Areas of employment after graduation
- Ground Ambulance
- Industrial First Aid
- Recreation and sports facilities
- Emergency medical education
- Emergency departments
- Air ambulance
- Communication centres
“Employment opportunities on PEI usually start with casual positions, which often offer full-time hours,” says Greg Power. “The demand for full time/permanent positions depends on changes to the current system and new and different roles Paramedics play in the community. Job numbers are generally stable. At least 50 percent of the labour force in this field is female.”
Holland College offers two programs for paramedics: Primary Care Paramedicine (two years) and Advanced Care Paramedicine (one year).
The Bachelor of Science in Paramedicine combines the Paramedicine diploma programs at Holland College with foundational science courses, senior specialized courses in life sciences, and advanced paramedicine courses at UPEI.
Working in this field
To be certified and qualified to work in this field, graduates must pass a national exam and then be provincially licensed.
“In this job, you must be prepared to face scenes such as injury and death. It is a job requiring high energy. There is something new every day, you travel around the Island, and shift work is required.
“Paramedics need great communication skills, leadership ability, knowing your limitations, a balanced lifestyle, wanting to be in a helping healthcare profession, being adaptable, good observation skills, staying up-to-date in a fast changing industry, and working as a team and with other professionals.”
A typical day starts at a base in Charlottetown, Summerside, Montague, Souris, O’Leary, or Alberton. There are also different posting sites (usually in community fire halls) as the ambulances are dynamically deployed to provide the best emergency coverage for the Island.
“The first duty of each shift is to complete a safety check of all ambulance equipment. When we arrive at an emergency scene, we first make sure it is safe for the paramedics and patient.
“Paramedics’s duties are much more advanced than in years past. We are not just ambulance drivers; we are trained to administer initial treatment to save lives.”
For more information, visit www.hollandcollege.com/programs/primary-care-paramedicine/; www.hollandcollege.com/programs/advanced-care-paramedicine/ or www.islandems.ca/Pages/home.aspx.