Paramedics are qualified healthcare professionals who provide an immediate response to accidents and medical emergencies. Due to their nature, these situations are likely to involve people who are badly hurt and severely traumatised. Paramedics are also trained to undertake the assessment and management of a range of less serious illness and injury and often provide care to people in their own homes.
Paramedics may work with an ambulance technician in a two-person ambulance crew at the scene of a medical emergency. They assess the patient and provide essential treatment to resuscitate and stabilise them prior to hospital admission. This could include:
- controlling bleeding
- giving oxygen and pain relief medication
- using a defibrillator
- spinal immobilisation and splinting limbs
- setting up intravenous drips
As the senior healthcare professionals at the scene of an incident, paramedics may also work alongside the police, the fire service, coast guard and other teams from the NHS.
Some paramedics work alone and use an emergency response car, a motorbike or bicycle to reach the patient. Depending on the nature of the emergency, they may need to call for backup from an ambulance or other emergency services.