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Challenges of Working as a Paramedic and Way to Overcome Them


Paramedics are unrecognized heroes of the medical sector. Whenever any incident occurs, they’re the first to arrive on the scene, and the care they provide is sometimes at the expense of their own health. Paramedics must be sharp and vigilant and be fast on their feet – none of which is easy. 

It is also not easy to separate and rescue patients while trying to provide them adequate care. The challenges of being a paramedic don’t end there. Most need to put their lives on hold and be on standby. While paramedics are professionals, they’re also humans. Constantly asking them to subside their needs to be there for others can take a toll on them. 

So when it comes to emergency responsiveness, paramedics are dealing with tenfold issues. These are social, physical, and psychological. Now, if you wish to understand further how the sector takes a toll on them, here’s what you need to do:

1. Stay On Top Of Their Training

Paramedics need to ensure that the training they’re following has quality standards. The best way to ensure they’re receiving top-notch training is through accredited certification programs. Paramedics can apply for a BLS recertification to hone their skills and pursue advanced training methods for faster response and better care. Paramedics cannot rely on the training they get the first time they start their careers. With time their skills may get weaker or may not be enough to administer care on a wide scale. Therefore visiting their training is essential to make sure they can provide as quality care as possible.

2. Mental Stress From Trauma

It is not easy to visit an emergency scene and not get impacted by it. Paramedics get expected to arrive on scenes where horrifying scenes unfold in front of them. Collecting bodies or helping patients who are in agony takes a toll on paramedics. When paramedics get done handling a scene, they are expected to remain on standby and respond immediately when another scene arises. In such cases, psychological stress from these scenes needs to be recognized. Paramedics need to visit therapists or counselors to ensure they’re dealing with what they feel is appropriate. When mental stress accumulates, it can get out of control. These can soon translate into violent behavior and unchecked aggression.

3. Violent Families

When paramedics arrive on the scene, they need to struggle to get through. When paramedics are carrying a patient to safety, they can’t allow families to intervene. Since it is already an emotional time for families, they can jump into violence. Paramedics may get attacked or assaulted as they try to administer care. Unless security gets in between, the situation can get out of hand. In such cases, the police need to secure the scene depending on how to profile the problem is. They should escort the paramedics to safety and prevent the situation from escalating. Paramedics should also wear protection and avoid entering any scene unless they’re sure it’s safe to enter. Low-profile cases are generally safe. If people need paramedics for one family member, it is easier to get help from them.

4. Physical Fatigue

Paramedics may have extended shifts, which often require these professionals to stay on the road for a long time. It will help paramedics if they start exercising mode to make sure they don’t get fatigued. It will also help if they start taking a diet more suitable for toning the body instead of empty calories. Paramedics also need to do the heavy lifting. Often patients need to get loaded on the gurney to get them to safety. Paramedics may throw their back or injure themselves on the field. In such cases, it’s best to do exercises that can strengthen their back muscles. These paramedics can also wear back support if they’re expected to work long hours.

5. They May Skip Meals

A paramedic’s job may keep them on the road for a long time. They may be too busy working on eating. Skipping meals can become a problem and make a person experience dizzy spells and even collapse while working. It is essential that when paramedics can, they should eat when possible. Paramedics can eat while being on the go. They can take turns to drive and have their meals. It’s easier to have snacks between tasks instead of going for proper meals. Snacks can include fruits and vegetables that are easy to eat and digest instead of heavy meals full of grease. Paramedics should also be allowed to have their meals right away after bringing in a patient. They shouldn’t be allowed to dismiss their bodily functions, which can jeopardize their health,

6. Exposure To Harmful Gases

Not every emergency scene has only patients that need help. There can be a gas leak or a harmful chemical leak nearby. Gases such as carbon monoxide can cause respiratory failure. It is essential that if paramedics get expected to collect a patient from such dangerous scenes, they are protected. They should team up with the fire department and allow them to clear and ventilate the scene. If there is no time, these paramedics should get safety masks to navigate safely. If paramedics are allowed continued exposure to these gases, they may suffer a respiratory attack. They may get long-term lung damage which can become fatal. Another solution is to get a mandatory check-up after coming from scenes with chemicals and fumes. They should get their lungs inspected as well as the wounds they get on the scene. Infections don’t take long to spread and can get lethal.

7. Lack Of Social Lives

Paramedics have a life outside of work and may have families and friends. Unfortunately, work can get stressful, as long working hours keep them away from their children. Occasionally it’s manageable to stay away from your family and friends. However, long-term staying away from people you’re close to impacts you. Paramedics can experience feelings of isolation and depression. They may start turning to substance abuse to cope. Some paramedics have other domestic issues that need attending, such as friction between spouses. Not seeing friends and missing out on their milestones also takes a toll on these professionals. The healthcare sector should look into hiring more paramedics. These professionals should get adequate breaks in between along with time off. Anytime one professional has been assigned longer hours, they should get a break. 

Wrap Up

Paramedics have an essential job in the community. The care they provide is vital in helping the community in staying safe and protected at all times. However, while they’re administering care, they may jeopardize their health

Paramedics risk their safety, well-being, and even their social life to make sure help reaches all. In such cases, the medical sector needs to step in and protect these professionals. Asking for their services also warrants care for them so that any no point do they feel underappreciated. 

Paramedics should also make small minor adjustments to their schedules by adding more exercise and doable meals. Increased collaboration between the medical sector and the paramedics will keep the industry top-notch.

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