Before being accepted into the paramedic program at my school you have to write an essay. You have to hand write it, but come on, I’m doing an essay in one hand written draft? Not likely. So I typed it up. I thought I’d share it here.
It is short, I think it had to be between 200-300 words.
What are the traits and characteristics that all great paramedics share?
A great paramedic knows their stuff. They are the people other paramedics what to show up when they dial 911. Knowing your stuff isn’t about finishing first in your class, or acing the National Registry, it is about wanting to know everything you can. You aren’t learning from your teachers to pass the test, you are learning to know the material. A great paramedic is a lifelong learner. They are constantly reading and studying the latest in EMS and emergency medicine in general. They are networking with the best in the field and learning from them.
Knowing your stuff is a given, but it won’t make you great. A great paramedic is compassionate, and sympathetic. When a paramedic is called to a scene, this is probably one of the worst days of the patient’s lives. They need someone who shows compassion for their situation. They need to know you understand they are in pain and want to do something about it. That you are concerned not just with fixing the problem, but making them feel better both physically and emotionally. A good paramedic helps their patient calm down and feel it is going to be OK.
Lastly, a great paramedic is likeable. Likeability is hard to define but you know it when you see it. These are people you just like when you interact with them. It isn’t a personality type because there are introverted people who are just as likeable as the life of the party extroverts. A big part of being likeable is the ability to communicate the compassion, sympathy and knowledge I’ve mentioned previously. If you can make people feel good, even when they are in crisis and pain, they are going to like you.
Must not have sounded too full of it because they let me in. I’d be interested to hear what our listeners think the answer to that question is. Both the experienced ones and the other newbies. I don’t think there are any wrong answers here.