Offshore paramedics perform the vital role of providing medical attention and emergency trauma care to offshore workers.
They’re highly trained and skilled medical professionals, but it takes more than just EMT training to be successful in the role. Offshore medics are stationed away from home for months at a time. They need to be self-motivated, independent and ready to take on a variety of roles outside of their medical responsibilities, from admin duties to health and safety inductions.
It’s a unique job, but for an adventurous paramedic, it could be the exciting challenge you’ve been seeking. In this article, we take a look at what it takes to be an offshore paramedic.
What Is an Offshore Paramedic?
Offshore paramedics are employed to provide emergency medical care in offshore locations. They are highly trained paramedics who are stationed in remote, offshore locations, including oil and gas rigs, research vessels, and wind or wave farms.
Offshore paramedics are responsible for the general health and fitness of the crew. In a severe medical emergency, they are also required to save the lives of their crew if called upon. However, because accidents are rare these days, offshore paramedics also have to be prepared for more mundane tasks, such as providing health and safety training, assisting with administrative tasks, and carrying out safety checks on equipment.
Here are the most important responsibilities and duties of an offshore paramedic:
- Provide emergency medical care (provide CPR etc. if necessary)
- Provide treatment for cuts, abrasions and other injuries
- Prescribe and administer medication
- Advise on illnesses and test for illnesses
- Limit the spread of viral or infectious diseases (flu, colds, etc.)
- Provide health and fitness advice to crew living offshore
- Keep medical supplies fully stocked
- Ensure first aid equipment is fully operational
- Provide health and safety inductions and training to crew
- Assist with other duties, such as admin tasks, safety drills etc.
What Attributes Do Recruiters Look for in Candidates?
Oilfield Medics is a leading provider of offshore medical personnel in the oil and gas industry. Our experience and knowledge of offshore working environments ensure that we can identify the most appropriate candidates for these roles.
There are several key attributes we look for in candidates who are looking to become offshore paramedics. Here are the most important attributes, both personal and professional:
Medical Training and Qualifications
The most impotent part of the role is providing medical care, which means that offshore paramedics need medical training, qualifications and experience.
Offshore paramedics need to be registered nurses and be legally allowed to administer medical care in the United Kingdom. Candidates need EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) training or CMT (Core Medical Training) qualifications.
First aid skills and the ability to provide CPR are essential, as is the confidence to provide medical care independently whilst on the vessel.
Adaptability is key to being successful in the role. Offshore paramedics aren’t just expected to provide quality medical care, they are expected to take on other roles while they are on board.
Oilfield Medics ensures that all offshore paramedics are also health and safety trained, which allows them to take on other roles outside of working in the sickbay and providing emergency medical support.
Offshore medics need to be ready to pitch in and help elsewhere, wherever assistance is needed. This is commonly required in health and safety or administrative areas, but could extend to other roles too.
Offshore paramedics need to be a team player. This isn’t a job where you sign off and go home. You can’t. You’re hundreds of miles out to sea and need to be able to work well with the team around you.
Offshore medics spend up to six months working with the same crew and caring for that crew. They need to be prepared to fit in with the team dynamic, to live and work in cramped and challenging environments, while also performing their duties well.
While offshore paramedics are part of a large crew, they will often find that they are the only dedicated medical officer assigned to a vessel or oil rig.
This means that candidates need to have the confidence and the ability to work independently during their rotation and to source information or advice from the limited sources available to them. Oilfield Medics has recognised how difficult this can be for offshore paramedics and has established a support network that allows 24/7 contact with supervisors and medical practitioners on the mainland.
What Should a Candidate Expect from the Role?
No offshore job is ever the same. Different vessels, ships and oil rigs all have their own procedures and working environments, which is why adaptability is key.
Realistically, offshore paramedics are more likely to spend their time performing other jobs. Accident rates are low and candidates are going to spend more time performing health and safety training and inductions, helping with admin tasks, and running safety checks on equipment.
Offshore paramedics essentially function as dual safety and medical officers, and so are required to have adequate HSE training and certifications to be qualified for the job. On top of this, candidates need to be highly organised and able to work well with computers, spreadsheets and databases.
Importantly, offshore paramedics need to be able to cope with spending weeks and possibly months away from home. Offshore life is incredibly unique, and while it can be challenging it also has the potential to be highly rewarding for the right candidates.
Contact Oilfield Medics Today for More Information on Becoming an Offshore Paramedic
If you’re looking for an adventurous yet challenging career change and have existing medical experience and qualifications, the unique role of offshore paramedic could be right for you.
Oilfield Medics advises and supports applicants looking to attain industry-recognised qualifications and training for offshore paramedic work. We help the best candidates to find the most suitable placements while providing continued support while offshore. Contact Oilfield Medics today to find out more information about becoming an offshore paramedic.