10 Paramedic Life Skills Employers Want

Ambulance rear view mirror
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Show Paramedic Employers Your Life Skills

Looking in the rearview mirror might just help you land your dream paramedic or first aid job. It can be just around the next corner but like life, you need some rounded corners to change your career and progress in the queue of life. What are Paramedic and First aid employers or recruitment agencies looking when they are “sizing up” new staff? Here we speak to recruiters and ask them what they look for when hiring new staff.

We need people to fit in and be part of a team. Working closely in duress situations requires great personal strengths, open communication skills and adaptability and flexibility to meet the unexpected challenges of paramedic and first aid field work. Dealing at the coalface of tragedy you need to create order out of chaos with empathy. Its a unique skill set and when we see those characteristics in an interview, that’s what we hire. -- James English

1. You need to be part of a team.

Playing well with others is an essential adult workplace skill. We all need to get along with fellow shift workers and keep a positive attitude when you are often surrounded by the adversity and suffering of your patients.

Good team players understand we are all on a learning pathway and help others with training or take part to keep our skills patient management skills polished. We all make mistakes and we like to think our mistakes would be handled in a supportive way, so make sure you help others without being harsh or critical.

Paramedic and first responders are high functioning teams that need to run smoothly under the pump. Don’t overextend yourself and keep things within your scope of responsibility. You can have a good professional work ethic and be part of a team not carried by the team.

2. Communication skills are the key

We all think we are good at communicating but if that was the case then we would never have conflict. Bedside manner is the pre-hospital care providers best friend. You need it to work with your patients to get the best outcomes for them. You have the skills with patients now extend them into your workplace and job interview. Recruiters like to see passion, not obsession. Work out the difference and shoe the former, not the later.

3. You take care of patients now take care of yourself

If your feeling stressed, angry, fatigued or showing the signs we see in some around us then get help. Recruiters want to see you at your best. They are interviewing lots of potential employees and the non-verbal cues you give off might be even more critical then what you say in an interview.

Keeping yourself cared for shows in your face and your mannerisms. Make sure you are getting enough sleep keeping active, eating well and have interests outside of work. Balance shines through to interviewers.

4. Learn from your previous mistakes?

Like the movie Groundhog Day” getting the chance to do things over again till we get it right is not what most of us get to do. Think about any other interviews you have had and always take the opportunity to get any feedback about why you did not get the job or why they chose someone else.

Now you can use the rearview mirror approach and use that knowledge to round off those sharp corners and hone those interview panel skills. We are better when we learn from our mistakes.

 5. Be responsible for your social media use

Have you checked up on an old friend or partner on social media to see what they are up to? We are a curious bunch by nature and a recruiter or employer may well have a look at your social medic profile. You can argue whether its right or wrong and about your right to a private life but a more realistic, common sense approach might be to check your privacy settings and see what comments you have made that are public is just a common sense pre-interview approach to managing our image nowadays. Keep your backyard tidy so to speak

6. Have a list of questions to ask employers

You know the “so do you have any questions?” part of the interview is coming at some stage so have a list ready to avoid that awkward silence and keep things positive.

7. Show the interviewer the evidence

Yes, you may have copies of all your qualifications on hand but maybe you can think of a way to demonstrate not the theory but how you have applied those qualifications in practice. Think through your experience and find a way to put some meat on the bones of those qualifications that really show your patient management and clinical skills in the way a list doesnt.

8. Show the interviewer the benefit

Why you and not someone else is about putting yourself forward but not denigrating others in the process. Be positive about others, your colleagues and previous workplaces. Dont put yourself down, but equally don’t put others down.

9. Beware the time after the interview has concluded?

“Well i’m glad thats over” Politicians soon learn that every microphone is live. After the interview take the chance to thank them for their time and a compliment about how they have made a difficult, nervous process a bit easier never goes astray. Leave it at that, what you have said in the interview may not win you the job but it is this time after the interview that can lose it for you. Employers are human and they try to pick up on the signals we give out, give out good things

10. Be prepared for your job interview

Being prepared is a paramedic life skill. Checking and restocking equipment is a daily task so do your homework before your interview and it will show through. Understanding the company and the job role allows you to prepare for the type of questions that employers will ask.

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