As you know, paramedics can work in a number of different environments. If you decided to go into the ambulance service route, you may be wondering what type of medical equipment does an ambulance contain. Or, what type of medical equipment will you need to learn how to use. As a paramedic that works on an ambulance, you will use sophisticated equipment and tools, meant to provide basic life support (BLS) and advanced life support (ALS). Here are some of the types of medical equipment you can expect to find on an ambulance.
Ventilation and Airway Management Equipment: This includes supplies and equipment used to regulate airflow. Medical equipment meant for this can include portable and fixed oxygen apparatuses, tubes, masks, and bulb suction (for infants).
Monitoring and Defibrillation: Blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, and stethoscopes will be used to monitor vital signs. Heart defibrillators, more commonly referred to as
Immobilization: To help stabilize a patient’s injuries, you will find equipment used to immobilize the injured individual, like splints and cervical collars. Bandages can be used to control bleeding. Backboards and immobilization devices for lower and upper extremities can also be found in an medical emergency services vehicle.
Obstetrical: In the event that emergency you’re responding to involves a pregnant individual, the ambulance will have equipment and supplies to aid in delivering a baby. Items include warm blankets, clamps, a heat source, and sterile utensils and gloves.
Infection Prevention: To ensure that you are able to work in a safe manner, the ambulance will contain medical supplies to help prevent the spread of infection. Items like shoe covers, gloves, masks, and disinfectant solution will be in the ambulance.
Injury Prevention: Restraints, a fire extinguisher, and protective helmets are some of the equipment that you will find on an ambulance to aid in preventing an injury.
At the Advanced Life Support level, an ambulance will contain all of the equipment for Basic Life Support in addition to more sophisticated equipment listed below.
Vascular Access: When emergency care requires penetration of the skin, an ambulance will contain needles of various sizes and types, as well as syringes and tourniquets.
Portable monitors/defibrillator and blood pressure devices are some additional advanced equipment that paramedics will make use of during an emergency medical situation requiring ALS care.
Medication: The medication that is in an ambulance will need to meet the requirements set by the American Heart Association’s Emergency Cardiac Care Committee. Types of medication you can expect to make use of while working in an ambulance include analgesics, antiepileptic medication, cardiovascular medicine, and sodium bicarbonate. By no means is this list inclusive of all of the medicine paramedic ambulances carry.
Extrication Equipment: In some instances, you may need to use some special tools to aid in extricating an individual. Extrication tools, tools that are aid in freeing or removing an injured person, can be used to disassemble, spread, cut, or pull. Disassembly tools can consist of wrenches, screwdrivers, and bolt cutters. Ropes, chains, and air bags are great tools to help pull. When material needs to be cut, saws and/or an air-cutting gun kit make help you get to your patient and free them from being trapped.
As you continue on your path towards becoming a paramedic, you will be thoroughly trained on all of the equipment that you will need to know how to use, so that you can be prepared to handle any and all emergency situations.