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Primary Care Paramedic

Paramedics work across a range of healthcare settings in New Brunswick. They are highly skilled, licensed professionals who assess the needs of patients and provide medical treatment in both crisis situations and standard medical settings. From broken bones to childbirth, a paramedic can see all types of medical emergencies during a single shift. Although most paramedics you see work in ground ambulances, they can also work in air ambulances, on fire department vehicles, in communication centres as emergency medical dispatchers, within communities in collaboration with other healthcare providers, and in other specialized positions.

Being a paramedic is a hands-on, often intense career, but it is also a crucial role in our healthcare system. Paramedics are predominantly responsible for delivering pre-hospital care to multiple patients a day in stressful circumstances – this means staying on their toes and adapting to new situations regularly. Since every patient is unique and conditions can change on the fly, people who love a challenge with quick thinking and problem-solving skills will thrive in this career. It’s important for paramedics to keep a cool head in moments of crisis, not only so they can stay focused and communicate with their team, but also to keep their patients calm and reassured.

Personal characteristics and skills

  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Strong leadership abilities
  • Sound decision-making skills
  • Strong desire to help those in need
  • Ability to remain firm, reassuring, and efficient in moments of crisis
  • Ability to work without supervision and as part of a team

paramedics in New Brunswick have a variety of important roles, including but not limited to:

  • Advanced cardiac life support, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, defibrillation, cardioversion, transcutaneous pacing, and administration of cardiac drugs
  • Patient assessment, including acquisition of vital signs, physical exam, chest auscultation, history taking, electrocardiogram acquisition and interpretation, capnography, pulse oximetry
  • Airway management techniques including tracheal intubation, cricothyrotomy, rapid sequence induction, supraglottic airway insertion, manual repositioning, sterile suctioning, use of oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal airway adjuncts, and manual removal of obstructions
  • Oxygen administration and positive pressure ventilation via bag valve-mask, CPAP device, or ventilator
  • Fluid resuscitation
  • Administration of a wide array of emergency medications
  • Bleeding control and shock management
  • Spinal injury management and safe transport
  • Fracture management, including splinting
  • Obstetrics, including assessment, childbirth, and procedures for obstetrical emergencies
  • Management of burns, including classification, estimate of surface area, treatment

Paramedics must stay in excellent physical shape and good health. The physical demands of a paramedic include lifting loads weighing well over 25 kilograms (e.g. patients on stretchers). They must follow safety precautions to avoid injury when working with equipment or exposure to potentially hazardous agents. They work both indoors and outdoors, and may work full-time, part-time, or as volunteers.

Licensure and certification: All paramedics must be actively registered with the Paramedics Association of New Brunswick (PANB).

Paramedic educational programs are offered in New Brunswick by the following educational institutions: