The paramedic is the highest level
emergency medical services health care professional in the prehospital
setting. The paramedic must be able to work independently and as a team
leader rendering care to people under stressful conditions. The paramedic must
demonstrate proficiency in anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, advanced airway management, intravenous
therapy, and medication therapy. Paramedics must also rapidly apply
problem-solving skills to formulate and implement rapid care plans for a
wide array of situations including cardiac, trauma management,
pediatric, geriatric, and other medical and behavioral emergencies.
The Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is the entry-level
professional in the emergency medical services system. The EMT is
concerned primarily with basic life support prehospital care of acutely
ill and injured patients.
Paramedics and EMTs can find career opportunities with ambulance
services, fire departments, and industrial companies. In addition,
paramedics are employed by emergency helicopter services, offshore oil
companies, and as military combat medics.