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Becoming a Paramedic in Australia: What each state requires
Characteristics of a Paramedic
There are many characteristics that a person needs to be a great paramedic. Here are just a few.
- Quick on there feet
- The ability to leave work at work
- Self resilience
- Good Communication
- Goal Oriented
- Open Minded
- Willingness to learn
- LOVE TO DRIVE FAST!
In Australia the title of "Paramedic" is not officially used, however becoming a paramedic is a respectable career goal and is possible. The six states in Australia have different personal and educational requirements to be hired on to an EMS service. A paramedic is an educated individual that works solo or part of a team to rapidly respond, provide excellent pre hospital patient care, then follow with transporting the patient(s) to the closest appropriate facility where they can continue to receive medical care. A paramedic can expect to work long and unusual hours. One must be prepared to see things that most normal people will never see. They must be able to keep a calm composure, with a mindset that can look through the gruesome injuries and compute a plan to provide the best pre hospital care possible. There are pros and cons to becoming a paramedic including injuries and time away from family, however this career proves to be one of the most rewarding ones out there. Becoming a paramedic is a long road, and is a tough one. A person needs to be mentally stable and ready for what lies ahead. This person must stay proficient at skills and always seek more education. Now that I have your attention, lets see what it takes to fulfill your dreams!
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state within Australia that utilizes a state wide Ambulance Service. A Bachelor Degree in Paramedical science or health science is required to apply to the service. An individual must hold Australian citizenship, or permanent residency, or citizenship in New Zealand. An individual must hold a license for an Unrestricted Light Rigid drivers license or be willing to get one prior to employment. An individual must be willing to provide proof of mandatory vaccinations including diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, tuberculosis, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, measles and chicken pox. As an applicant you must pass a health assessment provided by the service and be willing to relocate to any part of New South Wales for job needs.
Queensland and Tasmania
In Queensland and Tasmania an aspiring Paramedic needs to have most of the qualifications that New South Wales require with a few changes. Queensland, nor Tasmania does not require an applicant to hold an Unrestricted Light Rigid (LR) drivers license to be considered, however an applicant must possess a Manual drivers license. Like New South Wales an applicant must possess a Bachelors degree in paramedical science or health science. Queensland also requires that an applicant must hold recognition of current ambulance practice at the level of a QAS Advanced Care Paramedic or higher. In both states applicants will be subject to undergo a detailed Criminal background check. Another assessment includes a psychometric assessment. This assessment is used to indicate an applicants mental stability and suitability for the paramedic position. Last but not least, if hired, the new employee can expect to go through a rigorous 6 month probationary period where skills and ability are constantly assessed.
What state are you seeking employment as a paramedic?
Things in South Australia are a bit different. SAAS (South Australia Ambulance Service) requires applicants to be a graduate of the Council of Ambulance Authorities. Once a graduate an applicant may apply to the SAAS internship program. The SAAS internship program includes 12 months of education and education or operations. The program is a probationary program that can lead to dismissal if terms are not met. Once an individual completes the internship program with excellent results, one can apply for full time employment in South Australia. Other requirements needed are the same for other states. You can find courses for Council of Ambulance Authorities approved courses Here.
Here is a list of some of the major universities that offer a Bachelors in Paramedical of Science degrees.
- Edith Cowan University - 134 ECU (134 328)
- Australian Paramedical College - (07) 5520 2522
- Victoria University - 1300 VICUNI (842 864)
- The University of Queensland - +61 7 (3365 1111)
- University of Tasmania - +61 3 (6226 4730)
- Flinders University - (08) 8201 3074
Western Australia And Victoria
Western Australia and Victoria have basically the same requirements to become a paramedic. One must be graduated or in the last year of an accredited Bachelors of Paramedical Science or Health Science degree. A manual drivers license and stellar background history check are a must. Health assessments along with psychometric assessments are completed before hire. Clinical Assessment and an education test are among things also needed. If hired in either state an unknown length of probationary status will involve close education and training by a supervisor to help a graduate move his skills from a classroom setting to real world scenarios. Full time positions in Western Australia and Victoria are hard to come by. These positions take time to obtain but are well worth the blood sweat and tears it will take.
In summary, pursuing a career in paramedicine is not only a rewarding, but respected career. The need for paramedics grew 81% in 2011 and are expected to keep rising. According to payscale.com the average paramedic in Australia makes just under $60,000 a year. With higher education and gaining more certifications, the salary can be upwards of $85,000. If you love to be outdoors with a career that changes everyday, a paramedic is the job for you. Do not get stuck behind that desk at a job you hate. There is nothing more rewarding than doing something for someone that could never pay you back. You could be giving birth to a baby on one call and doing CPR, pushing medications, intubating, and saving a mans life on the next call. Pursue your dreams of changing lives!