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5 Paramedic Interview Questions and Answers

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Q:

What made you decide to become a paramedic?

A:

Being a paramedic can be a physically and emotionally taxing career, and it's important to make sure that prospective paramedics have a realistic perspective on what the job entails. This question will shed some light on the motivations and preconceived ideas that an applicant has regarding a career in EMS. A qualified candidate should have a realistic perspective on being a paramedic and show the drive and motivation to succeed in this career. What to look for in an answer:

  • A reasoned and thoughtful motivation
  • An accurate idea of what it means to be a paramedic
  • Willingness to help others

Example:

"Not only have I wanted to be in EMS since my childhood, but I also want a job in which I can really have a positive impact in other people's lives."

Q:

How would you treat a patient that has broken bones?

A:

A paramedic has to be well-trained to handle a variety of emergency scenarios. This question goes over how to properly care for a patient who has suffered a bone fracture and needs to be assessed, stabilized and transported to an emergency department. The answer provided will help to show the experience and training level of the applicant. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of treatment procedures
  • Ability to follow established protocol
  • Familiarity with immobilization techniques

Example:

"First I would ensure the scene is safe, then check the patient's airway, breathing and circulation. I would treat any bleeding and check for secondary injuries, followed by immobilizing the fracture using a traction splint. I would then transport and treat for shock along the way."

Q:

How would you treat a patient experiencing a drug overdose?

A:

Drug overdoses, especially those caused by opiates, are at an all-time high. It's very important for paramedics to possess the required skills to recognize a drug overdose, treat them effectively and administer naloxone if necessary. Prospective paramedics should be trained and experienced in drug overdose care, and this question will serve to show the breadth of their knowledge. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to recognize an overdose emergency
  • Knowledge of appropriate naloxone dosage
  • Ability to follow treatment procedures

Example:

"After assessing a patient and noticing pin-point pupils and depressed breathing, I would administer intranasal noloxone at 2mg in one nostril and transport. Five minutes later I would re-asses and administer another dose if necessary.

Q:

What is a nebulizer and what conditions are they used for?

A:

This question will ensure an applicant is familiar with respiratory conditions and how to effectively respond to respiratory emergencies in the field. A candidate should show appropriate knowledge of the different conditions that require nebulizer use, when it is indicated for those conditions and which medication is used commonly used with the device. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of respiratory conditions
  • Indications for nebulizer use
  • Use of albuterol medication

Example:

"A nebulizer is a device used to administer medications, such as albuterol, to the lungs in the form of a mist. It's used to help patients with COPD, cystictic fybrosis and asthma."

Q:

What extra precautions must you take as a paramedic when responding to a crime scene?

A:

Crime scenes present a unique challenge to paramedics as they must balance stabilizing and treating the patient to the best of their abilities while attempting to preserve any potential evidence. A prospective paramedic must know what they can and can't touch, and other steps they must take to not get in the way of a criminal investigation. What to look for in an answer:

  • Must know to report suspicious observations
  • Knowledge of special precautions to take at a crime scene
  • Must be sure to notate the location of the patient before moving them

Example:

"After ensuring the scene is safe, I would treat the patient while being careful not to touch any weapons or other suspicious elements in the vicinity. I would also record the position of the patient on arrival and report it to the hospital, along with any other observations."

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