Paramedics, because of the nature of the work that they provide, must become very good diagnostitians and very capable of using hand and eye based diagnostic measures. Paramedic’s aren’t Doctors and do not diagnose people. However, they must determine theories of probable injuries or illness including differential diagnosis, from which they can base their treatment plans.
Paramedics are limited by their skills, experience, knowledge and the equipment available to them. Because paramedics do not have the same level of diagnostic equipment as used in hospitals, such as ultrasound, x-rays, blood pathology and many other medical diagnostic tools, they must rely on good on the following:
1. Good history taking
2. Good assessment skills including thorough baseline observations, such as level of consciousness, skin colour, pulse and blood preasure, and excellent skills in palpating and analysing pain through PQRST pain assessments.
3. A thorough assessment of patients medications and previous medical history.
4. Good examination of the patients recent events which lead up to the event to determine if anything is related. For example, if a patient has right shoulder tip pain and have been eating food rich in oils earlier today, it is a good indication of cholicystitis or some form of gallbladder pain.