First to Respond, First to Care: The Paramedic of The Heights Hospital

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First to Respond, First to Care: The Paramedic of The Heights Hospital

For any hospital, it is necessary to have a reliable medical transport team to work in tandem with to ensure care is provided for those who need it. Paramedics make up this medical team and are one of the most necessary parts of patient care. Here at The Heights Hospital, we are proud to have Jason Kiel as our EMT Paramedic.

Kiel has worked as a paramedic for 26 years. The start of his long career was a result of free education. “The fire department was paying for [the training] and I knew I couldn’t pass up free education,” Kiel says. 

A paramedic’s role is focused in medical emergency situations. They are trained to maintain their composure despite extreme stresses. Usually the first on the scene, they are the first to administer treatment to a patient and are capable of carrying out duties of a physician outside a hospital setting. They are highly trained and skilled to guarantee a safe and efficient performance during any emergency. 

As first responders, paramedics are directly involved in saving lives. This responsibility is not an easy one to carry out, let alone on a daily basis. Kiel says that being in an uncontrolled environment and having to decide on a course of action quickly in order to help a patient is an overwhelming challenge they encounter everyday. Another challenge paramedics face is the lack of public awareness about their profession. Kiel explains that due to the limited knowledge about what they do, there is a disparity between the liabilities they’re constantly exposed to and the support they need as a result of them. “I plan on retiring and going to Austin to lobby for some laws and policies in the interest of paramedics,” Kiel shares.

However, despite the challenges of the job, Kiel is appreciative of the lessons it has taught him. He stresses the importance of giving everyone a fair chance, and always remembers to make an effort to treat everyone like they’re family because “you never know who you’re talking to.” Kiel displays compassion regardless of how difficult a patient may be because he understands that doing so is central to how they view the care he provides.

Some ways Kiel shows and provides the best care for patients include making sure they’re not too warm or too cold, helping clean themselves up if needed, and answering any questions they may have to the best of his ability in a courteous manner. He recognizes that it is vitally important to communicate with patients in a language that they understand to reassure them that they are in the best hands.

When asked what motivates him to do the job for over two decades, his answer was simple: being able to help people. “It motivates me to be able to help people in ways not many other people can,” Kiel says. Additionally, he shares that being complimented by patients, nurses, and doctors alike on his skills and his assistance help him feel appreciated and continue to do the job.

Kiel is an admirable representation of The Heights Hospital’s mission to provide the best care for the community. We are proud to have him as a part of our team to help us fulfill that mission—one patient at a time.