A paramedic is a medical professional who provides medical care to patients en route to hospitals or other medical facilities. As such, he or she needs to be well-versed in many kinds of medical treatment. Many are trained in emergency surgery techniques, especially given the unpredictability of such operations in the field. The primary purpose of the paramedic, however, is to stabilize the patient for transport.
Routinely first on the scene of an accident, the paramedic quickly assesses the situation and determines the proper course of action for each patient. If a person’s injuries are life-threatening, the paramedic might choose to perform some sort of medical procedure right then and there, judging the patient’s chance of making it to a medical facility without radical medical intervention to be slim to none. In most cases, however, he or she makes sure that patients are comfortable and properly secured on portable medical tables for insertion into ambulances.
The paramedic accompanies the patient to the hospital or medical facility as well, making sure that the patient maintains his or her condition of stability during the ambulance ride. Since ambulances routinely travel at high rates of speed — in the best interests of their patients — the paramedic can provide sorely needed medical support to a patient whose condition might otherwise deteriorate during what can certainly be a traumatic trip.
More and more, ambulances resemble full hospitals on wheels, with devices such as electrocardiograms (EKGs) and some X-ray devices onboard. Paramedics are trained to properly, quickly, and efficiently use all of these devices. They are also trained in administering drugs to patients, both orally and intravenously.
One way to look at a paramedic is to think of him or her as a “doctor on the go.” This professional has a large amount of medical training. A common procedure that he or she may preform is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Another is assisting with childbirth. Hospitals often employ paramedics on-site as well, utilizing their medical skills to their full advantage. The on-the-go skills that are required for this job can come in handy in a hospital setting, especially in the emergency room, if needed.