Monday, August 9, 2010

Paramedic Program and Paramedic Training at Centennial College

If your elderly neighbour falls and breaks his hip or if there's a car accident at the intersection near your home, the first people on the scene are paramedics. These all-important medical care professionals are the ones who initially help you at the time of the emergency or accident. Upon arriving at the scene, paramedics assess the patient's condition, start the necessary treatment and are essential in making life-saving decisions.

The job of a paramedic is challenging but extremely rewarding. The person who takes on this career must be compassionate yet assertive, physically in good health and levelheaded. Using his or her paramedic training, the personnel decides whether the patient needs to be transferred to a hospital or be taken care of with the ambulance's high-tech equipment and necessary drugs. The medic must also deal with family members or the public, some of whom may be hysterical or aggressive. If a patient is transferred to a hospital, it is the paramedic’s job to communicate with the doctor on staff to ensure that he or she is well aware of the patient's condition and what medical procedures have been applied. Paramedics also often work alongside the police and fire department.

Paramedics are based at ground and air ambulance stations, large hospitals, and private ambulance companies. Depending on the location, they work in shifts that include evenings and weekends and range from 12 to 24 hours. In Canada, these long hours were rewarded in 2005 when paramedics were granted status, federally, as a "public safety occupation", which means that they are now eligible for early retirement.

Centennial College offers Paramedic Training that prepares students to handle the stresses and challenges of the field. Hands-on training is taught by certified advanced care paramedics who are actively involved in the medical arena. The training is provided at state-of-the-art facilities and includes emergency cases such as medical, trauma and psychological situations. Paramedic program students also learn to use relevant theory, communication techniques, preventative and therapeutic patient management strategies, as well as ensuring the operational safety of an ambulance and its equipment. Students who have chosen the Paramedic Program have had a high rate of job absorption in the market.

Due to the challenging nature of this field, there are perquisites students must consider when applying for admission. Centennial College expects students to hold at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. Academically, the applicant must also possess, compulsory English 12C or U or equivalent, math 11M or U, or 12C or U or equivalent, Biology 11C or U, or 12 U or equivalent; and one of the following sciences: chemistry 11U, or 12C or U or physics 11U or 12C or U. There are also medical requirements such as a medical doctor's statement, certifying a standard of health that is acceptable to Centennial College, clinical and affiliated EMS agencies. The applicant to the Paramedic Program must also meet the following:
  1. Not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude (clear vulnerable persons police background record searches are completed throughout the program).
  2. Hold a Class "F" license, which is required for employment in Ontario (but not for program admission).
  3. Complete a CPR Level HCP course (Health Care Provider) and standard first aid certification.
Before taking the paramedic program, applicants should also be aware that under the provisions of the ambulance act, employment as a paramedic is prohibited to anyone who in the past year has: received six or more demerit points on his or her diving record, has his or her diver's license suspended in the previous two years; has been prohibited from driving under the Criminal Code of Canada within the part three years or has been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude for which he or she has not been pardoned.

For complete details on the requirements of this rewarding program, visit Centennial’s Paramedic Program Admission page.

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