Chapter 1: Understanding the work

Introduction

To see the job on TV, it’s all about heroes, gratitude, drinking and sex. People need to know it’s just not like that.  – Canadian paramedic

The work life of a paramedic is very different from that of most people. The general public's view of a paramedic's role and day-to-day experiences is influenced to some extent by the media. However, TV dramas usually distort the real nature of paramedic work.

You may have some general ideas about the job – responding to emergency calls, providing medical treatment, and transporting to hospital. This chapter will help you to separate the myths from the realities.

Enhancing your understanding of the paramedic’s work and its pressures may encourage open conversation and help you to provide more meaningful support.