If you’re a paramedic looking for a new challenge, then custody healthcare has plenty of those…including amazing variety and the support of a close-knit management team built on trust and mutual respect.
Would you love a daily routine that’s never even close to being the same twice? Relish the chance to offer lifesaving and life-changing help to some of the most vulnerable people in our society? Eager for the opportunity to help people turn their lives around? Then read on to see if you’ve got what it takes to be a custody paramedic.
A new challenge?
Custody healthcare, and in particular the role of a custody paramedic, has changed a lot in the last ten years. The responsibilities you can expect to take on have widened, which means you could be assessing the drug and alcohol intoxication levels of a detainee one minute, then responding to a mental health crisis the next. Custody paramedics have to think on their feet, and be ready for any scenario.
What makes a good custody paramedic?
Aside from several previous years’ experience as a paramedic, you’ll need empathy for people from all walks of life, and a desire to help them all, no matter what their story is. You’ll meet many people with challenging behaviours, drug and alcohol related issues, and who may mistrust those ‘in a uniform.’ You’ll need to know how to break through their barriers and find common ground. Being able to calm their concerns, and show that you’re non-judgemental, and dedicated to treating all patients equally, are vital qualities to have as a custody paramedic.
Is this work dangerous?
First of all, it’s important to remember that most people in custody are not hardened career criminals. Many are just scared and vulnerable people who have made mistakes or have found themselves in situations they didn’t handle properly, and are now worried about their future and what will happen to them.
You don’t work alone, in fact you’ll be part of a diverse custody suite team that includes police officers and civilian detention workers. It’s a supportive environment, with security and safety as top priorities. When you think about it, the close proximity of so many officers and guards means you’re probably safer in this setting than when you’ve entered private houses unaccompanied as a regular paramedic.
What makes this a rewarding career path?
For a start, the sheer variety you’ll experience as a custody paramedic means you’ll never get bored by routine. You’ll meet people going through the most stressful times of their life and give them help that can set them on a journey back to a better way of life. How many people can say they’ve changed someone’s life for the better even once? You’ll do that every day.
Does custody healthcare appeal to you?
Not every paramedic will feel the draw of custody work, it’s not for the faint hearted, after all. However, you simply won’t find a role with the same sense of personal reward out there in the regular healthcare environment.