A paramedic’s life is one of big rewards and constant challenges. Eamon Glass is now in the drivers’ seat after completing a Bachelor of Paramedicine/Bachelor of Nursing. While he’s left the classroom behind and been on the road with Ambulance Victoria for six months, Eamon said the learning hasn’t stopped.
“As you would expect, my first day on the job was a combination of nervousness and excitement. After four years studying and dreaming, it was surreal to finally be arriving at branch, in my uniform, ready to be a real paramedic.
The day was filled with small moments that made me smile more than it should have; getting the keys to the ambulance; talking on the radio for the first time; sitting up the front of the ambulance; and walking into a job knowing patients were my responsibility.
Paramedicine is immensely rewarding. The trust people place on you during what is one of the worst days of their life is a real privilege. And yet the entire job is incredibly challenging. Assessing and treating patients in incredibly dynamic situations ensures my mind is always going at a million miles an hours.
I’ve found that patients seldom fit perfectly into textbook presentations. Trying to manage complex patients when there’s a lot going on often forces me to think outside the box, while also requiring me to draw on a very specific understanding of various conditions. This can be particularly challenging at 4am on a night shift!
Fortunately, placement during my degree prepared me well for what to expect on the job. One thing you can never learn in the classroom is how to interact with patients. In this job, we come across every personality, ethnicity, and community. I’ve have learnt that the way I communicate with my patients has a huge impact on their experience.
There’s no such thing as a typical day as a paramedic. The only constant is the ambulance check we do at the start of each shift. Some days we will attend serious car accidents with multiple patients, and other days we may be called to assist an elderly person who has fallen over and needs nothing more than a hand up and a cup of tea.
On average we do five to six jobs per day, but sometimes we may only do two. It’s important that you’re prepared for everything and nothing in this job: everything in that you must be ready to attend a multitude of jobs, and nothing in that you must be self-motivated enough to stay up to date with your studies when there’s is downtime.”