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What is it like being a paramedic?

Being a paramedic isn't like what you see on TV; it isn't all fast-paced lifesaving


A user on Quora recently asked, "What is it like being a paramedic?" A few answers stood out to us, especially one by a paramedic, training officer and EMS supervisor. You can read her reply below: 

This job is a weird job. I say that at least once every day that I work. And it takes a special kind of person. That's not to say that only certain people can do the job. It is to say that only certain people can last in the job, can thrive in the job. 

This job isn't like the TV shows. It isn't all fast-paced lifesaving. In fact, most of the time, it's the opposite. Sometimes there are car accidents, explosions and heroics. But, most of the time, it's twisted ankles, toothaches, fevers and coughs.

Sometimes it's legitimate heart attacks, allergic reactions, and severely septic old people, but the press never shows up to glamorize those. 

If this job is really for you, you will be addicted to it. (Courtesy photo)
If this job is really for you, you will be addicted to it. (Courtesy photo)

Sometimes it is literally just having a conversation with someone about their life while you take them to the hospital.

You miss out on things when you follow this career path. Family will never really understand why you can't just take the day off. You will miss holidays, birthdays, camping trips and fun times with friends. You may even miss the birth of your own children. And you will do this to help strangers at their worst moment. Or their dumbest moment. 

And, speaking of that, you will constantly be amazed at what people do, to themselves or each other, you will be saddened by horrible things, and sometimes encouraged by the good things.

But, if this is really for you, you will be addicted to it.

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