The opportunity to become a paramedic at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics may have been something you would have really liked to do. But how realistic is the possibility of such an achievement. Only the best paramedics in the world would have been eligible to become a paramedic at the Games, right? In many ways this could not be farther from the truth.
One way to become a paramedic at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics without having the highest level of training would be serve as a facilities paramedic for the general public. Many private as well as public paramedic services and companies would have been employed to provide adequate emergence health care at the Olympic events.
Some of these companies need ambulance officers, patient transport officers and other paramedics that may only have graduated with a Certificate IV in Healthcare (Ambulance). This does not mean that they are any less of a paramedic. It is a simple and resourceful way to provide the necessary paramedic services to meet the specific needs.
Because spectators are not participating in high-risk activities, the number of serious injuries requiring highly skilled paramedics is much less than say “Luge athletes”. It would not make much sense to employ highly skilled paramedics at a low-risk venue when they are needed on the more dangerous locations, like the ski slopes.
The ability to converse in Russian or other languages may even prove more valuable to the Olympic medical staff than possessing advanced paramedic training. The majority of the injuries and illness that you will need to treat may not be life threatening. The ability to communicate well with the locals and visitors from all over the world may, however, be crucial.
You could have all the experience in the world but be unable to communicate with the patient or hospital regarding their injuries. When working in cross-cultural situations like this you can see why it is well worth considering adding language skills to your qualifications when training to become a paramedic.
Without doubt, almost every country will have trained medical professionals traveling with their Olympic team. From physiotherapists and chiropractors, to doctors and acupuncturists. In many cases there may even be medical professionals that are trained in paramedic emergency care and transport as a part of the Olympic support staff.
For each country you would need to know the specific requirements that they would expect, from experience to education, in order to become a paramedic as a support staff member. One of the additional qualifications that could enhance your chances could be language skills.
For example, if you spoke fluent English, Spanish and Russian, your chances of becoming a paramedic for Peru at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics may have been greatly enhanced. Not only would you be able to treat the injured athlete effectively communicating with them in Spanish, you will also be able to converse fluently in the local language of the host country. These communication skills are priceless in emergency situations.
As you can see there are many ways that your average paramedic and your advanced paramedic both have important roles to play at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. I do hope that reading this has changed your perspective on what it takes to become a paramedic at the Winter Olympic Games.
Are you considering a career as a paramedic? Speak to a paramedic career advisor today on (07) 5520 2522, and learn about the nationally recognized paramedic courses that the Australian Paramedical College has to offer.