If you’re looking for a career where you can make a difference in the lives of others, then you might be interested to know that there are few careers more important right now than that of a paramedic. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Canada in March, paramedics have been on the front lines, fighting the virus and saving Canadian lives daily. But even before coronavirus began to affect Canadians, paramedic services were already facing strain due to shortages. COVID has only served to add to this strain, and with the second wave of infections beginning to occur in many areas of Canada, paramedics are once again facing high demand and stressful situations.
For those who are interested in becoming a paramedic, now is a great time to begin training, and understanding some of the demands that Canada’s paramedics currently face is a good place to start.
Those with Paramedic Training Have Been Working Against Shortages
In the Greater Toronto Area, shortages of ambulances and paramedics were already a concern back in 2019. Toronto Paramedic Services indicated that their emergency call response time was about 40% higher than what provincial guidelines dictated it should be, putting public safety at risk. Budget reports for the city of Toronto indicated in 2019 that demand for paramedic services was increasing due to the increasing and aging population of Toronto. Statistics about paramedic employment for Ontario also follow this trend, with employment outlook for those with paramedic training regarded as good for Ontario. The Job Bank of Canada reports that this is due to “population growth and a steadily aging demographic,” which will create greater employment opportunities for paramedics in the future.
The occupation of a paramedic comes with many stressors. The work is demanding, fast-paced, and high intensity, and the hours are long and irregular. However, with the coronavirus pandemic that began to sweep Canada in March of 2020, the stressors paramedics are facing have increased, as has the demand for these essential professionals.
How COVID-19 Is Affecting the Work of Paramedics
While paramedics in the Greater Toronto area and across the country were working at capacity or even in the face of shortages before the coronavirus hit, the COVID-19 pandemic has been testing the limits of paramedics everywhere. This pandemic has highlighted the importance of the work that paramedics do, and if you’re considering a paramedic program, there’s no better time to begin.
Due to the increase in emergency calls and the extra precautions that paramedics are required to take to prevent the spread of coronavirus, paramedic services are facing difficulty in coming up with an ambulance to meet every need. Paramedics must don complete protective equipment before all calls pertaining to COVID, as well as take the time to disinfect vehicles completely in between calls, meaning that the job of a paramedic during COVID involves many more time-consuming precautions. Additionally, paramedic services are largely unequipped for a lengthy emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic, as this kind of demand on paramedics is for the most part unprecedented in Canada.
Because COVID-19 has placed great demands on an already strained paramedic workforce, coupled with the effects of a population that is both aging and growing, now is the time to begin a career as a paramedic. As a paramedic, you’d be saving lives and fulfilling the needs of Canadians by combatting the effects of the pandemic daily as a frontline worker.
Do you think you have what it takes to be a frontline worker?
Check out the paramedic course at Oxford College today!