Paramedic Jobs

How do I become a paramedic?

Paramedic training is great but if it doesn’t end in a job then, I agree with you, what was the point. You can spend a lot of money learning to become a paramedic and just be poorer at the end of it. A diploma in Paramedic science and the vocational entry point we offer is not for everyone. Sometimes you may be better off completing a paramedic degree at university. So what are the “pros and cons” in a nutshell and what should I do? If you follow our 5 point plan you may be able to work out what is best for you.

Step 1

I want to become a paramedic?

Well, sometimes that just ain’t enough if there are not enough paramedic jobs available when you finish your paramedic degree or diploma. Do your job and career research. Look and understand what qualifications and experience employers are seeking. Do they only want

experienced paramedics or are new graduates getting jobs? You can get a taste of what is on offer in the job market by looking through Facebook sites for paramedic jobs or websites that specialise in Paramedic and pre-hospital care jobs like paramedic and first aid jobs based in Australia


Consider, can I afford to go back to university as an adult?

Returning to learning is a hard gig, I know I have done it most of my adult life. Lifelong learning is something we think sounds great but it is hard to find the time and the commitment that University study requires. Learning through a Diploma based system with more flexibility and an understanding that the bills of life just don’t disappear because you want to make a career change is a better, more sustainable, viable choice for many adults wanting to change horses midstream.


Do I have the stomach for it?

International Paramedic College paramedic educationIn more ways than one, you need to have the stomach for it, the internal fortitude and the drive to push through obstacles. It is the hallmark of a good paramedic and it is a natural requirement for an adult returning to learning later in life. As the years leave its experiences and scars upon us we suffer the slings of outrageous fortune that is life.

To be or not to be, whether to float with the tide or to swim for that goal is life’s juggle as we steer a course through our busy adult lives. What weight and measure we apply to these choices and manage the lifelong learning demands of this change driven world we have inherited as paramedics, is often the choice we must make. Helping us to find the right paths should be prudent, supportive and mentoring learning choices to guide us.



“Suck it and See” Put your foot in the water of a new career

Well three years of University and a degree and now you find out you don’t like the site of blood. Jobs are always different on the inside from what we though on the outside going in and never has a truer word been spoken than when you think of a career as a paramedic. Not everyone is going to love you or be pleased to see you. You may be entering the “most trusted profession” but not everyone loves you, In fact, you are entering one of the most dangerous professions as a first responder to emergency situations. Vocational entry allows you to see not only if the uniform fits but gives you the chance to try before you fully commit to a full degree and a HECS debt.


Step 5

Put yourself first “Care for the Carer”

You have to look after yourself a bit you know. Freud talked of an economy of pity and really you can only care for others when you take care of yourself. Find some balance and don’t be driven by the extremes that are the nature of paramedics on the street. Like life education has a middle way.

Brayden CPR Manikins

The Brayden CPR Manikin lets students see the real point of CPR pressure and getting the blood flowing to the brain and other organs.

I didn’t like them at first but the Brayden CPR manikin is a big success in our first aid and CPR classes. It uses animated LED lights under the skin, so you can see the effect their CPR Compression Depth, Speed and Recoil and the quality of your CPR

The visual learning keeps you going, pressing at the correct rate and depth with just the right recoil is difficult and tiring.  The nature of this manikin instantly reinforces CPR Technique and the feel of what is right for CPR students. The Brayden CPR Manikin’s dual modes help structure CPR training: from learning effective CPR to perfecting CPR technique, in accordance with the current ARC guidelines.

It shows you how tiring CPR can be, and a recent study showed the compression rate and depth are variable among rescuers and compressions may be worse in the first 5 minutes of the arrest.

One study of rescuer CPR showed that compressions became shallow within one minute, but providers became aware of fatigue only after 5 min.

When performing compressions, if feasible, change rescuers at least every two minutes to prevent rescuer fatigue and deterioration in chest compressions quality and particularly depth.

Changing rescuers performing chest compressions should be done with a minimum of interruptions to compressions. Quality CPR improves success rates

Continue reading “Brayden CPR Manikins”

Parents First Aid – Choking

Parents First Aid Choking management

Our mums and parents first aid course or what to do until the ambulance arrives teaches new parents, mums and dads some important lifesaving skills about how to deal with kids in an emergency. Choking and kids is the first of a series of articles by International Paramedic College to help new parents and overcome common childhood emergencies

Airway obstruction first aid IPC

Choking First aid management and the use of the abdominal thrusts or as Wikipedia calls it the Heimlich maneuver or Heimlich manoeuvre comes up in just about every first aid course.

We have had a question from a student today asking about the treatment for choking and if the Heimlich Maneuver is still used.

It is a question that pops up in nearly every first aid course so I thought I might address it today.

All first aid courses and CPR courses in Australia should follow the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) guidelines. The ARC refers to choking as:

Management of Foreign Body Airway Obstruction

The Australian Resuscitation Guideline 4 on airway management says this about choking; Continue reading “Parents First Aid – Choking”

Shark Attack Pack

Shark Attack First Aid Treatment Pack

The great white shark has been responsible for many shark attacksShark attack first aid treatment and training is a frequent topic at International Paramedic College local first aid classes we run on the northern rivers of NSW. We are based in the Ballina, Evans Head Byron Bay corridor that has seen several shark attacks and a number of “incidents” over the last few years.

In response we have developed the “Shark Attack Pack”. It combines a number of first aid products to deal with traumatic life threatening haemorrhage and training in their use. Continue reading “Shark Attack Pack”

Blow Backs, its childs play

First Aid Back Blows for Choking

The first aid treatment for choking is serious. Every parent should understand that one of the ways kids learn is by feeling touching and of course putting small things  in their mouths. Their small airways can be easily blocked and they don’t have well developed cough and gag reflexes so they can quickly get into trouble.

First Aid training for new parents can help parents to cope should they be faced with an emergency and did you know that a survey by the children’s hospital found a surprising 8% of parents had performed CPR on a child.

In this video the babysitting kids show you what can go wrong and have a bit of fun with a serious subject. The idea being to ask parents and those that care for children to learn the basic skills to save a life

Click here to access a link to the Children’s Hospital fact sheet on Choking  so you can keep up to date with the latest first aid and safety/preventative advice.

The Children’s hospital highlights the problem with Button batteries which when swallowed it can burn through tissue in just two hours, causing severe injury or death.  If a child swallows a button battery, go to your nearest hospital emergency department immediately and do not induce vomiting.

Product safety information in Australia is available from Product safety Australia


CAT 7 Tourniquets for Serious Bleeding

Combat Application Tourniquet


You can survive severe life threatening arterial bleeding but only if you are quick. Just the thing for those nasty bites at the beach or the slip of a chain saw.

Watch the video to see how to apply on yourself in a severe bleeding event.

Discounted Genuine Cat 7 Tourniquets

Now available in single or bulk lots. $35 each plus postage. Bulk discounts are available

We can supply the genuine CAT 7 Tourniquets in bulk or individual units at a discounted price. The are brilliant at stopping arterial blood loss.

  • Surfers should learn to carry them so they can apply them at the time of any incident.
  • Chain saw operators or those who work with any dangerous equipment
  • A vital part of any first aid kit

Do the Maths – You need to help yourself, not wait for help

Do the maths, 5 to 6 liters of blood in the body.

Heart beats 70 times a minute and ejects about 70 mls of blood.

That equals 4.9 litres of blood circulated by the heart each minute.

So your heart can eject your entire blood volume in minutes from arterial bleeding.

Yes I understand the variables, but the principle remains the same.

The CAT Generation 7 Tourniquet is the official tourniquet of the U.S Army. Learn to apply on yourself like the military do because given the maths you are unlikely to last until help arrives without an emergency tourniquet.

We ask that you Contact International Paramedic College on 0413 244 994 to order by phone or email to order so we can provide you with free training, an ebook and personal instruction in how to use the genuine Combat Application Tourniquet.

Continue for more information on how to access our products and training

Continue reading “CAT 7 Tourniquets for Serious Bleeding”

What is an AED?

AED compareWhat Is An AED?

AED, or automated external defibrillator, are small electronic devices that deliver a shock to a patients chest in Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). The AED is designed to allow minimally trained people to provide lifesaving defibrillation (electric shock to the heart) to victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

The Australian Resuscitation Council who set the guidelines in Australia say that for every minute defibrillation is delayed there is a 10% reduction in your chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest. So it is better that AEDs are readily available and is most effective when used by the general public as delay in waiting for an ambulance response will decrease the chance of survival

How Does An AED Work?

An AED is programmed to prompt you what to do in SCA. Different companies products can seem a bit daunting but they all operate in a similar way. Pads must adhere to the chest in the location indicated on the pads and follow the prompts from the AED to deliver a shock. The voice prompts will guide you to perform CPR also. Continue reading “What is an AED?”

Snake bite first aid with the Setopress bandage

Snake Bite First Aid and the Setopress bandage 

A practical approach to diagnosis and Snakebite first aid with the Setopress

Snakebite first aid treatment – What to do if you are bitten by a Snake?

Snakebite first aid treatment was published in a clinical article in the Medical Journal of Australia and it is interesting to look at its findings so we can understand envenomation from snakebite in Australia and better provide better first aid management of snake bites.

Snakebite is a potential pre-hospital care medical emergency for paramedics, first aiders or first responders to an envenomation event, even though patients may initially appear well. This article by International Paramedic College talks about using a marker to achieve good compression with the Pressure Immobilisation Bandage (PIB)

While snake envenoming is rare, it is potentially life-threatening. Interestingly the article states that “Most snakebites will not result in significant envenoming and do not require anti-venom” (Isbister 1989)

Dry bites, whereby no venom is released, are painful and cause localised redness and swelling.

If the bite is venomous, other symptoms may include a stinging or burning sensation on the skin and feelings of nausea, dizziness, anxiousness and confusion. In severe cases, the bite may result in paralysis or coma.

Are all snake bites venomous bites Continue reading “Snake bite first aid with the Setopress bandage”

Paramedic training and education


Teaching Paramedics values

Paramedic Education How to Become a Paramedic

I have a love for education and adult learning, but I needed to grow up to grow into it. The excesses and exuberance of my youth had left a young man with a strong ambition but lacking guidance, support and in need of mentoring. As a Young Ambulance Officer with The Ambulance Service of New South Wales here in Australia (ASNSW) I read an early paper on Paramedic training by Dr Bob Wright from St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney. It gave me a sense of where I needed to be and how to get there. Dr Bob Wright developed the early Paramedic system and its protocols. I think all paramedics in Australia owe him a debt of gratitude.

“Great maturity, an ability to think clearly under extreme pressure, teamwork, critical time management skills, dedication focus and commitment are just some of the personal qualities and characteristics that Paramedics must have to work in continuous life threatening situations that are their daily work. Wright (1979)

The truth is however, in many remote places I worked as a young ambulance officer, inspiration and productive learning experiences were hard to find. It existed but you had to seek it out, not wait for it to come to you. I learnt that everyone can teach you something, you just had to understand what that lesson was. As an Intensive Care Paramedic (ICP) trainee in Sydney, I was lucky to be guided by a handful of excellent clinical mentors along the right (Wright) path.

In training as an Intensive Care Paramedic I was supported and mentored through an apprenticeship type of process, learning and being supported by very generous senior clinicians in medicine and emergency care. I was amazed at how the people around me were so willing and able to share their clinical and life experiences and help a young inexperienced, driven but unfocused youth find simple solutions to what had previously seemed insurmountable obstacles, beyond my meagre scope and abilities. Their patience and ability to drill down the complex to the simple left a lasting impression about the importance of keeping it simple and explaining things simply. Continue reading “Paramedic training and education”

10 Vital Lifesaving First Aid Skills

Survival medicine guidelines – 10 lifesaving first aid skills

First aid Kits

What lifesaving first aid or remote survival medicine skills, remote first aid or essential first aid skills are necessary for those who want to be medically prepared for any disaster or emergency event where help is NOT on the way or may be delayed by storm, weather conditions, natural or man made disasters. We have compiled a list, in no particular order, of what we believe are the 10 most valuable first aid skills to enable you to survive until help arrives or you can get to definitive care at a hospital. Continue reading “10 Vital Lifesaving First Aid Skills”

Paramedic career skills law and ethics

 Ethics and Law direction

Paramedic Clinical Skills, Law and Ethics are a firm base on which to build a Paramedic career.

Seldom is a subject so misunderstood and full of misinformation in public first aid courses and pre-hospital emergency care, so I will try to cover a range of issues that arise as a consequence of the very nature of your daily work as a paramedic or first aider or if you want to become a paramedic.

The very nature of emergency medicine for paramedics means that most times you can’t “sit on the clinical fence” Paramedic law and ethics shape how we make time critical decisions on our patient’s clinical pathway, our choices evolve in dynamic and fluctuating situations. Hamlet’s self-seeking question “To be or not to be” to go with the flow of the unfolding events or intervene in an attempt to change things is as much of a clinical question as it is a life question. Paramedics must make choices. People’s lives are in the balance and as a paramedic you are expected to intervene in that time between when you arrive at a scene and you finally arrive at the hospital.

Paramedic education should develop decision making skills and judgement, two important clinical skills in the field.  You are given your skills and training to use judiciously, to intervene, when a patient’s condition is such that they may not make it to hospital without that intervention. Intervention itself has its risks and rewards. Finding the balance, to return to homeostasis so to speak is the paramedic’s version of the balanced legal scales.

Every decision you will make as a paramedic is finely balanced upon the pillars of three conceptual foundations, the clinical, the ethical and the legal pillars. For every clinical procedure out in the field, there are corresponding legal and ethical obligations to consider. Continue reading “Paramedic career skills law and ethics”

Free Childrens Burns Course

Free Online Learning Module for CPD on Kids Burns

As I keep saying, the emergency treatment of kids is different, they are not smaller adults. Kids skin burns deeper, quicker and at lower temperatures than adult skin.

Not only that but burns from scalds can cause lifelong problems for children. Skin damage causes scarring that can lead to serious body image and self-esteem issues. Families can also suffer guilt and blame about the accident.

Provide an Emergency First Aid Response in an Education and Care Setting HLTAID004

An ounce of prevention is better than cure so understanding risk situations is he important. Soups, noodles, tea and coffee are common causes of scalds for children under the age of five. These can take less than a second to cause a serious burn.

This is a great resource for free online burns training and posters about burns to kids for schools.

Every year over 600 Kids under 5 go to hospital with burn injuries. Its interesting to see how and where these injuries occur.

Continue reading “Free Childrens Burns Course”

EpiPen Adrenaline Autoinjector

EpiPen Firing Demo and Free Course

Do your staff at your Childcare centre school or your community group need Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or just to brush up on some skills and feel more confident about anaphylaxis management.

If you are interested the “Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy” (ASCIA) has developed an e-training module on anaphylaxis for first aid or community groups, parents,  carers, patients, workplaces, schools or anybody who may be interested

Blue to the Sky, Orange to the Thigh
Blue to the Sky, Orange to the Thigh

Free Online Learning

This free online learning programme allows you to gain a certificate at the end of the online training. This can provide a record for industry CPD training or just improve your knowledge of the subject. See the link below.

Free Family Kids Emergency Management Learning

As experts in emergency medicine and pre-hospital care. International Paramedic College gives back a lot to our local community. We offer a free training to parents at child care centres and community groups to deal with family emergency care. Titled “What to do to the Ambulance Arrives” covers family emergency care for kids. (share this post with your childcare centre so they can contact us for details)

Continue reading “EpiPen Adrenaline Autoinjector”


First Aid Class Lismore Ballina Byron Bay Answers for Questions

A question was raised about burns treatment in a First aid class in Lismore recently. Australian burns specialist Fiona Woods recently had a few words to say in the Perth Sunday Times on how first aid can dramatically alter the outcome for a patient.

Cooling a burn wound with clean cool running water between 15 and 18 degrees for 20 minutes within one hour of injury for a paediatric scold will change both the health budget and that persons life.

You can make a big difference by simply using water

They will go from needing, pressure garments, surgical intervention and reconstructive surgery as a 16 year old, to not needing  any after the first three months. Burns first aid like this in the last 20 years has decreased decreased hospital, surgical and intensive care time which quite simply makes things better for the patient and saves our health system a whole lot of money and resources because people can provide first aid management.

Free North Coast first aid course

Continue reading “Burns”

Darwin Awards Batman V Bull

Batman V Bull

The “Darwin Awards” pay tribute to the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it. In this series of posts we will look at some potential award winners.

Voting for the winner will be by the most likes or shares of these posts.

Here Batman shows us his invincibility in the face of danger.

Trauma Management HLTAID003 First Aid Lismore Ballina Byron Bay












Penetrating Injuries can present certain challenges when you need to Provide First Aid


Maybe the “Caped Crusader” needs to think about the consequences a little more.

Continue reading “Darwin Awards Batman V Bull”

Kids CPR

Free Local Courses and Online Resources

I understand it’s your child and your freaking out about the situation but controlling your duress responses is vital. Somebody has to do something and today that person is you.

If your child stopped breathing today would you know what to do?

Free CPR and Emergency First Aid training for parents

Fenton O’Leary and the team from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead  asked 348 parents and carers that question.

  • Only half had received formal CPR training
  • Only 11% knew the correct rate for chest compressions and the correct ratio of compressions to breaths.
  • A surprising 8% had performed real CPR

They reported the major reason for not performing CPR was a lack of knowledge.

Parents and carers of high-risk children are usually trained in basic life support but everyone could be trained in the simple process. Controlling your duress response to comfortably AND confidently perform basic CPR is vital here, someone has to do it.

Our Childcare First aid course (HLTAID004) includes CPR and AED training or you could attend a 3 hour CPR course. Our “freedom from fear” approach focus on convincing you that any attempts  at resuscitation is better than none at all.

Free “hands-on” training Course

Continue reading “Kids CPR”

AED Defib

Cardiac Arrest is the leading cause of death in Australia with over 30,000 people dying from sudden cardiac arrest. Just to give you some context, compare this to the national road toll in 2013 of 1,193 deaths.

As we have learnt how important an Automatic External Defibrillators or AED is in cardiac arrest and how simple they can be to use and how you need to overcome any fear you have in using one as seconds become crucial every minute that passes equates to a 10% less chance of survival. They are easy to use, maintain and can save a life prior to ambulance arrival.

Here is a video about drone defibs, seems like a great idea.

Continue reading “AED Defib”

Head Injuries

Paramedic Recognition of Traumatic Brain Injury


Paramedic Jobs

The “Darwin Awards” pay tribute to the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it. In this series of posts we will look at some potential award winners.

Here we see a historical  photo of a local inventor with a lot of faith in his product. As a human crash test dummy, literally throwing himself into his work Mr W T Warren shows off his helmet design to some interested onlookers around 1912

Providing First Aid and dealing with head injuries presents special challenges. This great image of the way the brain gets bruised and banged around from a blow to the head is from Dr. Giza from UCLA

Continue reading “Head Injuries”

Provide First Aid – Emergency Bandage

Why The World Needs More Paramedics Part 1

traumatic amputation of limbs needs emergency bleeding control
Thanks to all those people creating employment opportunities for Paramedics

The “Darwin Awards” pay tribute to the improvement of  the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it. In this series of posts we will look at some potential award winners.

It seems we all do stupid things sometimes, Paramedics get to see people when action becomes accident. You only have a limited amount of blood to loose.

Emergency Bandage in Serious Bleeding

Continue reading “Provide First Aid – Emergency Bandage”

CPR success Rates

Law and Ethics in First Aid

CPR success: TV v Reality

The Emergency Law blog of Michael Eburn is something I recommend to all our Australian students as a great source of legal information for emergency care providers, even first aiders.

Like the problems often attributed to self diagnosis trends using “Dr Google” This article on CPR Success  is important as makes what i think is an important point about the artificial expectations that TV may create, and how those expectations could lead to feelings of guilt in the first aider and families etc, that not all was done that could have been.

Continue reading “CPR success Rates”