If you have ever seen a paramedic at work, you will know that there is something highly noble about this profession. By just looking at the way they work so seamlessly as a team, is enough motivation to become a paramedic at one point or another.
Life as a paramedic can be both physically and emotionally exhausting as it demands a lot of dedication, study, and hard work. However, helping people in need makes this profession rewarding and worthwhile.
So if you are looking for a change and want to make a real difference in society by saving lives, you should consider becoming a paramedic. Read the post below to get detailed information on how to become a paramedic in Australia.
1. What Does a Paramedic Do?
Being a paramedic is a lot more than rushing to support and help people in need. They are trained medical professionals who often work under intense pressure situations, which requires them to have quick decision-making skills.
Besides, they communicate with people, respond to medical emergencies, and transport patients to health facilities on a day to day basis.
Furthermore, paramedics also attend to people facing non-life-threatening situations like sporting injuries, minor pains, etc. They even have to manage ambulances equipped with various clinical equipment, stretchers, and medicine.
In a nutshell, paramedics not only provide first aid kits during emergencies but they also perform clinical procedures, maintain patient records, administer drugs, and quickly decide on the most suitable course of action for a specific situation (for instance, which medical facility should a patient be taken to).
2. Major Duties and Tasks of a Paramedic
Here are the most common tasks and duties performed by paramedics in Australia:
Drive ambulances to medical emergency or accident sites that may require advanced life support administration.
Assess, treat, and manage a patient’s treatment on-site or on the way to the hospital.
Lift patients, place them on stretchers, load the stretcher into the ambulance, and transport patients to a health facility.
Prepare and deliver written reports, mentioning the state of a patient’s injury and the treatment provided.
Instruct essential service workers and community groups on how to provide first aid.
Supervise and support new staff and student paramedics.
Replace fluids and administer pain-relieving drugs according to the protocol.
Use specialist equipment, including defibrillators and ventilators.
Offer routine transport services between home and hospital to patients who require further treatment or other specialised treatment, such as chemotherapy or occupational therapy.
Decide whether admission to the hospital is needed or not, and assess how to transport patients and what is the best health facility for them.
Attend public gatherings like sporting events, where health emergencies or accidents may occur.
Provide hospital staff with patient’s information, including the condition and treatment.
Act professionally at all times and maintain the confidentiality of patients.
Perform daily vehicle and equipment checks to ensure that the ambulance is in good working order and medical supplies are adequately stocked.
3. What are the Study Pathways to Become a Paramedic in Australia
There are different educational pathways to enter a career in paramedicine. Education and training requirements may also vary in each state, depending on the specialisation you choose. Here are the three most common study pathways you can choose to become a paramedic in Australia:
Note: You cannot apply to become a registered Ambulance Paramedic with a Diploma. For that, you need to complete your Bachelor of Paramedic Science degree.
4. Steps to Become a Paramedics in Australia
We all know that paramedics are the first to reach the scene during an accident or any other type of medical emergency. They provide immediate care to the sick or injured, and if required, take them to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.
As a paramedic, you have a very crucial role to play and help people in need. Perhaps, you can make a difference between life and death in a few seconds with your quick actions and thinking.
If you can handle the pressure of being a paramedic and take on every responsibility with a relaxed mind, then you are ready to become a paramedic.
The demand for paramedics in Australia has steadily increased over the last ten years, so now is the best time to get started. Now, let us check the steps below to find out how to become a paramedic in Australia:
Step 1: Prove you are an Australian Resident
The first step towards becoming a paramedic in Australia is to possess a valid passport or ID that shows you are a citizen or resident of Australia. Almost all paramedic services in Australia require this information. Having New Zealand citizenship can be accepted as well.
Step 2: Achieve and Maintain an Unrestricted Driver’s License
As a paramedic, you will be driving an ambulance quite often and will be responsible for both equipment and passengers. Therefore, you need to make sure that you can operate a vehicle by holding an unrestricted driver’s license.
Step 3: Obtain a Degree in Paramedics
Ambulance services in all states of Australia require you to have a degree in Paramedic Science to become a paramedic. Therefore, you need to apply to a university of your choice that offers degrees in Paramedic Science.
You can contact universities directly or go online to see if they have programs that will enable you to complete a bachelor degree in Paramedic Science.
Note: Before applying to any university, make sure to read and check the instructions carefully — they may ask you to submit necessary documents like letters of recommendations, academic transcripts, a copy of your CV, or a statement of interest.
Step 4: Register with the Paramedicine Board of Australia
Once you complete your studies, it is mandatory for you to register with the Paramedicine Board of Australia through AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Health Regulation Agency) to become a registered and qualified paramedic in Australia.
Note: It is compulsory to renew your AHPRA registration each year and maintain a record of your CPD (continuing professional development) activity.
Step 5: Look for a Job
In Australia, there are plenty of ambulance services you can join, including New South Wales Ambulance (NSW), Queensland Ambulance Service (QLD), or Ambulance Victoria (VIC). You can apply for a particular service either based on their requirements or their location.
Just make sure that you research these services thoroughly before applying so that you know what the work entails.
Step 6: Consider a Specialised Role
When you become a paramedic, there are various specialisations on offer. So it is always worthwhile to take your time and explore your options. Here are some of the specialised roles that you can consider:
Intensive Care Paramedic: An intensive care paramedic deals with serious emergencies like car accidents and heart attacks. They provide intensive treatment to patients before arriving at the hospital. Intensive care paramedics receive rigorous training in the fields of pathophysiology, anatomy, pharmacology, and physiology so that they can enhance their ability to make tough clinical decisions without consulting any other medical professional.
First Responder: A first responder works in a variety of settings and gives first aid to patients in need. If you are not qualified as a paramedic, this field is a great way to start and build up your experience.
Paramedic Clinical Instructor: A paramedic clinical instructor delivers training and support to paramedic interns.
Patient Transport Officer: This profession allows you to work with different people and help them reach the hospital for non-emergency care or other appointments. A patient transport officer's job is perfect for applicants who are looking to work in a healthcare setting but do not want to deal with extremely stressful emergencies.
Step 7: Submit your Job Application
Once you decide on the paramedic job role that you want to take up, visit the specific ambulance service's website and check out their application process. Remember, each service may have different criteria, so go through the application forms thoroughly and make sure to submit the correct information.
The application may ask you for information like which university you received your degree from, as well as other records such as a copy of your driver’s license and passport. They may even ask for a previous experience that makes you the right candidate for the job.
If you face any difficulty while filling out the application form, contact a representative from the ambulance service via phone or email and ask them for further details.
5. What Skills Do You Need to Become a Paramedic in Australia?
To work as a paramedic, you need to possess several key skills to deal with different situations that you are likely to encounter during the course of your job. So let us find out what are the skills you need to be a paramedic in Australia:
Strong teamwork skills to work alongside hospital staff and other crew.
The ability to remain focused and calm under pressure.
Good communications and interpersonal skills for dealing with patients, their family and friends, and the public in general.
The ability to think clearly and act quickly.
Exceptional listening, written, and oral skills for reporting conditions.
Good analytical and problem-solving skills.
The ability to work autonomously and as a team.
A highly-motivated and responsible approach towards work.
Caring, compassionate, and non-judgmental attitude.
Excellent driving skills to drive an ambulance.
Physical strength and stamina to lift and transport patients and heavy equipment.
6. How Long Does it Take to Become a Paramedic in Australia?
Most states and ambulance services in Australia have different training processes for paramedics. However, it usually takes around three years of full-time study and at least one year of practical on-road experience to become a paramedic in Australia.
Overall, making it a total of four years to be a paramedic.
7. How Much Do Paramedics Earn in Australia?
The Paramedics salary in Australia may vary, depending on your qualifications, level of training, and work experience. Remember, the more skills you acquire and the more time you spend on the job will increase your earning capacity.
Usually, a private firm pays more than a government position as they may require you to be in a remote location or off-site.
According to PayScale, the average annual salary of a paramedic may range somewhere between AU$60,000 to AU$94,000.
Now that you know everything about how to become a paramedic in Australia, you are ready to enter the exciting field of paramedics and make a real difference in the world.
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