The shortage of ambulance attendants is being felt in many regions of Canada. Overview of the qualities required to become a prehospital emergency care technician.
Do you want a profession that combines adrenalin and empathy, the joy of driving and a passion for health? “Those who have this profile are assured of finding work immediately after their college training,” says Dave Boisvert, head of department coordination for the prehospital emergency care program at Collège Ahuntsic. The shortage of ambulance attendants is such that students are often recruited even before they have completed their training. Placement guaranteed.
Do not hesitate to choose this path as a second career in the middle of your professional career. There are many students in their forties at Collège Ahuntsic, as in other establishments. “They represent almost half of our students,” Dave Boisvert indicates. They are appreciated for their maturity and life experience which provides them with good judgement in a crisis situation – essential qualities for an ambulance attendant.
Good physical condition and great human qualities
The ambulance attendant-technician absolutely must be in excellent physical condition. It is the perfect job for the great schoolyard sportsman or the Sunday marathon runner. Gifted in mathematics, biology and physical sciences, he has a rational mind but must also be endowed with great human qualities and an uncommon empathy. “This work requires being a quite exemplary human being, capable of listening, respect and integrity, and demonstrating excellent judgement,” Dave Boisvert insists.
Add to physical strength the requirement of good mental health. “The ambulance attendant will often have to cope with stressful situations and will be in the presence of situations of human indignity; he must keep morale up under all circumstances.”
How do you prepare?
If this career is tempting to you, make sure to take a step ahead by setting up a training program well before beginning your education. “In the first year, many of our students arrive with significant physical shortcomings and have to work hard in the training room,” emphasizes Dave Boisvert.
You should already have your class 5 driver’s license and be an outstanding driver, because you will soon be called upon to learn emergency driving, “a driving style that has nothing ordinary about it”.
If you have already followed first aid and CPR training, this is an asset! Any previous experience in customer service, which will equip you with interpersonal and communication skills, will also help you.