16 Important Paramedic Skills (With Average Salary)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

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If you want to provide first aid and compassion to patients during emergencies, consider becoming a paramedic. These professionals rely on many skills, including medical knowledge and empathy, to effectively perform their duties. By learning about important paramedic skills you require on the job, you can determine whether this career is right for you and start developing your abilities.

In this article, we explore what paramedic skills are, list 16 paramedic skills that can help you succeed in this profession, look at the average salary for a paramedic and discover the importance of these skills along with a few tips for improving them.

What Are Paramedic Skills?

Paramedic skills are the abilities that emergency medical services personnel possess. Medical knowledge is one of the most common examples, though other skills like communication, empathy and decision-making are also important. Paramedics use these skills to earn their certifications, respond to calls and provide high-quality patient care. Many paramedics possess these skills naturally, though you can also develop them through training and job experience.

Related: What Is A Paramedic? (With Other Frequently Asked Questions)

16 Important Paramedic Skills

Here are 16 important paramedic skills that can help you succeed in this profession:

1. Focus

The scenes paramedics respond to are often loud and busy. Paramedics who remain focused can reduce distractions from bystanders and family members. This skill also allows them to make the right decisions and provide excellent patient care.

2. Teamwork

Paramedics often rely on teamwork to successfully perform their duties. For instance, when transporting someone to the hospital, one paramedic drives the ambulance while the other monitors the patient. Paramedics also work together on the scene by lifting patients and determining the right treatment options.

Read more: Is Teamwork A Skill? Definition And Examples

3. Medical knowledge

Paramedics build their medical knowledge to prepare for various emergencies. These professionals know how to recognise symptoms of heart attacks, respiratory distress and seizures. They understand which medical procedures are appropriate for treating traumatic injuries. Their knowledge also allows them to use medical equipment like IVs, incubators and defibrillators.

4. Empathy

Paramedics use empathy to manage the many sensitive situations they encounter. By listening to a patient and understanding their feelings, they can help them feel calm. For instance, a paramedic might recognise that a patient is nervous about receiving an IV. They can explain the procedure to ensure the patient feels safe and aware of what is happening. Empathy is also useful when a paramedic communicates with family members. They can collect the patient's medical information and provide updates about their status while offering comfort.

5. Communication

Paramedics communicate with various people throughout their shift. For example, they listen to patients to determine what occurred during the incident and what symptoms they are experiencing. Paramedics might get further information about the incident by asking witnesses and police officers questions. In addition to listening, paramedics also use oral communication skills. They might instruct one of their team members to perform a task or explain the patient's status to hospital staff.

Read more: Communication Skills: Definitions And Examples

6. Situational awareness

Even though paramedics respond to accidents after they happen, practising situational awareness can help these professionals keep everyone safe. Paramedics use their observation skills to notice any potential hazards to themselves or others. For instance, if they realise that treating a patient in a different area may be safer, they can instruct their team to evacuate the current location.

7. Leadership

Leadership can help paramedics manage accident scenes and care for their patients. For example, they might instruct bystanders to step back from the patient or ask police officers to manage a crowd while they work. Paramedics also use leadership skills within their team by delegating tasks and training new team members.

Read more: Leadership Skills: Definitions And Examples

8. Decision-making

Paramedics rely on their decision-making skills to deliver fast, effective care. For instance, when there are several options for treating a patient, a paramedic quickly gathers as much information as possible to choose the appropriate method. These professionals also decide whether to transport a patient to the hospital and what medications to administer.

9. Problem-solving

When a paramedic is in training, they usually practice their medical skills in controlled environments to learn how to come up with effective solutions for different situations that might occur. In the field, they often rely on their problem-solving skills to navigate unfamiliar situations. For example, they might determine the correct way to administer CPR to a patient trapped in a cramped space.

10. Triage

When responding to a scene that has many injured patients, paramedics rely on rationing limited care. To implement this practice, also known as triage, paramedics quickly evaluate the scene and determine how many resources and emergency care professionals are available. This skill requires fast decision-making to ensure paramedics treat those with the most serious injuries first.

11. Physical stamina

Many training programmes require paramedics to pass a physical fitness test. These tests measure the candidate's strength to ensure they can lift patients and heavy medical equipment. Other physical duties include bending, kneeling, performing CPR uninterrupted and entering and exiting ambulances.

12. Driving and navigation

In addition to providing medical care, paramedics are also responsible for driving ambulances. They often take turns with this responsibility, meaning all team members understand how to operate these vehicles. They use defensive driving skills to navigate busy streets and quickly reach the scene. Their navigation skills also allow them to read maps, follow directions and locate injured patients in remote areas.

13. Mental toughness

Mental toughness describes your ability to persevere through challenges and remain positive. The term also encompasses your emotional and psychological readiness for encountering sensitive situations. Mental toughness can help a paramedic remain calm around crime scenes and injured patients. It can also increase your self-confidence, allowing you to provide amazing emergency care possible.

14. Fine motor skills

Paramedics require fine motor skills to perform medical procedures. By treating patients carefully, they can move them into different positions and protect them from further injury. Other duties that require fine motor skills include inserting IVs, checking pulses and dressing wounds.

15. Organisation

Organisational skills can help a paramedic restock the ambulance and reorder supplies when necessary. These professionals also depend on organisational skills to fill out paperwork. By documenting the emergencies they managed, they can ensure hospitals receive accurate patient information.

Read more: Organisational Skills: Definition And Examples

16. Memory

Memory allows paramedics to recall various protocols in stressful situations. By relying on their memory, these professionals can administer fast and effective treatments. It is also important for paramedics to remember details from the scene to report to hospital staff and document them in their records.

What Is A Paramedic's Average Salary?

The average salary for a paramedic can vary based on several factors, like your educational accomplishments, geographical location and work experience. The national average salary for a paramedic in India is ₹2,46,695 per year. As you gain more expertise and experience as a paramedic, you may be able to negotiate for a higher wage or salary.

Tips For Improving Paramedic Skills

Here are some tips for improving your paramedic skills:

Keep yourself updated

Medical concepts and procedures may change frequently, with new innovations happening regularly. So it is important you keep yourself updated with the latest trends. You may gain new knowledge and improve your existing concepts by attending seminars, lectures and conferences.

Find a mentor

Working with a mentor, such as a senior professional in this field, may prove to be helpful. A mentor may help you in establishing new contacts in your field and may also teach you new skills. They may also provide insights into the direction and purpose of working as a paramedic.

Learn through on-the-job training

The training you receive while working is an effective method to improve your skills. With on-the-job training, you may instantly use what you learn in your work. It is important that you take notes during your work about the new things you learn, so you may later recall how your learnings pertain to your career in a practical and relevant way.

Why Paramedic Skills Are Important?

Paramedics work on providing first aid and compassion to patients during emergencies. So their role is very important for ensuring patients get the right attention in a timely manner. This makes it very important for these professionals to possess the right skills so that they can perform their roles appropriately. When these professionals possess the right skills, they may be able to help the patients in the best possible manner, leading to lives being saved.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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