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NOC Code: NOC Code: 3234 Occupation: Paramedics
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
This unit group includes workers who administer pre-hospital emergency care to patients and transport them to hospitals or other medical facilities for further medical care. They are employed by private ambulance services, hospitals, fire departments, government departments and agencies, manufacturing firms, mining companies and other private sector establishments. Four job titles are included in this Essential Skills Profile: Emergency Medical Responder (EMR); Primary Care Paramedic (PCP); Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP); and Critical Care Paramedic (CCP). This unit group includes workers who administer pre-hospital emergency care to patients and transport them to hospitals or other medical facilities for further medical care. They are employed by private ambulance services, hospitals, fire departments, government departments and agencies, manufacturing firms, mining companies and other private sector establishments. Four job titles are included in this Essential Skills Profile: Emergency Medical Responder (EMR); Primary Care Paramedic (PCP); Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP); and Critical Care Paramedic (CCP).

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
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Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4 5
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3 4
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3 4
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3 4
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3 4
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2 3 4
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3 4
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3 4
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3 4
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3

  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.

Reading Text
  • Read notes, medical files and patient charts to become aware of the condition of the patient. (EMR) (2)
  • Read Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders in order to apply directives, using medical discretion in regard to pain relief and palliative measures. (ACP, CCP) (2)
  • Read Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders to be aware of what is to be done for a patient who is subject to these orders. (EMR, PCP) (2)
  • Read notes, medical files and patient charts to make a working diagnosis and initiate a treatment plan. (ACP, CCP) (2)
  • Read notes, medical files and patient charts to initiate a treatment plan as per medical direction and/or protocol. (PCP) (2)
  • Read specialized material (example: The Compendium of Pharmaceutical Specialties) to obtain one or two pieces of very specific information, such as the names of medications. (EMR) (2)
  • Read memos from management, co-workers and other medical professionals to gain an understanding of new procedures. (EMR) (2)
  • Read memos from management, co-workers and other medical professionals to interpret, evaluate and apply the information read. (PCP, ACP, CCP) (2)
  • Read training manuals to review policies and training subject matter. (3)
  • Read a variety of trade magazines, journals and other professional literature to be aware of current practices. (3)
  • Read Standing Orders from medical directors. These orders govern the standard of treatment provided to a patient. Besides being lengthy, they are written in a legal parlance which requires interpretation. (4)
  • Read and research abstracts and manuscripts, making inferences and using background knowledge. Critical Care Paramedics also evaluate the quality of the text. (PCP, ACP, CCP) (4)
  • Read specialized material to integrate and synthesize information with information gained from other sources in order to expand your understanding of the care you will apply. (PCP) (4)
  • Read medical text books, e.g., pharmacology, and product monographs to expand your knowledge base and gain new insights. This task may require synthesizing information from complex and lengthy text. (PCP, ACP, CCP) (4)
  • Read a variety of federal and provincial acts and their regulations, as well as municipal bylaws. These may include the Highway Traffic Act, the Child Welfare Act, the Criminal Code, the Narcotic Control Act and parking bylaws. Integrate information from various sections and interpret them as they pertain to paramedic duties. (4)
  • Read specialized material to do an in-depth analysis so that you may contribute to and develop protocols to bring about changes and improvements in procedures. (ACP, CCP) (5)
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  • Write brief notes to co-workers, co-ordination supervisors or management staff to remind them about supplies that are needed or to request the repair of a broken instrument. (1)
  • Complete patient care records to document medical histories, allergies, the results of the patient examination and details of the treatment provided. It is important that correct medical terms be used in this report. (EMR) (2)
  • Write memos or reports to appropriate personnel to explain a request or to convince them of the benefits of a specific training opportunity or work assignment. (3)
  • Complete incident reports to highlight key information from a crime scene in which serious injuries or a suspicious death occurred. Entries are generally brief, but there is a high need for accuracy and precision. (3)
  • Complete patient care records to document medical histories, allergies, the results of the patient examination and details of the treatment provided. It is important that correct medical terms be used in this report. Include subjective and objective information relating to the patient's condition, synthesizing and summarizing information and applying technical writing skills. (PCP, ACP, CCP) (3)
  • Write a comparison of several pieces of equipment, recording strengths and weaknesses of each and making recommendations for purchase. (4)
  • Write a research report on an issue related to paramedicine for publication in a trade journal. (PCP, ACP, CCP) (4)
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Document Use
  • Create tables such as quality assurance reports. (1)
  • Create and complete your own diagrams. Diagrams may indicate the location of injuries, the position of vehicles at an accident site or the position of bodies at a suspected crime scene. (1)
  • Complete checklists, such as the vehicle readiness form, and record brief entries on deficiencies, such as warning lights that are not functioning or items which are either missing or too low in number. (1)
  • Complete daily logs, timesheet and overtime forms. (1)
  • Read house numbers on civic address signs. (1)
  • Complete accident, incident or occurrence report forms, for example, if the ambulance has a collision on the way to a response location. (2)
  • Fill in the use of narcotics on a narcotics control form. (2)
  • Read labels, including tables, on medicine bottles and pill packages to assess the patient's medical history and to understand the cumulative effect of taking medications. Advanced care and critical care paramedics use this information to assist in the development of a treatment plan. (2)
  • Read a variety of charts and tables, such as the table showing dopamine dosages of adults by weight, the Glasgow Coma Scale, the Trauma Severity Score (TSS) and the Pre-hospital Index (PHI). Familiarity with this document type is required to interpret it. (3)
  • Refer to bar graphs and pie charts in training materials to gain insight on emergency response statistics. For instance, a pie chart may show the proportion of cases in various categories such as trauma and cardiac, while a bar graph may record the survival rate over various time periods. (3)
  • Interpret assembly drawings of new equipment such as ventilators, manual suction devices and bag-valve-masks. (3)
  • Read maps to pinpoint the location where emergency response is required and to plan the quickest route to a targeted address. Read the maps carefully so as not to confuse a road and a street with the same name. (3)
  • Interpret scale drawings such as those shown on CAD dispatch systems in ambulances. (3)
  • Plot onto graphs information that you have collected. For example, call volumes in specific sectors of urban or rural areas. Plot differences between ALS / BLS call volumes. (ACP, CCP) (3)
  • Determine and fill in codes on Ambulance Call Reports (ACRs). Codes relate to priorities, procedures, drugs and assessment. Codes may be alphabetic, numeric or colour. Other information also needs to be filled in. (see "Writing" tasks for more details) (4)
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Computer Use
  • Use computer-operated machines, such as cardiac monitors or telemetry devices. This involves interpreting readings from these monitors and calibrating them. (1)
  • Use computer-aided dispatch systems, including portable radio systems and pagers. (1)
  • Use communications software. For example, send and receive email. (2)
  • Use a spreadsheet such as Excel for scheduling and inventory. (2)
  • Use a database. For example, enter information from patient care records. (2)
  • Use word processing. For example, prepare quality assurance reports and professional correspondence. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Inform patients what procedures you are using when treating them. Convert medical terminology to commonly understood layperson language. (2)
  • Interact with trainers or manufacturer representatives to learn how to use a new piece of equipment. (EMR) (2)
  • Obtain assignments orally from dispatchers. (2)
  • Interact with trainers or manufacturer representatives to learn how to use a new piece of equipment and to evaluate the effectiveness of a new piece of equipment. (3)
  • Perform an advocacy role to educate patients and family members regarding the provision of paramedicine. This involves ensuring that the treatment plan explained has been understood and advising family members about future risks regarding an emergency situation, e.g., when a patient declines service. (3)
  • Persuade a health care institution to accept your patient, based on the nature of your patient's condition. (3)
  • Request information from or give direction to police, fire department and medical staff. For example, you may direct care during an extrication. (3)
  • Orient and train new staff. (3)
  • Make presentations in formal contexts, such as providing public education about paramedicine at a school. (3)
  • Discuss job responsibilities and changes to procedures with colleagues and instructors at training sessions. (3)
  • Speak to colleagues and other appropriate personnel to report a situation, such as a vehicle accident involving an ambulance. (3)
  • Provide immediate emotional support to colleagues, patients and families through your professional interactions and through both verbal and non-verbal communication. (3)
  • Discuss with colleagues the actions taken during assignments in order to evaluate the effectiveness of your response. You also comfort colleagues after particularly difficult assignments. (3)
  • Co-ordinate job tasks with colleagues. Communication must be clear, direct and conveyed quickly and accurately. (3)
  • Question patients, using language which is appropriate to the patient's age, gender and culture and using non-technical terminology. Listen with intent to bystanders, family members and patients' accounts of an occurrence. You require the ability to interpret these accounts, which may be abstract or incomplete. (4)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Calculate the time taken to perform a given task, such as the time spent travelling to a site and gaining access to the patient. (1)
  • Calculate the time between patient treatments, based on your assessment of the patient's condition and specific criteria. (2)
  • Measure liquid volume when giving dosages of medication to patients. (2)
  • Measure the length of endotracheal and nasotracheal tubes by reading a ruler printed on the side of the tubes. The ruler is in centimetres and is used to assess if the tube is set at the right depth inside the patient's throat or nose and to monitor tube movements. A tube size calculation formula is also used. (2)
  • Convert between measurement systems, such as millilitres to grams in administering medication, or convert between degrees Fahrenheit and degrees Celsius when taking a patient's temperature. (2)
  • Measure the amount of sugar in a patient's blood using a glucometer; measure pulse using a stethoscope or electrocardiogram; measure blood pressure using a blood pressure cuff, and joules using a defibrillator. (3)
  • Use formulae to determine children's weight. This calculation is important when determining how much medication to administer or when choosing an endotracheal tube of an appropriate size. It is also important when determining joules for defibrillation. (3)
  • Calculate how long oxygen tanks will last at various flow rates, based on a set ratio between tank volume and litres used per minute. (3)
  • Calculate a medication dosage, such as Lidocaine. For example, measure the medication by the number of drops of Lidocaine per minute. The Lidocaine calculation involves numerous measurement conversions, multiplication calculations and the use of ratios. It is calculated in stressful circumstances within urgent time constraints. (4)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare electrocardiogram printout readings at different points to determine changes in the status of a patient's cardiac rhythm. Data must be interpreted. (1)
  • Compare blood glucose readings at different points to determine changes in the status of a patient's blood sugar level in order to determine appropriate Tx intervention. (2)
  • Interpret the capnography or oxymetry graphs to adjust the patient treatment plan. The consequences of interpretation are significant. (4)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate by sight the size of an injury, such as the area or length of cuts, abrasions, lacerations or swelling to determine which care to apply to the patient. (1)
  • Estimate the weight of an adult patient. This helps to determine how to proceed in treating and transporting the patient. (1)
  • Estimate the area and depth of burns and use formulae, such as the Parkland Formula, to determine appropriate patient care. (2)
  • Estimate the length of time it will take to arrive at an emergency location using different routes. The estimation may have significant impact on patient outcomes. (3)
  • Estimate the amount of blood loss that a patient has experienced, taking into account numerous factors such as blood on objects and trails of blood as well as observation of the patient himself/herself. Information about significant factors that make up the estimate may be uncertain. (4)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Paramedics receive their assignments from dispatchers. Paramedics generally do not set their own work schedules. Paramedics have significant variety in their work activities, as every incident is unique. Once given their assignment, short-term planning is used to best accomplish each task. Paramedics have some latitude to sequence tasks within set guidelines established by the profession. This prioritizing must be done quickly and efficiently.There are many disruptions in the course of duty. For example, conditions may deteriorate, resulting in an abrupt change in the patient's treatment plan. Shift changeover may be very short due to a high volume of assignments. Work is always integrated with the work plans of others, such as colleagues, paramedics on the next shift and medical staff. While many tasks require short term planning, some tasks require planning several months in advance - e.g., operational and administrative duties relating to the overall functioning of the paramedic service. (4)
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Decision Making
  • Decide what resources meet the clinical needs of patients, based on your professional judgment. For example, you decide which hospital to take a patient to, based on your background knowledge of hospitals and their services. (1)
  • Decide on routes of extrication - i.e., methods of removing patients from entrapment. For example, you may decide whether to take the patient out the roof or window of an overturned car. (2)
  • Decide on the routes of response to incidents, taking into account traffic and pedestrian volumes and considering whether the shortest route is indeed the quickest and safest. (3)
  • Decide what treatment plan best meets the patient's needs, based on the patient's chief complaint, past medical history, reports from family and assessment findings. Errors in judgment may affect patient outcomes. (4)
  • When responding to an incident in which the need exceeds the resources available, decide whether to call for backup from other paramedic crews or other support services, such as police or fire services. This decision takes significant judgment and once taken is irreversible. (4)
  • Decide whether it is safe to enter a crime scene without a police officer, such as when responding to an assault case. Significant judgment is required in making this decision. (4)
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Problem Solving
  • You are faced with critical time delays when traffic is heavy or when you are responding to vague directions. You must find an alternate route quickly in order to get to the patient. (2)
  • Deal with one or more patients who have a variety of injuries, such as broken legs or third degree burns. You may also treat poisoned patients, patients in cardiac arrest and those who have attempted suicide. Use your experience and training to respond to the diverse needs of patients. (3)
  • Deal with difficult emergency situations, such as a patient wedged between the toilet and the bathtub or a patient in a high rise building with an elevator too small for a stretcher. Take into account a number of factors to solve the problem, such as whether one or two paramedics are required to lift the patient and whether the patient can move at all on his or her own. (3)
  • You have found medications that a patient is taking to conceal the patient's underlying condition. Use your experience, creativity and assessment skills to narrow down the problem with the patient. (3)
  • Deal with situations where circumstances overwhelm the available resources. For example, in a case of a car accident in which four persons have sustained injuries, determine who needs help first, based on multiple factors such as the condition of the patients, their survivability and backup assistance available. There are no predetermined policies to deal with mass casualty incidents (MCI) since each situation is unique. (4)
  • Deal with various issues relating to the safe transport of patients. For example, a patient with a grossly angulated fracture may require special positioning. Adjust your transporting techniques to move the patient to the ambulance. (4)
  • Make a working diagnosis of a patient's condition, based on notes, medical files, patient charts and your own observations. If information on the charts is inconsistent with your observations, use your judgment to initiate an appropriate treatment plan. (4)
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Finding Information
  • Obtain information about patients by viewing patient charts obtained from hospital or nursing home staff. (1)
  • Phone other services to request information, such as phoning medical control or poison control staff. (1)
  • Request advice regarding a situation from peers, supervisors or allied health care professionals. (1)
  • Locate destinations through multiple sources, such as maps, landmarks and verbal directions. This may be a multi-step process, with the answer to one information search leading to another. (2)
  • Find information about patient medications by conducting an actual search, such as looking on night tables and in refrigerators for pills, insulin, etc. (2)
  • Conduct literature searches through electronic and paper sources. (3)
  • Interview clients to obtain information about their medical history and their current condition. (3)
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