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A paramedic (sometimes referred to as a medic) is a medical professional, usually working as part of the emergency medical services provision in a given area. Their primary role is to provide pre-hospital advanced medical and trauma care, followed, where appropriate, by transfer to definitive care.[1] Although most paramedics are field-based in ambulances or response cars, some may undertake hospital-based roles, such as the treatment of minor injuries.

Although the term paramedic is widely used to describe ambulance personnel of all grades and regardless of qualification or training level,[2] in many countries, including the United States and Germany, the use of the word paramedic (in Germany, Rettungsassistent) is restricted by law, as in the United Kingdom, where the title "Paramedic" is a protected title by law and regulated by the Health Professions Council (HPC), to describe a health professional with a set of skills laid out in the code of practice from the HPC. The person claiming the title must have passed a specific set of examinations and clinical placements, and hold a valid registration, certification, or license with a governing body.[3] This is in line with the protection often seen for other healthcare professions such as doctors or nurses.

Other countries do not have the legal restrictions on the use of paramedic as a job title, and it is legitimately used to refer to all ambulance crew members. This is the case in countries such as Canada and South Africa, with training grades then distinguished by the terms such as primary, intermediate or advanced (e.g. Primary Care Paramedic).


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