Privileges of being a paramedic
IT'S not an easy job by any means and it's one he knows will never make him rich, but paramedic Cameron Anderson couldn't be happier with his lot in life.
The 26-year-old Bundaberg Ambulance Station worker graduated as an advanced care paramedic in March after completing a diploma of paramedic science with the Queensland Ambulance Service.
It's all been a bit of a blur since Mr Anderson graduated as a fully fledged paramedic and hit the roads around Bundaberg.
In the past two months, he has witnessed tragedies and miracles and been exposed to the full gamut of human emotions.
He has helped deliver the baby of a panicked mother on the side of the road and given a cardiac arrest victim a second lease on life with CPR in a memorable introduction to life as an advanced care paramedic.
The job is not without its difficulties, but there's nothing quite like helping to bring a new life into the world or restarting somebody's heart for job satisfaction.
"There are parts of the job that are challenging and quite hard to deal with, but our training has certainly prepared us for the things that we come up against," he said.
"Working as a day-to-day paramedic isn't your average job, and can be difficult, but the rewards are there."
A fortnight ago, he helped to deliver a baby on Bonna Rd, off the Isis Hwy - his first experience with birth as a paramedic.
The express delivery tested the mettle of attending paramedics and was a highlight of Mr Anderson's burgeoning career.
"It was my first one, and when you're dealing with something as positive as childbirth it really sticks out in my mind as a highlight," he said.
"There are few things as special as being able to help bring a little one into this world."
Eighteen months ago, Mr Anderson was called out to help resuscitate an elderly man who had suffered a cardiac arrest.
The patient's heart had stopped beating and he had stopped breathing.
Mr Anderson said through the perseverance of the attending officers, the patient's heart was started and he was transported to the care of doctors at Bundaberg Hospital.
"We used good quality CPR and the appropriate interventions to get that heart beating again, and we maintained it until we put him in the care of the hospital," he said.
"Being a paramedic is something that provides you with the opportunity and the privilege of saving people's lives.
"That's a gift and not something to take lightly."
Mr Anderson said it was important for paramedics to keep their morale in check when patients in their care died.
Inevitably, a new paramedic will have to attend to a patient who cannot be helped.
"As a student, it's certainly something that takes time to get used to," he said.
"At the end of the day, when we've done everything we can regardless of the outcome, we can be happy with our performance.
"Being satisfied that they did their best is what gets most paramedics through."