoy about being a Paramedic?
I dont have any experience at the moment but I do believe I will enjoy every thing about being a paramedic, because I enjoyed myself during the course.
Jun 27, 2014
Why did you choose this profession?
I chose this profession because in the first instance I really want to help people and knowing each day that you are assisting patients and possibly their loved ones with hard and worrying times is very rewarding. In the second instance, I love variety and contrast in what I do and being a paramedic can certainly provide this.
Jul 11, 2014
Why did you choose this profession?
I chose this profession because I feel a sense of accomplishment helping people.

Paramedic Pros

Pro #1:
The sense of doing something good for the community and saving peoples lives.
Jan 1, 1970
Pro #2:
Autonomy in the work place which could also be a negative if you are young in the field and do not have the experience
Jan 1, 1970
Pro #3:
You get to help people during a emergency.
Jan 1, 1970
Pro #4:
Being able to help people and knowing you can make a difference for somebody.
Jan 1, 1970
Pro #5:
You get to help people and make them better.
Jan 1, 1970
Pro #6:
A well respected profession where the public look up to you and put their trust in you to help them, their friends or family, a profession where you are always learning and everyday is different.
Jan 1, 1970
Pro #7:
The pros for me graduating the paramdeic program is that I am one step closer into getting into a fire dept and that I have just increased my ability to save somebodies life even more because of the information that I have been taught.
Jan 1, 1970
Paramedic Interview Questions and Answers
Top
1. Your shift ends in 10 min. and you have accomplished all your duties, how would you utilize your remaining time?
Best Answer
Asking the commanding officer/supervisor if there are any tasks to be fulfilled, or make sure the ambulance is ready for the next crew.
2.
Write up paperwork, ensure vehicle is fuelled up, stocked up and ready for the incoming crew, put the kettle on ready for the next crew.
3.
Seeing if anyone else needs any help with anything before i leave.
4.
Double check that all duties have been done correctly and everything is in place for your next shift.
5.
I am a bit obsessed on how we look as a group, so I would probably take the bottle of armor all to the dashboard, and detail the cab of my medic unit.
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2. What was your schedule at your last position? Are you okay adjusting to a new shift?
Best Answer
Between 8 to 12 hour shifts 6 days a week with sunday as my only day off. I am excited to be afforded to opportunity to work a 4 on and 4 off roster with night shifts. Working night shifts is extremely enjoyable from past experiences.
2.
My Schedule was typically 10 hour days, 6 days a week. I am excited with undertaking shift work again, I enjoy working nights and with the lifestyle friendly roster.
3.
My last schedule consisted of 6 days on and 3 days off but with a lot of on call shifts. I am 100% willing to adjust my schedule.
4.
My schedule was Monday to Friday, but part my voluntary work involved covering night shifts, so able to adjust tp different shift patterns.
5.
I worked whenever they needed me. I am okay adjusting to a new shift.
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3. What made you want to help people?
Best Answer
I have been taking care of people my whole life it is what I do and who I am.
2.
I have always wanted to since i can remember, either as a paramedic or a police officer. I believe i will get a sense of fulfillment within myself. Knowing that i have helped others will give me a feeling of achievement and acommplishment
3.
I wanted to help people because I like it. The gratitude and thanks and the APPRECITAION is overwhelming to anybody. There are several people out there that really do think that you make a defference in there lives and that part is awesome.
4.
I've always wanted to help people.
5.
I have always had the desire but it was during a red cross deployment in 2005 to hurricane Katrina that I realized I truly have a passion to help people.
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4. How long do you believe you will be a paramedic?
Best Answer
I believe I will be a paramedic for the forseeable future.
2.
For the remainder of my working career. I see the role as a paramedic as a career and not a job. Hopefully I will be able to work my way up to a senior paramedic, or further.
3.
this is a life time career for me, and as i grow through my proffesion i plan to teach new canidates about the field.
4.
Im hoping to be a paramedic as long as possible. I think its important to stay healthy first of all and have a positive attitude toward your job and once the time comes where its not fun for you or you physically cant do accomplish what is needed for the job then it is time to get out.
5.
Being a paramedic would be a lifelong career.
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5. What can you bring to the job that exceeds what other candidates can bring?
Best Answer
I have a lot of related training from being involved with the fire department,i am professional and dedicated to obtaining more training.
2.
My willingness to do my job and do it well, work is called work for a reason and I believe I should always be giving 110% when it comes to the lives of others no matter who they are, what time of day or how many hours I have already worked.
3.
Compassion. I am able to genuinly care about my patients and connect with them to make them feel supported and relaxed during my time with them.
4.
I am an old lady and I will chuckle and calm people.
5.
My Training, experience, compassion and love of this career will definitely set me apart from the other candidate as weell as my life experience.
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6. How would you handle working with a teammate that wasn't to the skills you possess, and you felt like you had to carry the workload?
Best Answer
very politely explain how and why things should be done a certain way, and reinsuring him/her that we are a team
2.
I would talk to my partner, and help him in the areas he/she was struggling to help them improve their skills.
3.
Talk to a supervisorr.
4.
First I would try to instruct the teammate by example and guidance.
5.
I would speak to them about the situation and let them know in the best, most professional manner that these issues have been bothering me regarding the lack of team work and ask if there was anything I could do to help.i would remind them that we are suppose to be a team and that I really enjoy working with them and would like that to continue into the future but that they would have to contribute a little more to make it a team effort.
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7. How do you handle death?
Best Answer
I am human and how does anyone handle death? I think we handle it the best we can. We remain professional and respectful and compassionate the family. Its always difficult to lose a patient, but as long as I did all I could do to help them I handle it well, I find it a privilege to be there with them as they pass. And I take every opportunity to make their passing easy if I can.
2.
Better than most. I have had many close deaths in my life and I respect the grieving process. You can not rush it, and evertime it is different but you need to keep in check while going though the steps.
3.
I would be sadden for family, but would consider being debriefed. I would make sure I did want I was suppose to do and just pray.
4.
I think I am the kind of person that deals with death the best. Knowing that it is a relative or family freind of somebody allows me to show empathy towards that family.
5.
I handle death the best I think anyone can. Shiw compassion and empathy towards the family. Be respectful and courtesous. Unfortuntly death comes to us all however with us being in EMS we are going to experience it more then anybody else. But since I have seen death I am not afraid of it but rather it s a reminder of how preciuos life can be and dont take it for granted and lfe your life to the fulllest.
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8. What is a typical day for a paramedic?
Best Answer
Arrive for shift approximately 15-20 minutes early. Check truck and all applicable equipment. Complete chores or other daily station requirements. Respond to 911 emergency calls. Chart patient encounters in a timely fashion.
2.
I don't believe there is a typical day for a paramedic. The only constants are rig checks and shift changes. Everything else depends on call volume and condition.
3.
Early start, high potential for long hours, tough jobs and extremely rewarding moments.
4.
A typical day involves checking, stockage and ensuring truck is clean and ready for calls. Responding to emergency calls, treating patients and reassuring patients and family members.
5.
: Constantly helping and interacting with others during stressful situations while continuing their safety throughout the day and interacting with other profesionals in the healthcare field
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9. What are some ways that you feel that EMS can become more professional?
Best Answer
By becoming self-regulated by a professional college of paramedicine.
2.
Publically by maintaining high standards of uniform dress, vehicle presentation and equipment supplies. Internally, structured training programmes with a definitive progression pathway.
3.
The way we are seen in the community. We need to look sharp and act appropriately.
4.
If they develop a college of paramedicine, a overhead regulating body that recognizes us as professionals and as an essential service.
5.
Becoming more involved with the community they work for.
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10. What health related courses did you take prior to enrolling in your Paramedic training?
Best Answer
I completed a sports studies degree, which included modals such as anatomy of the body. I also completed several first aid courses including forts aid at work.
2.
I have completed a biology A level which included human biology and looked at the cardiovascular and respiratory systems as well the brain. Since then I have done Health and social care which looked at health related aspects such as regulations and AnP.
3.
EMT and I have had the priveledge to intern with the busient fire dept in teh northwest suburbs for a semeester.
4.
Some health related courses prior to enrolling include: medical technologies, organismal biology, ehealth, life and death in the emergency room, health care informatics, exercise science, health and wellness, and health care management.
5.
First aid.
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11. How would you intervene with a frantic relative who is grieving over the injury of a child?
Best Answer
Ask them to remain calm and give them an updated status on what they are doing to their child to help him.
2.
tell them that they had done the right thing calling you (assuming they had), that the child was in good hands, that the child would be calmer if the relative appeared calmer and give the relative a job to do/focus on instead of flapping around.
3.
Attempt to calm the relative down explaining that their reaction will affect how the child responds. May have to have your partner take the relative aside and try to calm them down while you treat the patient. Give the relative a task such as tracking down medical information/medications or otherwise giving them busy work to distract them.
4.
Provide compassion and empathy towards the relative whilst comforting and reassuring them.
5.
Attempt to calm the relative by exaplaining that the child has/is receiving treatment but we need them to calm down so we can do the best for them. try to use relatives who may be around to calm the frantic person down-this may work better as its a person their comfortable with.
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12. How would you rate your training and education?
Best Answer
Had good education, looking forward to increasing my skill base.
2.
very well educated, always willing to learn and listen to experiened co workers
3.
Well.
4.
I was lucky to attend a fantastic school where I was both encouraged to excel at both the academic level and sports. Further more completing a diploma of building studies and making it a point of learning something new every day, I believe I am well rounded and hold a high regard for my self in this aspect.
5.
I would rate my training and education about a 7. I have completed many courses related to paramedicine, however there is always room for more learning in this career. I have taken the paramedic course, ITLS, caregiver courses, and many courses related to CBRNE awareness.
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13. Tell me how you remain calm, in detail, during a crisis?
Best Answer
Switch my emotional feelings off and stay in practical mode, dealing methodically with what needs to be done.
2.
I never let my emotional side kick in, I keep it all practical. Knowing that to deal with the situation in the bestest of ways is to move in pace where you are being practical rather than taking a step back because of emotions.
3.
I stay focused on what my plan is and what my next step is going to be. If something doesnt work then I move on to plan b without hisitation or frustration. I also dont let others influence me on a scene I just worry about what I am assigned to do and what needs to be done and do it
4.
assess the situation, knowing all my options, taking my time while blocking out all distractions
5.
I think positively and dont panic, i dont think about the crisis going worng i think of it going right and get on with it.
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14. Give me at least two examples of stressful situations you've faced in the past and the result.
Best Answer
A woman I was caring for in a nursing facility had gotten up and went to the bathroom and had fallen and gashed her head open on the sink and there was blood everywhere.. I pulled the light and checked her for the extent of her injuries and called the front desk for assistance.. She was looked over and the only injury was the gash on the head and she was monitored closely..The second was the time my son had a fever seizure and at hte time I had no idea what was happening so I called 911 and held him while washing his face and trying to keep the other kids calm.
2.
Suspected spinal injury on a team member whilst lifeguarding,working effectively as a team and rescue was a success. dealing with a close friend mental breakdown, keeping calm and putting emotions aside to do the best for his welfare.
3.
Client suicidal.
4.
One- Having a patient stop breathing on meTwo- Having to do a job when you are tired.
5.
Taking care of my father with all the responsibility on me and worrying about finances during that time.
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15. What gives you the greatest joy about being a Paramedic?
Best Answer
The knowledge that your helping others in their greatest time of need. Your that beakin of light and hope that things will be ok.
2.
the respect and gratitude received by strangers, and the challenges it brings you.
3.
Never being bored!
4.
Helping people. trying to be the best thing about that person's worst day.
5.
Knowing that what i do makes a difference.
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16. Being a new Paramedic is usually difficult, how would you gaint your teammates respect?
Best Answer
I have had new jobs many times in the past and personal connections come easily to me. Reading social situations and doing my part go along way in making posivite impressions. I am also understanding that I need to prove myself and will do so.
2.
I constantly hold myself to the highest standard in life and in work. I strive to everyday provide the highest level of care possible and I treat education as paramount in that effort, always keeping up on the most current advances and staying strong and confident in my skills.
3.
By doing everything I was told, asking questions when I was unsure and working exceptionally hard as I would have to prove myself.
4.
Listen to them at all times and respect them and their advice and opinions. Ask their advice if i was unsure about something. work hard and always be prepared to help my colleagues.
5.
: being social and asking about their experience, their techniques, and showing that I am willing to take advice
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17. What are a few traits you think a paramedic needs to have?
Best Answer
Compassionate, quick, calm, works under pressure, passionate,
2.
to be responsible, honest, knowledge, patience, compassion, awareness, ability to perfrom under pressure.
3.
Compassion, integrity, team leadership, good management skills and be able to think outside the box.
4.
Integrity, self confidence, empathy, ability to take orders but also able to work independently, lead and direct others, to stay calm during stressful situations..
5.
Compassion, understanding, empathy, motivation to learn, knowledge.
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18. How would you cope with a stressful situation?
Best Answer
Take a moment to think things through and not be pressured to take a course of action youre not sure of.
2.
Stop. Take a breath and try to logically structure the situation in to something more manageable. Determining what the stressors are, how they can be minimized and prioritize and plan the actions that need to be completed.
3.
Depending on the situation, you cope differently. I would take a breather, pray, and talk out the situation with someone.
4.
Remain calm and know the steps to take.Accept the situation.
5.
I would step back mentally and possibly physically to assess the situation and then approach with a level head, dealing with the situation in a calm and professional manner.
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19. 24/7 operations are like relay races where you take the baton, run with it and then pass it on smoothly. How do you make seamless transitions on shift changes?
Best Answer
Be prepared for the incoming crew. Ensure the ambulance is clean and fully stocked. Arrive early so that shift changes can take place on time, still leaving you enough time to check the ambulance and be ready to go if you get a call.
2.
Show up a little early for your shift for rig check and to receive any information from outgoing crew. When you are the outgoing crew,leave rig in a better state than you found it. Communicate with incoming/outgoing crew allowing a smooth transition.
3.
Plan in advance. Check the ambulance and equipment over to ensure they are in an acceptable condition for the new crew. Pass any information on to the new crew that will be useful, such as any issues with the ambulance or if any stock is running low. Come into work early for a changeover and plan to leave later after the change over.
4.
When passing on a patient, do it in a safe as possible environment. Have the patient in relatively stable condition. Communication is key. Be thorough and clear when relaying information of a patient and make sure to include any details that may be important to the situation.
5.
When coming to the end of your shift, bare in mind its not over untill the new crew have taken over. Make sure to leave ambulance stocked and clean as if you were the one to take over.
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20. What did you find most challenging during your education?
Best Answer
Changing schools in my secondary years was challenging. It was a big decision based on future career prospects that led me to change schools and throw myself into the unknown.
2.
Keeping all disorders associated with the body systems which are involved with referenced disorder.
3.
Gaining Self confidence. I have always struggled with second guessing myself.
4.
Psyching myself out before exams.
5.
Being extremely committed to school but still having to maintain a hectic work schedule.
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21. Would people say that you are compassionate? Your family? Why, give some specific reasons?
Best Answer
Yes - having experienced the death of both parents - I consider myself to be compassionate and able to offer empathy.
2.
Yes they would because when someone needs care or someone to just talk to I am always called on and like my cousin just had surgery and she only felt comfortable with me because I have taken care of people before and I have taken care of her after surgery before.. And I have taken care of my daughter-n-law when on bed rest and I have experianced the deaths of my mother, grandmother, grandfather, and a close friend so I consider myself to be comationate and able to offer empathy.
3.
My family has always been impressed by my ability to thrive in this line of work. They definitely would describe me as compassionate.
4.
Yes. My friends recently lost a close loved one and i dealt with that by being with them and offering the full support i had to offer.
5.
Yes, I feel I am very compassionate to people of all age groups. Even when a patient does not show respect or kindness in return compassion on my end will make a difference in that patients outcome.
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22. Who are your customers in EMS?
Best Answer
Everyone, patients, bystanders, other paramedic staff and doctors and nurses. All people require care and good communication.
2.
Patients, Supervisors, Chiefs, public, Base Hospital, MOHTLC
3.
Everyone, whether they be our prime minister or a homeless person off the street everyone should be treated equally and fairly.
4.
Anyone of any age group. An elderly person, a new born and everyone in between.
5.
Any person i come into contact with.
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23. If you could change one thing about a Paramedics work life, what would it be? Example, shorter hours.
Best Answer
Possible shorter hours so we are able to offer a better service.
2.
I would say shorter hours so that the situations are getting the highest quality of care as possible.
3.
Yes shorter hours would be nice so that there would be more time to be spent with family on a day to day basis however I thing that thing like automatic stretchers and easy glide stair chairs to reduce stress on our back would be much more beneficial.
4.
Increased protection from those who attempt to harm or steal from them.
5.
Not just for paramedics but for other agencies too, I would recommend - - Paramedics to bases to be converted into a joint facility with the fire service - Specialise the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles during multi-agency operations - Commit into learning a new skill i. E. Learn a second language.
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24. What drew you to emergency medicine?
Best Answer
The opportunity to have a rewarding and respectable career while learning how to stay healthy myself
2.
ever since i have been in the fire service i have been intrigued with the medical side of things. i have always enjoyed helping my patients and being completely confident with my work. i like to know that my patients can rely on me 100%
3.
I was drawn to emergency medicine because I want to help people in their greatest time of need. When someone is in a situation where their copping mechanisms are no longer functioning, someone needs to be there to render aid and support and that is exactly what I want to do.
4.
The fact that you get to work with other people in crisis situations and being a team player. I like the fact that whenever somebody is in real danger and it os overwhelming themselves that they call for a paremedic and are releived once they get there becuase they know that they can count on you for saving somebodies life.
5.
Why do you want to be an emt?
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25. Tell me about a time when you managed to carry out a difficult task under a great deal of pressure.
Best Answer
My wedding! My sister has bipolar and around the time of my wedding she was hypomanic which in turn was causing a lot of stress on the family. She had become very self absorbed and hurtful to family members in this time which was hard for me when my wedding day and lead up to the day was meant to be about me. There were stresses related to decisions about whether we should admit her to hospital the night before the wedding which was emotionally draining and some what challenging to contemplate.
2.
Last winter I had a patient stop breathing on me. It was a very difficult situation becasue you train for these events through mock trails and what not but then when it actually happens it is difficult to do what is right. But you rely on your training and expertise and you let your witts and knowledge guide you. After a debreifing with my manager and talking to the other medics within our company they said I did all I could do and everything was right.
3.
I have delt with many incidents under pressure, one being during my job. When I was lifeguarding a women went into an epileptic fit, I had to reasure her son, and support her head whilst she was fitting, as well as this we had to get everyone out of the pool and call an ambulance.
4.
being the senior emt with only 3 months experience. having to backboard a fallen pt. and do every task because of my inexperienced partner..i stayed calm, knew my options and had my partner assist me to the best of his ability
5.
We were working an event for my company there was a man who became hypoglycemic and needed help immediately. Me and my team were able to provide the man with symptom relief and get him to a hospital for more definitive care.
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