Jump to content

Paramedic?


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 JRA

Posted 11 February 2019 - 08:33 AM

DS is 16, he has a science / maths bent.

He is a life saver at our local surf beach and loves the first aid part of it, continuing to do every first aid thing he can through LSV.

He is now thinking about being a paramedic.  As much as I think paramedics are the most amazing people, I need to be sold on it,... or not. Not that I can or will stop him if that is what he wants.

Please tell me about why he should or shouldn't be a paramedic?

#2 Kafkaesque

Posted 11 February 2019 - 08:50 AM

My husband is a paramedic and I have a degreee in paramedicine but haven’t practiced.  My husband loves his job. Finds if highly rewarding and has been doing it for more than 20 years around the world.

We are in WA and our system works differently to yours but across Australia paramedicine is highly competitive. Here there is a minimum age of 21 to apply to our service so it’s not a straight out of school career. There are far more graduates than jobs. So that’s something to consider seriously. If prepared to move states or countries there are more opportunities. I don’t recommend anyone pursue it as their only career option. I generally recommend doing a dual nursing paramed degreee.

You need the personality type to cope long term. You need to be resilient and able to deal well with stress and pressure. Seeing the worst in people and people at their worst. As well as highly traumatic events you have to be able to deal with doing lots of non urgent and “boring” work.  I believe you also need to be empathetic and very non judgemental to be a halfway decent paramedic. Some I know are absolute twats and their patient suffer for it.

One day I may try and pursue it for myself but as the main carer of our 4 children the both of us doing shift work would be brutal and not something I’m prepared for right now.

#3 Octopodes

Posted 11 February 2019 - 08:58 AM

First responders/paramedics see some awful things. They often see the worst of humans. Is he aware it's not all first aid?

If he is serious about becoming a paramedic, I'd find a way for him to meet one or two to find out what the job really entails. Someone with first hand knowledge of the field, who could answer all of his questions.

We've done this with DS11 (we're not pushing, he has a very long running interest in becoming a quantum physicist and a family member happened to know one), it gave him a greater understanding of what study and then working as a quantum physicist would actually be like. For DS it only further cemented in his mind that is what he wants to do.

#4 Caitlin Happymeal

Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:00 AM

Would he consider a dual paramedic/nursing degree? A bit of a fallback position if the oversupply means he doesnt get into the ambos straight up. Might get work in an ED or ICU which would give him clinical experience in ALS.

#5 AliasMater

Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:04 AM

Almost every university in Qld is now running a Paramedic Science degree. There are thousands more grads than jobs, it's criminal. Especially when they sell you a promise. I know several people who did the degree and never got a job. All ambulance services in Australia are saturated. Plenty of work for grads in England which is where I've had friends have to move. Pay there is truly awful though.

High burn out rate too.

#6 JRA

Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:30 AM

Thanks all, please keep the feedback coming.

I thought Monash here in Vic had the double degree, but it seems to have disappeared and only ACU in Ballarat has it.

The oversupply of paramedics is a real issue, so certainly the double degree would make even more sense....

mmmm.......

#7 Mumma3

Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:38 AM

A family member is a paramedic, but did. Nursing degree first. Through that, he gained considerable experience in ED settings and then, in his late 20s moved onto paramedics. I think the maturity and life experience he gained was important for the trauma he sees on a daily basis.

What is it about paramedics that appeals to your DS? Has he had a chat with his school careers counsellor? They might be able to suggest options with similar appeal, and help him with a plan and path to get there.

To be honest, working in health, I am pleased to see a move away from year 12 entry courses for medicine and paramedics etc. My feeling is a person needs to gain a lot of life experience before they can be truly effective in these areas.

Good luck to (you and) your DS. It’s a gruelling time.

#8 AliasMater

Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:41 AM

Many universities have ditched the double.

It was explained to me why but I forget.

In a nutshell though, you have to do your grad positions in both jobs, (1-2 years each full time) to be qualified as either a paramedic or nurse. You may as well just pick the career you want. Much much more scope of practice and employment opportunity in nursing. Also, a RN can always apply as a paramedic later down the track but a paramedic can't just become a RN.

Everyone says stay right away from the double. I wish I could remember and articilate better the other reasons why.

Edited by AliasMater, 11 February 2019 - 09:44 AM.


#9 Elizabethandfriend

Posted 11 February 2019 - 10:04 AM

My brother is a paramedic.  He retrained in his early 30s after a career in finance. He was talked out of doing the degree straight out of school and although it was a financial blow to retrain, it did mean he was more resilient and street smart when he started work as a paramedic.

Overall he enjoys it.  But he has suffered many many injuries - assaults from drug affected patients, back injuries from lifting etc.  He can be waiting around in hospitals for his entire shift. The shift work is also hard on families, although that's balanced out by the extensive holidays I suppose.

He is now moving into a training role and is happy to have more balance than always being on the front line.

#10 LiveLife

Posted 11 February 2019 - 10:08 AM

One of the other issues with double degrees (in any field of health) is maintaining registration. In my field, AHPRA requires x number hours of practise every x years. So as soon as you work in one field you pretty quickly lose registration in the other if you you haven’t worked in it. Working parttime in both would solve this problem but would be very hard to juggle.

Health has a major oversupply of uni grads..... but so does almost every uni course these days so..... maybe just study what interests you and cross your fingers.

#11 nup

Posted 11 February 2019 - 11:39 AM

Consider it a short term career option. From a mental health perspective really consider his overall health which includes family history and potentially latent health issues, connection to community and overall resilience. It will all be pushed as a first responder. As a society we need them but we don't look after them and hence the short shelf life before it alters life. It falls to families to catch them when they break and the outcomes can be devastating. Bullying, shift work and a culture of denial and cover up are rife in these paramilitary organisations. When people go in with high ideals they are often set up for failure.

Nursing has far more flexibility. He can study nursing but use that knowledge for other pursuits when he needs a break from the front lines.

#12 little lion

Posted 11 February 2019 - 01:42 PM

I agree with PPs about an oversupply. If he’s keen on maths and science as well as something clinical, may I suggest the role of medical physicist? Probably depends on your location but it can be well paid and I don’t think universities oversupply grads.

#13 seayork2002

Posted 11 February 2019 - 01:46 PM

I am not trying to compare them nor would i know if it would help but something I thought of and may suggest to my own DS when he is older is what about volunteering with St Johns Ambulance? I see them at events but not sure what else they do that may help?

#14 little lion

Posted 11 February 2019 - 01:57 PM

Other related suggestions to above would be medical imaging or radiation therapy.

#15 Cerridwen

Posted 11 February 2019 - 08:14 PM

View PostAliasMater, on 11 February 2019 - 09:41 AM, said:

Many universities have ditched the double.

It was explained to me why but I forget.

In a nutshell though, you have to do your grad positions in both jobs, (1-2 years each full time) to be qualified as either a paramedic or nurse. You may as well just pick the career you want. Much much more scope of practice and employment opportunity in nursing. Also, a RN can always apply as a paramedic later down the track but a paramedic can't just become a RN.

Everyone says stay right away from the double. I wish I could remember and articilate better the other reasons why.

A grad year is not compulsory in nursing. Not in Victoria anyway, which is lucky for all those that qualify but don't get a grad position.

#16 Cimbom

Posted 11 February 2019 - 08:28 PM

If he is really passionate about it, he can apply for a position as an army medic. You don't need any qualifications outside of high school and they train you up (seems to be a nursing diploma with some paramedicine study): https://www.defencej...jobs/army/medic

That is only for a full-time role though, not reserves for which you need to be already qualified

#17 nom_de_plume

Posted 11 February 2019 - 08:53 PM

View PostCimbom, on 11 February 2019 - 08:28 PM, said:

If he is really passionate about it, he can apply for a position as an army medic. You don't need any qualifications outside of high school and they train you up (seems to be a nursing diploma with some paramedicine study): https://www.defencej...jobs/army/medic

That is only for a full-time role though, not reserves for which you need to be already qualified

This was also going to be my suggestion.
It will stand him in good stead if/when he decides to apply for a civilian role.

DP is a paramedic in Victoria. He retrained in his 30’s after years of corporate life.

The pros: he has found his calling and loves the clinical aspects of the job.

The cons: shift work on a rotating 24/7 roster, having little control over where and who you work with, being abused and injured whilst on the job by patients and/or bystanders, short working life, only one employer in the state and an oversupply of graduates, toxic management culture.

I agree that it’s the type of job that’s better left until you have some life experience. I think you need to have a certain temperament and personality to succeed in the job - it’s not for everybody.

Have a read of the topic started a week or so ago regarding emergency services and mental health for an insight into that side of things.

#18 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:02 PM

Such an amazing and rewarding career option.

View PostAliasMater, on 11 February 2019 - 09:41 AM, said:

Many universities have ditched the double.

It was explained to me why but I forget.

In a nutshell though, you have to do your grad positions in both jobs, (1-2 years each full time) to be qualified as either a paramedic or nurse. You may as well just pick the career you want. Much much more scope of practice and employment opportunity in nursing. Also, a RN can always apply as a paramedic later down the track but a paramedic can't just become a RN.

Everyone says stay right away from the double. I wish I could remember and articilate better the other reasons why.
Not "everyone" says to stay away from the double, at all. A double degree is a wise option. Many improve their employability by having done a year or so of nursing whilst awaiting a paramedic position. In the ACT they are looking at a dual grad year, where you get your grad year in both qualifications - pretty amazing given that ambulance is not under the health portfolio.

Despite having an undergraduate and multiple post graduate qualifications in paramedicine, I frequently wish I had a nursing qualification.

View PostLiveLife, on 11 February 2019 - 10:08 AM, said:

One of the other issues with double degrees (in any field of health) is maintaining registration. In my field, AHPRA requires x number hours of practise every x years. So as soon as you work in one field you pretty quickly lose registration in the other if you you haven’t worked in it. Working parttime in both would solve this problem but would be very hard to juggle.

Health has a major oversupply of uni grads..... but so does almost every uni course these days so..... maybe just study what interests you and cross your fingers.
I have many colleagues who maintain double registration.

View Postnup, on 11 February 2019 - 11:39 AM, said:

Consider it a short term career option. From a mental health perspective really consider his overall health which includes family history and potentially latent health issues, connection to community and overall resilience. It will all be pushed as a first responder. As a society we need them but we don't look after them and hence the short shelf life before it alters life. It falls to families to catch them when they break and the outcomes can be devastating. Bullying, shift work and a culture of denial and cover up are rife in these paramilitary organisations. When people go in with high ideals they are often set up for failure.

Nursing has far more flexibility. He can study nursing but use that knowledge for other pursuits when he needs a break from the front lines.
I do not think it has to be viewed as a short term career option at all. It can be a very rewarding long term career, particularly if you approach it with an awareness of the physical and psychological impacts and implement wellbeing practices. Not that it is a total safeguard, but it really can help, and there is a positive change in attitudes and practice around the psychological impacts.

I have had career-related PTSD. It is awful. I still had never regretted my career choice. 25 years and no plans to change. My PTSD experience I would have preferred do without,  but in the end it resulted in a lot of personal growth for me, so it is a bit like my marriage/divorce in that I see it as a part of my story in making me who I am today.

If he is interested, why not? Who says that any career they choose will be forever anyway?

I absolutely love my profession. The negatives are far outweighed by the positives, and are generally more organisational than anything.

#19 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:08 PM

Oh, and I love the shift work and think that it has enriched our family life. Long, unpredictable hours, but compensated by blocks of four or five days off at a time, plenty of annual leave.

The main trick with that is to learn that not every celebration has to happen on the "given" day, and that weekends are not sacred, and the compensation of having mid-week days off to be able to attend school events etc can be just as good.

It is a different lifestyle, but not impossible at all. Paramedic shifts are certainly more predictable and tolerable than a nursing shift work roster to me.

#20 TrixieBelden

Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:17 PM

It’s hard because you have no idea how you’ll go with shiftwork until you do it. Some people simply cannot do nights.

It’s worth him reading up on PTSD, and also thinking about how he’d cope with people who call an ambulance because their big toe is itchy.

But paramedics save lives.

I’m not a paramedic but work in a parallel industry where shifts are brutal, hours are awful, the stress and responsibility are enormous...but sometimes someone lives solely because you learned how to help them and were there for them when nobody else was. Most people go to their grave without being able to say that about how they chose to spend their life. Those people will certainly have had more Christmas dinners at home than me. I don’t envy them at all.

Edited by TrixieBelden, 11 February 2019 - 09:19 PM.


#21 Soontobegran

Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:23 PM

View Postnup, on 11 February 2019 - 11:39 AM, said:

Bullying, shift work and a culture of denial and cover up are rife in these paramilitary organisations. When people go in with high ideals they are often set up for failure.


It's been a long time since paramedicine was regarded as paramilitary and don't you think that when people embark on a career it better to go in with high ideals?

#22 Kafkaesque

Posted 11 February 2019 - 10:22 PM

View Postnup, on 11 February 2019 - 11:39 AM, said:

Consider it a short term career option. From a mental health perspective really consider his overall health which includes family history and potentially latent health issues, connection to community and overall resilience. It will all be pushed as a first responder. As a society we need them but we don't look after them and hence the short shelf life before it alters life. It falls to families to catch them when they break and the outcomes can be devastating. Bullying, shift work and a culture of denial and cover up are rife in these paramilitary organisations. When people go in with high ideals they are often set up for failure.

Nursing has far more flexibility. He can study nursing but use that knowledge for other pursuits when he needs a break from the front lines.

That’s quite a bizarre reply. What experience is that based on?

#23 Ktonic

Posted 11 February 2019 - 11:17 PM

My son is about to start his second year of nursing at Deakin. He intends to become a paramedic eventually - he started out looking at the courses at Monash Peninsula and ACU City, and researched job opportunities, coming to the conclusion that there was serious competition and he might need a fall back. We did look seriously at the double degree at ACU Ballarat, which would have meant living away from home. DS decided on Deakin for nursing in the first instance so he can gain a qualification and work for a while before doing further study.

While I was impressed by the mature thought processes he went through, I did think he may have been a bit alarmist about employment opportunities - no one really knows what the situation will be in a few years and the paramedicine courses at ACU and Monash are still in demand.

#24 Kafkaesque

Posted 12 February 2019 - 08:14 AM

View PostKtonic, on 11 February 2019 - 11:17 PM, said:

My son is about to start his second year of nursing at Deakin. He intends to become a paramedic eventually - he started out looking at the courses at Monash Peninsula and ACU City, and researched job opportunities, coming to the conclusion that there was serious competition and he might need a fall back. We did look seriously at the double degree at ACU Ballarat, which would have meant living away from home. DS decided on Deakin for nursing in the first instance so he can gain a qualification and work for a while before doing further study.

While I was impressed by the mature thought processes he went through, I did think he may have been a bit alarmist about employment opportunities - no one really knows what the situation will be in a few years and the paramedicine courses at ACU and Monash are still in demand.

Totally not alarmist. For a number of years now there have been far more paramed grads than jobs. What a wise kid you’ve raised there were many students at my uni when doing para that had no clue the chances of getting a job was extremely low.

#25 Fossy

Posted 12 February 2019 - 12:12 PM

As a paramedic in Victoria I’m happy to answer any questions you may have, feel free to PM me.  It’s the best job in the world and I feel blessed every day that I get to do it.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

'My parenting style is Survivalist'

A helicopter or tiger mum, I am not.

8 mums reveal their favourite nappy bags

We asked a bunch of mums which nappy bags they love the most.

Why you shouldn't bother throwing a big first birthday party

If you're feeling the pressure to host an all-out, over-the-top shindig for your baby's birthday, I hereby grant you permission to throw the rules out the window.

The 24 baby names on the verge of extinction this year

If you're on the hunt for the perfect baby name and don't want a chart-topper like Oliver or Olivia, then do we have the list for you.

'My mum doesn't seem that interested in my baby'

Q: My mother and I have always been close, but now that I have a baby, she has not helped out as much as I thought she would.

New guidelines: "Bottle-feeding mums need support too"

Breast is best, but mums who can't, or choose not to breastfeed need support too.

Dads also struggle to 'have it all', study finds

Men and women both experience work-family conflict.

Language development may start in the womb

Study found babies can recognise foreign languages before birth.

Meet the baby born from an embryo frozen for 24 years

Experts say little Emma is a record breaking baby.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

From our network

Five things you need to know about flu and pregnancy

As the 2017 flu season begins in earnest, here?s what you need to know to protect yourself and baby.

Mum tips to keep your pre-baby budget in check

Money might be funny in a rich man's world (or so ABBA told us), but for the rest of us it's a major consideration – particularly before having a baby.

5 easy ways to make your maternity leave last longer

Maternity leave is a special time for you, your partner and your new little bundle. The last thing you want is for financial worries to stand in the way of that joy.

10 ways to keep your 'buying for baby' costs down

Becoming a parent is full of surprises – not least of all finding out that, for such small beings, babies cause a lot of chaos and expense.

5 ways to prepare to go from two incomes to one

Here are some ideas for getting that budget in shape, ready for being a one income family.

 

Baby Names

Need some ideas?

See what names are trending this year.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.