Risks in the Context of Paramedics
Risk is the probability that a certain action involves the threat of a loss, injury, damage or liability and is caused by external or internal factors (Miles, 2011). As a paramedic, there are various risks involved in the work place. The risks range from transportation incidents, exposure to contagious and infectious diseases, and exposure to chemicals, injury, assault and allergic reactions. Injuries may be as a result of fire, explosions, falling objects and weak structures amongst others. Paramedics are one group of healthcare professionals facing increasing challenges (Roberts, 2007).
The reading group developed a shared understanding of the risk concept by sharing knowledge and ideas, comparing them and giving their personal views as well as experiences regarding how healthcare professionals face various risks at work. In this way, each member was able to develop a better comprehension of risk concept.
Risk involves anything that poses a potential harm to a paramedic. Paramedics often respond to emergency situations and most of the times the source of danger or harm for the victims is usually still present at the site therefore putting the responding paramedics at a position of being harmed. There is also risk of paramedics attending to violent casualties who may harm them while in the process of being attended to. Accident is also among the risks that could be encountered by a paramedic especially during transportation, particularly because of the high speed usually involved (Newitz, 2012).
The process of engaging in reading group had its own challenges but it was an interesting process that had a positive effect. The main challenge was making everyone understand the concept of risk and how paramedics face various risks in their everyday duties. It was interesting how members of the reading group had various perspectives and how each one of them viewed the concept of risk with reference to paramedics. The positive aspect of it was that in the end, each one had broadened their knowledge concerning risks faced by healthcare workers.
I have become more knowledgeable in terms of the risks that paramedics face in the line of duty. I have a more pronounced appreciation for this line of work noting that as paramedics respond to emergencies, they usually rush to dangerous emergency situations, putting them at risk so as to save and help the victims. Though I had a positive attitude towards paramedics as a profession, I now also see it being a dangerous profession considering that in the line of duty there are various external as well as internal factors that put the workers at constant risk each time they respond to a call.
The concept of risk seems to be universal in that all professions have a certain level of risk involved. However, the risks faced by paramedics seem to be of a heightened level considering that even in the act of response alone one can be involved in transportation incidences such as traffic accidents. In future, my actions in the line of duty will always be influenced by the need to ensure safety and that preemptive steps are put in place to minimize the level of risk.
Paramedics should be accompanied by law enforcement personnel in their line of duty so as to minimize risks that arise as a result of assaults and working in volatile environments where violence may occur. Further, there should also be the situational assessments where each situation is assessed so as to establish the risks that paramedics are being exposed to as they respond to emergency calls (Tanenbaum, 2016). This will put them in a better position to mitigate the risks and protect them.