Blood, vomit, and trauma are things Queensland Ambulance Service paramedics come across every day.
Whilst it might be unsettling for some, Paramedic Steve Kleise absolutely loves his job. He spoke to the Queensland Times about what a day on the road typically looks like for him.
After 29 years of being a paramedic, Steve still doesn’t know what to expect when he puts on the uniform every morning. That is one of the things he loves most about this career – every day is different! All he knows is that he will do his best to help those in need.
“The best part is getting out and helping people, that’s why I got in this job, I enjoy helping people. In this job people respect you too, you’re there to help them so they try to help us,” he said.
“This is very rewarding because we help people in a lot of different ways. There is so much we can do to help people now, it has changed so much in the last 29 years.”
Rather than defining his career with Queensland Ambulance Service by tragedies encountered, Mr Keleise likes to think about the lives he has saved, people he has helped, and moments of strength and reassurance for someone in a moment of panic.
“There are many jobs that stick in my memory forever, they’re there in the back of your mind. I always keep in my head we have done the best possible for that patient and you just have to keep that frame of mind. We also have a fantastic support unit with the Queensland Ambulance Service,” he said.
“One recently was a young lady who was burnt in a house fire and survived and she’s made a fantastic recovery and we’ve kept in touch. That’s one that sticks in my mind and will be there for the rest of your life.
“Half your treatment is reassurance. I like to make people laugh a little bit, to laugh and have a bit of a giggle is half the pain relief.”
He said those moments might be at the scene of a house fire or with a patient with vomiting and everything in between.
“Whether it’s severe trauma or just someone who’s sick. It might be basic to us but to that person, it might be the first time they’ve had to call 000. It might be the 10,000th time I’ve seen vomiting and diarrhoea it’s nothing to me but to that person it’s quite severe and they’re very distressed,” he said.
“It’s very rewarding for me to go in there and reassure that person, to know we can help that person, to do something to make them feel better and help them in their healing process.”
After finishing high school and taking up a trade, Mr Kleise quickly realised he wanted to help people in crisis. Before long he became an advanced care paramedic, and the rest is history.
“I was a boilermaker by trade so it was a big change. I was looking for a change in my career. I thought that might be something different so back in 1987 I joined the Ipswich Ambulance Transport Brigade as an honouree officer volunteer getting a little bit of experience,” he said.
“I love Ipswich, I was born at Boonah but I love Ipswich, it has everything my family needs.”
Just like Steve did, it’s never too late to change careers. If you want to learn more about how paramedical pathways can prepare you for a job where every day is different, click here.