Paramedics are some of the most overlooked members of the healthcare team. While doctors and nurses are the most visible and well-known medical professionals, paramedics aren’t in the spotlight, and often their important roles and contributions are more easily taken for granted.
Role of Paramedics
While the specific responsibilities of paramedics depend on their level of certification and the state they work in, they typically do the following:
· Respond to 911 calls for emergency medical assistance, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
· Assess a patient’s condition and determine a course of treatment
· Provide first-aid treatment or life support care to sick or injured patients
· Transfer patients to the emergency department of a hospital or other healthcare facility
· Report observations and treatment to physicians, nurses, or other healthcare staff members
· Document medical care given to patients
· Inventory, replace, and clean supplies and equipment after use
Paramedics may also dispense medications orally and/or intravenously, interpret electrocardiograms (EKGs) to monitor heart function, and use other monitors and complex equipment.
5 Main Reasons Paramedics are Unsung Heroes
1. Paramedics extend healthcare services beyond the walls of the hospital. They provide medical interventions to people who are unable to get to the hospital on their own.
2. Paramedics are often first responders in emergency cases. They are usually the first ones to assess a patient's needs and provide the necessary treatment to stabilize a patient's condition to safely transport him to the hospital. People’s lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care provided by these workers.
3. As first responders, paramedics are always at risk of getting injured at the scene of the emergency, such as in fires or natural disasters. which is why one of their most important responsibilities is to be able to make sure that the scene is safe before they could administer aid.
4. Paramedics do more than just give first aid. They are also required to have the necessary background knowledge and skills on various advanced life support equipment, such as defibrillators to stabilize irregular heart rhythms, and mechanical ventilators that provide oxygen to patients who can't breathe on their own.
5. Paramedics are physician extensions outside of the hospital, as physician assistants or nurse practitioners are in the hospital. They bring the patient’s story along with them to the emergency department to help the physician make the best medical decisions for the patient’s specific situation.