Archive for the ‘Parademic Sciences’ Category

SJAM introduces affordable first aid kit

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: St John Ambulance of Malaysia (SJAM) yesterday introduced an affordable first aid kit for households to use in an emergency.

According to its national staff officer (Business Development) Yong Lam Lee, the set sold at RM68 each is made of 100 per cent high quality plastic and contains an array of first aid items.

“The kit is also durable and will not break even if stepped on by a medium built man and 10 times lighter than the ordinary first aid kit, which makes it convenient to bring everywhere including picnics or kept in the car,” he said in an interview with Bernama at Wisma Bernama here yesterday.

Meanwhile, SJAM national chief staff Officer V. Mohanadasan who was also present said there was still a lack of awareness among the public on the need to have an emergency kit at home.

“Many people still do not know the proper way to administer first aid including CPR, which is crucial because when an individual’s heart stop beating, he must receive aid in the first three minutes to prevent brain death due to lack of oxygen,” he said.

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EMT and Paramedic Jobs

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

There are some obvious places where you might find a paramedic: ambulances and fire engines are the the first things that come to mind. However, paramedics are more versatile than you might think. There were 226,500 jobs available for EMTs and paramedics in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). EMT and paramedic job outlook is expected to grow 33% through 2020, which is quite a bit faster than the average of 14% for all jobs.

EMT vs Paramedic: What’s the Difference?

There are multiple levels of education in emergency medical services. The most common are emergency medical technician (EMT), Advanced EMT (AEMT), and paramedic. According to BLS, the median income of EMTs and paramedics was $30,360 in May 2010. However, there’s a wide range of salaries between EMTs and paramedics. lists the average salary for EMT as $40,000 and the average for paramedic as $56,000.

There are more EMTs than paramedics. It takes less time to become an EMT — usually about one full time college quarter. Most paramedic programs build on the EMT training and take anywhere from 1 to 2 years of full time college to complete. Most paramedics receive a vocational certificate rather than a degree, but there are some degree programs available.

If becoming a paramedic interests you, here are a few employment options you probably expected and a few places you might not have considered.

Ambulance Service:

Let’s get the most obvious out of the way first. Paramedics are meant to be on ambulances. Simply put, they’re trained for it. All of the licenses and certifications listed above assume the licensee will treat and transport patients on an ambulance. According to BLS, 48% of all EMTs and paramedics are employed in the ambulance service.

Here’s where the EMTs are most likely to outnumber the paramedics. In most ambulances around the country, there are either two EMTs or an EMT working with a paramedic. Some types of critical care transport units have 2 EMTs working with one paramedic on a team of 3 people. It’s possible to see two paramedics in the same ambulance but as we’ve seen, paramedics are more expensive than EMTs. To save money, ambulance services are likely to staff what’s known as one-on-one or 50/50, an EMT and a paramedic.

Air Ambulance:

Patients aren’t just transported on the ground. Helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are also used to get medical patients from one place to another. Most helicopters are staffed with a paramedic and a nurse or doctor. Paramedics bring training and work experience from an environment that nurses don’t typically get in the hospital setting. Nurses on the other hand, have more experience with medication drips and continuous care of their patients for long periods. It’s a good combination in an aircraft environment.

Helicopters are used for scene responses, picking up major accidents victims for example. They can also be used in interfacility transports of delicate or critical patients when time is of the essence. Fixed-wing aircraft are used to transport mostly stable patients over long distances, sometimes from one country to another.

An interesting note about flight paramedic pay: Being on a helicopter is sexy. It’s a job that many paramedics strive for and air ambulance services often have applicants beating at the doors. Consequently, the pay isn’t as good as you might expect. According to, the average salary for a flight paramedic is $41,000 — just above what a ground ambulance EMT is likely to earn. I’ve seen a similar trend myself.

Fire Service:

Firefighters get to do all sorts of cool things, but by far the most common thing they do in almost every part of the country is respond to medical emergencies. In many places around the US, firefighters are municipal employees with some sort of retirement benefits. That’s a big draw within the public safety world.

Fire service jobs have become increasingly competative, especially in states where benefit packages are the most lucrative. Firefighters in almost all metropolitan fire departments have to at least be certified as an EMT. In many cases they have to be paramedics. lists salaries for firefighters and paramedics as pretty competative, but the differences in benefit packages usually tilt the scales heavily toward the fire service.

Military Medics:

Every branch of the service has some version of a combat medic. In every branch, a medic or corpsman trained for combat will be at least licensed as an EMT as part of his or her training. In some military jobs, the training will be to AEMT or paramedic level.

Military salaries are based on rank, not specifically on job. Most military medics are E3 or above.

Tactical EMS:

Recently, a new type of paramedic has become very popular across the country. Tactical EMS (TEMS) is a sub specialty of paramedic and EMT that works with SWAT teams. TEMS medics train with SWAT teams and deploy with them in a very similar way to that of a military combat medic. TEMS medics can be armed or not, depending on their role and whether or not they have peace officer status.

In some areas of the country, TEMS medics are SWAT officers cross-trained as paramedics or EMTs and in other areas they are ambulance EMTs or paramedics assigned to assist with SWAT deployments. Right now there are very few full time SWAT team members in the country, let alone full time TEMS medics. However, the need for this type of EMS is growing and I expect to see full time TEMS medic teams in the relatively near future.

Park Ranger / Search and Rescue:

Search and rescue personnel are required to be at least EMT certified in almost every area. Park Rangers are almost always EMTs as well.

There are two types of search and rescue: urban and wilderness. Wilderness search and rescue (SAR) is the most common — these teams are often led by Park Rangers. Urban search and rescue teams (USAR) are often specialty groups developed through cooperation with fire departments and ambulance services. There are 25 federally funded USAR task forces through FEMA.

Overseas Paramedics:

There are a number of jobs for paramedics in the Middle East and other parts of the world. The pay for these jobs varies widely, but there are a number of benefits to working in another country, the most enticing is probably getting paid tax-free. There are quite a few rules to getting the tax-free salary, including how long you are allowed to be in the US during the year, but for some folks it’s definitely worth it.

Industrial Safety:

This is the biggest catch-all group of paramedics and EMT jobs. Industrial safety or industrial nursing jobs can be found on oil rigs, factories, canneries, mines and other industrial settings. Paramedics in positions like these often handle all sorts of minor to major medical emergencies, sometimes in very remote locations. Salaries for industrial safety jobs are all over the place, but expect it to be much higher if the work is dangerous and the location is remote.

by Rod Brouhard.

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How To Become a Paramedic

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
Paramedics take care of patients in dynamic, chaotic and sometimes even dangerous environments. They must be able to react well under stress.But being a paramedic is not all about blood, guts and glory. It’s about compassion and caring as you move a patient from one place to another. You’ll save a few lives, but you’ll make an impression on many more.

There are several levels of EMS training. Although each state is different, here are the most common steps to becoming a paramedic:

Difficulty: Hard
Time Required: 18 – 24 months, or more.

Here’s How:

  1. Emergency Medical Technician – Basic training. Before you become a paramedic, you will have to become an emergency medical technician – basic (EMT-B). Some states use different terminology (California calls this level EMT-1), but they are all generally the same.Don’t let the term basic fool you, EMT-Bs learn critical skills to intervene in life-threatening emergencies.Look for EMT-B training at your local community college, hospital or ambulance service.
  2. Get a job. EMT-Bs who work for at least a year on an ambulance are better prepared for paramedic training. There are situations that cannot be adequately described and must be experienced. The best time to learn the emergency medical system is prior to being responsible for all aspects of each patient contact.EMT-basics are certified to attend ambulances. In many states, a special driver’s license is also required. Check with your state’s department of motor vehicles.
  3. Take preparatory classes. States require different amounts of training to become a paramedic. Potential paramedic students need to at least complete anatomy & physiology, electrocardiography (ECG), algebra and at least a 10th grade reading comprehension. In most states, paramedic training is considered vocational, with little opportunity to complete two- or four-year degrees. However, there are states – such as Washington – that require a two-year degree as the minimum for paramedic education.
  4. Enroll in a good-quality paramedic training program. Ask questions and do your homework before you sign up. Find out about a paramedic program’s reputation among the other paramedics in the system. Cost is a factor, but there is no true relationship between price and quality for a paramedic class.Accountability, while scary for struggling students, is necessary to maintain the quality of the paramedics in the system. Seek out a program that holds its students accountable.

by Rod Bouhard.

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The Difference Between an EMT and a Paramedic

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

The media is sometimes confused by the difference between an emergency medical technician and a paramedic. Unfortunately, with so many people getting their information from the news media the confusion has spread. At least the days of referring to these trained professionals as ambulance drivers are mostly behind us. Unlike other emergency services, our equipment (the ambulance) precedes our training and certifications by several decades. Now that the training has become much more in depth, ambulance crews do much more than drive.

Everybody’s an EMT:

The most common certification in emergency medical services is the emergency medical technician (EMT). There are two levels of certification that are common to almost every state, EMT-Basic and EMT-Paramedic. States will sometimes use different names for the basic level EMT – California uses EMT-1 for its basic level. Some states recognize an intermediate level of certification (often called EMT-Intermediate) that falls between EMT-Basic and paramedic. EMT-Intermediate is gradually falling out of favor in most areas. Within the industry, it is very common to refer to a basic EMT as simply EMT, and to refer to EMT-Paramedics as paramedics.

So, it’s OK to call a paramedic “EMT” but not OK to call an EMT “paramedic.”

So, What’s the different?

The biggest differences between paramedics and EMTs are the training and the scope of practice (what they are allowed to do). Basic EMTs usually receive 120 – 150 hours of training, while paramedics get anywhere from 1,200 hours to 1,800 hours of training. Paramedic programs often award two-year degrees.

The scope of practice differences between EMTs and paramedics can be summed up by the ability to break the skin. Most states do not allow basic emergency medical technicians to give shots or start intravenous lifelines. Paramedics, on the other hand, can give shots as well as use more advanced airway management devices to support breathing. Basic EMTs are usually restricted to using oxygen, glucose, asthma inhalers, and epinephrine auto-injectors (a common exception to the no-needles rule). Paramedics are trained in the use of 30-40 medications, depending on the state.

Canada Keeps it Simple:

Canada has tried to simplify public understanding of emergency medical certification levels – and cut down on syllables – by referring to all levels of training as paramedics. Within the common term of paramedic, Canada uses the terms EMA-1, EMA-2, etc. EMA stands for emergency medical attendant. Generally, the training for emergency medical attendants in Canada is longer than that of similarly certified EMTs in the US.

Responding to Emergencies:

Both basic EMTs and paramedics respond to emergency medical incidents. Ambulance crewmembers are required to at least have EMT certifications to attend patients in the back of an ambulance. Basic level training provides the most important elements of emergency medical training, while the more advanced paramedic level training addresses supportive care and maintaining patients after initial resuscitation.

Both levels of training will also be called-upon to provide care to patients during interfacility transfers. When a patient needs to be moved from one medical facility to another, ambulances will be used to do the moving. Whether responding to emergencies or providing care during interfacility transfers, ambulances may be staffed with two paramedics, two EMTs, or one of each. In some areas, the level of staffing determines which type of ambulance is sent to a call for service.

by Rod Brouhard.

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What does a paramedic do?

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Paramedics are the senior ambulance service healthcare professionals at an accident or a medical emergency. Working on their own or with an emergency care assistant or ambulance technician, they assess the patient’s condition and then give essential treatment. They use high-tech equipment, such as defibrillators (which restore the heart’s rhythm), spinal and traction splints and intravenous drips, and as well as administering oxygen and drugs.

Paramedics are often one of the first healthcare professionals on the scene of any accident or medical emergency. They are usually one of a two-person ambulance crew, with an emergency care assistant or ambulance technician to assist them. However, they might work on their own, using a motorbike, emergency response car or even a bicycle to reach their patients. With extra training, they could also become members of an air ambulance crew.

When they arrive at the scene, they will assess the patient’s condition and take potentially life-saving decisions about any treatment needed before the patient is transferred to hospital. They then start giving the treatment, with the assistance of the emergency care assistant or ambulance technician.

They are trained to drive what is in effect a mobile emergency clinic and to resuscitate and/or stabilise patients using sophisticated techniques, equipment and drugs. They might be called out to someone who has fallen from scaffolding, for example, or an elderly person with a suspected stroke. Based at a local ambulance station or a large hospital along with other emergency crews, they work shifts, including evenings and weekends, going out in all weathers at all hours of the night or day. They work closely with doctors and nurses in hospital accident and emergency departments, briefing them as they hand their patient over to their care.

As well as contact with patients, they also deal with patients’ relatives and members of the public, some of whom may be hysterical or aggressive. They also often work alongside the police and fire brigade.

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