As a paramedic at EMA

Paramedic Minh Tieu works at EMA Finland in the capital region. Tieu, who has been at EMA for five years, considers the best aspects of his job to be nice colleagues and versatile tasks.

First aid was not Tieu’s original choice. After high school, he studied at a technical college until he realized that the field was not the right one.

“I was dealing with ambulances when at one time my loved one needed one several times. Once I talked to one of the paramedics and I found out that studying on a matriculation basis only takes two years, says Tieu.”

Tieu decided to change his field. He graduated in 2015 as a primary care nurse and has since worked at EMA for almost five years.

Basic-level paramedics at EMA mostly perform non-urgent medical transport. This includes, for example, transfers between hospitals and transport from service homes and nursing homes to hospital emergency rooms and back.

Shift work and changing landscapes

The paramedics at EMA work a three-shift job. The longest shift lasts 15 hours, the shortest eight.

“The length of the shift depends on which car you are in. Sometimes it’s nice to work long days, that way you have more free time. After longer shifts, eight-hour days feel short, says Tieu.”

Employees on shift get more tasks as the previous ones are taken care of. Sometimes you have time until you have to be at the next place, and then the paramedics have time to take a break. You can use it for a coffee brake for example.

In addition to hospital transport, EMA also has the possibility to work in emergency units, which receive their tasks directly from the emergency center.

“I have previously worked in ready-to-use vehicles in Espoo for almost two years. The tasks in the basic car are mostly D-class tasks, but there may also be first response tasks if we happen to be the closest unit.”

The fact that the work environment of a paramedic is different every day also brings variability to the job.

“This is a mobile job, which I really like. The longest we have taken a patient is as far as Rovaniemi, says Tieu.”

Trainings maintain professionalism

The professionalism of EMA’s paramedics is maintained with training provided by the employer. All permanent employees are trained in either the ILS or ALS course, which are programs approved by the European Recovery Council. Tieu has completed the ILS course as a basic paramedic.

“We also have CPR training at least once a year, and sometimes the first aid manager goes around the stations and gives short trainings on a certain topic.”

In Tieu’s opinion, the best aspects of working at EMA are the versatile work opportunities, in addition to the nice colleagues. In addition to working under the emergency centers, a basic-level paramedic can work at EMA in medical transport tasks as well as in care level ambulances that handle other, more urgent tasks. If desired, a basic-level paramedic can also expand his job description further with postgraduate studies.

“I believe that at some point I will apply to a university of applied sciences to study first aid. At the moment, I’m satisfied with this situation, so I haven’t applied to school yet, says Tieu.”

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