What personal skills or qualities are needed to become a Paramedic?
A Paramedic is an Emergency Medical Technician
Emergency Medical Technicians typically train for EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Paramedic levels. Generally speaking, the main differences are in what medical services and treatments they are allowed to perform. Of course, each state or jurisdiction has its own set of guidelines and regulations regarding just what each level of EMT is allowed to practice
An EMT-Basic typically is allowed to make an overall assessment of a patient's condition; and may provide emergency respiratory, cardiac, and traumatic injury services.
An EMT-Paramedic is trained in more advanced emergency care skills, and often administers intravenous or oral medications, inserts tracheal tubes, administers and interprets EKG's, and other similar pre-hospital urgent care procedures.
Paramedics need to be focused, detail-oriented, and unafraid of seeing and experiencing others in horrid and painful circumstances. Paramedics, being first-responders, most always see blood, quite often see death, and sometimes see mass devestation. Paramedics are, by and large, some of those unsung heroes who put their own lives at risk to help save others.
Academic training and education for EMT positions, up to and including Paramedic level, center around providing the best urgent care possible for emergency situations. As can be imagined, no two car accidents are alike; no two hurricanes are alike; no two house fires are alike; no two earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes. As such, Paramedics need to be trained to be ready for anything.
Paramedics typically learn the basic medical topics of anatomy, physiology, urgent care treatments, hazards of traumatic injury handling, and the like. Of course, Paramedics also learn best practices for managing and dealing with disaster sites and ambulance and emergency equipment operations.