Tips for New Paramedics

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Being a new paramedic is much different than being a competent paramedic. Starting a new job, regardless of your training level and experience, adds additional stress. Jim Hoffman discusses the stress of being a new paramedic. He emphasizes the importance of systematically assessing every patient and assuring the patient’s ABCs are being managed. If you always focus on the basics you can have the luxury of applying your paramedic assessment and treatment skills.

As I listened to Jim’s audio I thought of these additional tips for new paramedics:

1. Continue watching and listening to more experienced paramedics. Your education has just begun when you finished paramedic skill.

2. As you write the patient care report think about the things you did well during the call. Keep doing those things. You will also find yourself dwelling on problems you had during the call or mistakes you made. Commit yourself to not making those same mistakes by thinking about and even writing down in a journal the things you will do differently next time.

3. Ask your field training officer for feedback with specific questions. What could have I done better? Is there anything different you would have done during the assessment? Were there times you felt you were prompting me? Why did you prompt me and what were those prompts.

4. Always ask good questions. The best questions for most patients are open ended questions. If you find yourself asking lots of yes-no questions think of different questions to ask patients. Instead of asking “do you have any medication allergies,” ask “what are your medication allergies.”

Finally, remember very few calls are emergent. Take your time, be thorough, and listen carefully to the patient.

What are your tips for new paramedics?