How to become an Intensive Care Paramedic (ICP)

Becoming an Intensive Care Paramedic is a popular career path for experienced, registered Paramedics who thrive on delivering critical, life-saving care to patients and are looking to build their specialist skills and progress up the career ladder.

What is an Intensive Care Paramedic?

Intensive Care Paramedics (also known as Critical Care Paramedics or Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance Paramedics, ICs or CCs) are highly trained to perform advanced, complex medical procedures that go beyond the scope of general paramedics.

They are often first on the scene of life-threatening situations and responsible for providing life-saving procedures and complex care to patients before transporting them to hospital.

Being a highly challenging and intense role, you must have completed several years as a registered paramedic and have completed advanced specialist training to qualify to become an Intensive Care Paramedic.

Alongside their specialist life-saving skills, Intensive Care Paramedics are required to have all the same traits and expertise as registered Paramedics, including: communicating well as part of a team, being able to make quick and accurate decisions, and having a passion for dealing with a broad range of people in the community.

Typical job duties of an Intensive Care Paramedic

An Intensive Care Paramedic will have spent several years as an on-road paramedic before transitioning into the role, so they will have plenty of experience in the regular duties of a paramedic. In addition to this, an Intensive Care Paramedic may be required to undertake:

  • Advanced airway management, including endotracheal intubation.
  • Complex management of patients with head injuries, including rapid sequence intubation
  • Insert intra osseous (into bone) cannula for advanced drug and fluid administration in pediatric patients.
  • Treat life threatening chest injuries including pneumothoraxes (collapsed lung) by inserting a chest tube.
  • Advanced management of cardiac conditions.
  • Paralyse a patient and insert a breathing tube (intubate) into their lungs.

Employment outlook predicts strong growth in the demand for Intensive Care Paramedics over the next five years to 2026.

Intensive Care Paramedic salary

An Intensive Care Paramedic can earn between $71,000 and $125,000 per year.
Intensive Care Paramedic salaries can vary based on your location and could increase further depending on your level of experience, overtime worked in the year and additional allowances.

What it’s really like to be an Intensive Care Paramedic

Hear from Ricky, a Critical Care Paramedic for over 20 years and former QLD Paramedic of the year, about his career journey and what this exceptional role involves.

How to become an Intensive Care Paramedic

To become an Intensive Care Paramedic, you must first have served as an on-the-road, registered paramedic for several years. This requires that you hold a relevant bachelor’s degree. Once you have gained the relevant qualification and years of experience, you can undertake specialist post-graduate training to become an intensive care paramedic.

There are a few ways APC can help you start your journey towards gaining your bachelor’s degree.

  1. Prepare for university with a diploma pathway

    If you’re not ready to go straight into a degree, the HLT50120 – Diploma of Emergency Health Care, is a good pathway option. The diploma qualification fully prepares you to transition into university and depending on which university you choose, you could be awarded degree credits.

  2. Start with an entry-level role and work your way up

    You can complete a basic ambulance driver/patient transport course such as the HLT31120 – Certificate III in Non-emergency Patient Transport, then move on to the HLT41120 – Certificate IV in Health Care to qualify as a Basic Life Support Medic.

    Starting in an entry-level role, such as an ambulance driver or a non-emergency patient transport officer is a very popular entry-pathway into the sector.

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