THEY call it the magic 10 minutes.
It's a short window between a paramedic arriving at an emergency scene and delivering a patient to hospital.
Paramedics like Emily Byers say during that 10 minutes life and death decisions are made.
"Out there in the field you must make decisions independently without the support networks that are there for nurses [in hospitals]," Ms Byers said.
"Those decisions can be the difference in someone surviving and not surviving."
The 32-year-old left nursing, and became a qualified paramedic in 2008.
In her opinion, the job carries as much, if not more, responsibility.
She does not understand why paramedics are consistently rated as the most trusted professionals in the community, but the occupation is not classified as professional by the industrial commission.
"There's obviously a financial benefit (to being reclassified) but it's more about a recognition that the work we do on a daily basis carries a lot of responsibility, and there's a lot of upskilling and training that goes with that," Ms Byers said.
Dale Edwards has worked as an intensive care paramedic and is now a senior lecturer at the school of medicine at the University of Tasmania.
The university accepts 40 students into its bachelor of paramedic practice each year.
Previously, only a technical qualification was required.
Mr Edwards said over the past 20 years the role of paramedics had effectively transformed from delivering patients to hospital to delivering hospital care to patients at the scene.
"It's become much more of a diagnosis and clinical type role," Mr Edwards said.
"It's no longer about just attending accidents and transporting patients to the nearest hospital.
"They are making a range of decisions and judgments about that person's treatment."
Mr Edwards said paramedics also assessed whether patients required treatment at hospital and, if not, could refer them to other health services.