The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Paramedic


Choosing to become a paramedic is a great decision. As a paramedic, you play a critical part in helping to save lives during an emergency situation. However, the job of an advanced emergency medical technician is not all sunshine and roses. As with any job, there are pros and cons to entering this emergency medical services field. Below, you will find some common pros and cons associated with becoming a paramedic.

To get things started, here are some of the pros to being a paramedic.

Helping Others: This by far can be considered the number one pro to becoming a paramedic. You are directly involved with helping someone else. Often times, you are helping to save the life of someone you don’t even know. It’s an amazing feeling to know that you’re making a difference to a person who is potentially having the worst day of their life.

Good Pay and Job Outlook: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment as an EMT and paramedic is expected to grow by about 33 percent between now and the year 2020. This is much faster than other occupations. Paramedics earn more money than basic EMTs. Your salary is commensurate with the level of education and experience you have. As you gain more in both knowledge and training, you can expect your pay to also increase.

Easy of Entry: In order to become a paramedic, it is not required that you go to college. In most cases, you simply need to be at least 18 years of age and possess a high school diploma. After that, you have a number of options as to how you obtain your formal training in order to become eligible to sit for and pass the state administered paramedic exam.

Now, let’s look at some of the cons of deciding to pursue a career as a paramedic.

Lack of Sleep: As a paramedic, you may be required to work long hours. As a result, you may end up working a shift where you are on the clock for 24 hours, and then off for 48 hours. Chances are, you’re going to end up needing to be awake for those full 24 hours too because you might not always get the opportunity to sleep through the night.

Not So Nice Patients: Let’s face it, as a paramedic you are more than likely going to come into contact with people who are not having the greatest day. Patients and their family members, as a result of being involved in an emergency situation, might speak to you in language that is offensive and/or rude. In extreme situations, you may even be the target of someone’s attempt to assault you, all because of the stress that an emergency situation can cause.

Risk for Work Related Injuries and Illnesses: As a result of all of the bending, lifting, and kneeling that you’ll be frequently doing, you are at risk for suffering from a work-related injury and/or illness. You may be spit on or come into contact with a patient’s vomit. As an advanced EMT, you might come into contact with persons who are infected with diseases like hepatitis-B or AIDS.


Steps to Building a Business Empire in Nigeria


Nigerians wishing to build their own businesses would do well to learn from the bottom up and equip themselves with the skills necessary to meet the creative challenges of entrepreneurship. The skills necessary to take the local economy into overdrive are simultaneously as simple as stock-taking, marketing, and accounting; and as complex as creating joint ventures that grow to be hugely successful business.

Entrepreneurship education, which has been made mandatory for Nigerian college students of all disciplines, is the key first step to creating and sustaining a valuable business. Due to the country’s booming informal economy, there is a substantial population that is already conversant in entrepreneurial dynamics by virtue of apprenticeship or involvement in family business.

From Resurgence to Glory

From a historical perspective, Nigeria is still in its infancy. The return of democracy in 1999 after almost half a century of bitter conflict and political turmoil paved the way for political stability and a revival of national aspirations. The government of former president Olusegun Obasanjo unveiled the nation’s ambitious 2020 campaign to take the country to the top 20 world economies by that year. An extensive and ongoing reforms programme has helped recover some lost ground, and the country currently ranks 41st in global GDP rankings. More importantly, it achieved a fourfold increase in the size of its economy in a ten-year period from $36 billion in 1997 to $165 billion in 20071, making it the second largest economy in the continent after South Africa.

However, there is a persistent and disturbing underside to these achievements. Nigeria’s human development indices remain abysmal, with more than half of its 148 million people living on less than $1 per day2. More than anything, these facts indicate huge economic imbalances largely attributable to the country’s prolonged overdependence on oil and gas exports to the detriment of local enterprise and non-industrial sectors. The success of the country’s renewed economic goals is contingent to a large extent on entrepreneurship development that adequately harnesses its abundant natural and human resources. Promoting business development from the micro-level onwards is the only way for Nigeria to achieve its long-term goals.

The first step towards building a viable business empire is developing an entrepreneurial temper and also inspiring an entrepreneur revolution – through formal training and the acquisition of skills relevant to Nigeria’s local realities. That the federal government places a premium on entrepreneurship training is evident from the fact that it made it a mandatory part of college education across all disciplines. The opportunity for vocational and practical skills-development training is a prerequisite for emerging entrepreneurs.

The second step is the application of this training to a viable business model. Unemployment is a critical handicap for Nigeria, with more than 40 million of its people jobless according to the World Bank’s latest figures. The corollary to this has been a proliferation of the informal economy that has traditionally sustained the country’s urban and rural poor. Activities in the informal economy cover an extremely wide spectrum of products, services and financial operations – from machine-shop manufacturing, through utility services to contributory funding – that account for an estimated 65% of Gross National Product. These traditional activities provide the backdrop against which emerging enterprises can flourish, by drawing from their collective experience and combining them with new business procedures.

The third step is the employment of new business models, primarily with regards to accessing equity participation rather than collateral debt. Enhanced business productivity also requires infrastructure development and removal of trade and administrative constraints. Developing enterprises must work to acquire technical support and capacity building assistance. Due to the realization that technology is crucial for business development, there has been a surge in Internet providers and cafes across Nigeria as more and more people go online to both start new enterprises and expand existing ones.

The Internet also provides the means for the fourth step, which is collaboration with other ventures or offshore investors to develop businesses in a global perspective and beyond national borders. Such endeavours, by extension, will lead to the creation of not just wealth, but employment opportunities and ancillary enterprises that will drive Nigeria’s dream of becoming and economic superpower.

The benefits of a successful business often go beyond its apparent achievements, and this holds especially true for Nigeria. Entrepreneurship provides a productive outlet for Nigerians looking to be self-employed. It also creates beneficial competition and helps the development of innovative business practices. Most importantly, however, Nigeria’s enterprise development initiatives will help mobilise its immense human resource potential for sustainable and inclusive growth.

The Challenges Beyond

Individual enterprise is unfortunately not enough to advance Nigeria on the path to a superior economic standing in the world. There is a significant administrative and policy component determining the success of any emerging business empire. Most of Nigeria’s reforms process has therefore been skewed towards developing the correct environment to nurture business development. The country’s policy makers need to concentrate on a few key areas:

* Prioritising and reinvigoration of the non-oil sector through effective changes in policy and governmental outlook.

* Consolidation of lending institutions to enhance access and availability of finance to the private sector, especially in the MSME segment.

* Developing more effective coordination between various government, donor and private sector agencies.

* Reducing high business costs by correcting inherent deficits by way of infrastructure, policy and implementation.

* Institutionalization of an entrepreneurial revolution movement which would be aided by key and successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria which will even enhance entrepreneurship from the grassroots

Building a successful business empire in Nigeria has its share of imponderables, largely owing to the nascent state of its economy and the imbalances that continue to stunt rapid growth. More than anything else, it requires a creative outlook, at both individual and government levels, and an attitude that will foster wholesome prosperity.


5 Major Artificial Intelligence Hurdles We’re on Track to Overcome by 2020


Unless you’re in AI development yourself, you need to start thinking about tech partnerships that could bring AI to your business.

Artificial intelligence (AI) gets more advanced every year, but there are still some major limitations keeping us from seeing a futuristic reality that includes robot butlers and near-complete societal automation.

Fortunately, some of these limitations are on the verge of being overcome, and if you watch and plan carefully, you’ll be able to take advantage of those improvements for your business.

Here are some of the biggest hurdles we may overcome as early as 2020:

1. Unsupervised learning

Right now, most AI systems “learn” new information through a kind of structured force-feeding, relying on information given to those systems by humans. However, this form of “supervised learning” isn’t scalable, and doesn’t mimic the way that human beings naturally learn.

In fact, we humans are immersed in our environments, perceiving pretty much everything that crosses our path and naturally filtering out what’s unimportant. We also experiment to learn how objects interact and how the world works.

Currently, we’re still a few years away from machines that can learn this way, but when we get there, we’ll have the ability to use them to generate or augment ideas, and produce concepts we couldn’t come up with on our own.

2. Creativity and abstract thinking

Humans tend to think of ideas — and solutions to problems — in terms of abstractions. For example, think about a horse. Chances are, you aren’t thinking about a very specific example of a horse, and you don’t need to list out all the required “ingredients” that constitute a horse. Instead, you conceptualize the general idea of what a “horse” is.

A modern computer, on the other hand, would need thousands of examples of horses to understand what “horse” means, and even then, it would have to define this conceptual equine concretely and completely to use that idea in any application. If we want machines that can take raw data and turn it into intuitive concepts that can be grasped, we’ll need to create machines that can think abstractly.

What’s intriguing here is that we’re already on our way, having created deep learning programs that understand games like Go, and chess, as more than brute-force possibilities. By 2020, we could be taking the next step.

3. Public trust

Self-driving cars run on sophisticated AI software to avoid collisions and drive better than slow-thinking, distracted, mistake-prone human drivers. To date, self-driving cars’ record has been relatively clean, compared to that of human drivers.

However, only 39 percent of U.S. consumers claim they would feel safe in an autonomous vehicle. AI is still a foreign concept to most of us, and thanks to decades of science fiction, many of us are inherently distrustful of any fully mechanized solution. However, thanks to the gradual introduction of AI systems, public trust is steadily increasing, and may reach a point by 2020 that allows for widespread adoption.

4. Integration

AI doesn’t exist by itself. It needs to be combined with something to be practical, such as those aforementioned self-driving cars. Integration into existing products, such as standard appliances and software programs, will be a major hurdle to overcome — and one we’re already overcoming. We’re already seeing a plethora of “smart” devices, but few of these feature true machine learning or AI tech.

Being able to incorporate deep learning elements into existing systems could instantly multiply our capabilities — and this may start happening soon.

5. General use

We have AI systems that can beat human Go masters, write poetry and pass the Turing test. But these were all created for specific applications. Could we develop an AI program that serves a more general, all-around use?

Personal digital assistants like Siri, Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Cortana are a good start, but they only scratch the surface of what modern AI is capable of when put to a single application. By 2020, I suspect we’ll either see the beginnings of “general” AI development, or further fracturing into more specific niche functions.

How this affects entrepreneurs

So, how might these beaten obstacles affect you and your business?

  • Better tools and analytics. First up, the tools and software you use to improve your business are going to get a major overhaul. They’ll be able to use data more efficiently and more accurately than your human data analysts, and you’ll be able to produce more intuitive, visual representations of those conclusions.
  • New customer needs. Your customers’ lives are going to change, and drastically. Their cars, appliances and even their homes will function more intelligently, which means the door’s open for a host of new solutions to address those new circumstances.
  • Human resources shifts. You may see a number of your internal positions become replaceable. At that point, you’ll need to decide between keeping a salaried body on staff or opting for a more cutting-edge, but less personal solution.
  • Partnership opportunities. Unless you’re in AI development yourself, you need to start thinking about tech partnerships that could bring AI to your business. Is there a way to make your product “smarter”? Is there a way to make machine learning improve the value of your services? Demand is about to skyrocket, so you need to be ready.

It’s hard to say exactly how AI will develop, but its momentum is strong, and there are no signs of its stopping. The better prepared you are for the future of AI, the more your business stands to bene fit in multiple areas. Get ahead of your competition now, and start planning for the next few years of AI development.


The Psychology of Colors in Hospitality Businesses


A lot of people don’t know the relation between colors and the mind, body and emotions. Unconsciously, each color affects the mood and state of mind differently. Some colors boost happiness, others give a sense of comfort. Therefore, restaurants, spas, hotels and other hospitality businesses must be very careful with the use of colors in their decoration.

Why is color psychology important in hospitality environments?

Hotels, restaurants, beaches and other hospitality businesses try hard to please their visitors to make them visit again. In a restaurant, for example, the quality of food affects a lot the impression of the client in the business, but what also plays an important role is the state of mind the client is in the first place. An unpleasing mood generates a negative review. And one thing is sure; businesses don’t want their customers to leave their premises disappointed or unhappy. For this reason, the interior designer chosen to plan the space of the hotel, restaurant, spa or any other hospitality business must set on the theme and the experience the place wants to convey and choose the right colors accordingly.

Yellow, even though it is the hardest color for the human eye to process, it promotes happiness, and is associated with warmth, optimism and cheerfulness. Yellow can also increase the metabolism and give energy. It is a smart choice to use this color in the breakfast areas in a restaurant or hotel.

Blue is the color of calm and serenity. Studies showed that this color lowers blood pressure and heart rate. It is also the most productive color. Blue is an excellent choice for offices, bedrooms or even spas to keep visitors calm and relaxed.

Red, as opposite to blue, raises the heart rate and blood pressure. This color is known to stimulate emotions and energy, and also to promote appetite making it a great choice for restaurants.

Orange, just like red, is also an appetite stimulant. This color gives a warm and fun feeling. Orange could be a perfect color to adopt for a vitrine space for its ability to grab passersby’s attention.

Green is the color of nature. It gives a feeling of serenity, tranquility and health. It is also an appropriate color for concentration and relaxation. Therefore, it can be a good choice for spas, patios and garden furniture.

Purple gives a rich, luxurious and calming feeling. It is a good choice for a lobby to keep a positive feeling about a hotel. However, this color must stay away from restaurants, as it is an appetite oppressor.

When designing, hospitality businesses must be aware that there are no standard colors for restaurants, hotels or spas. It all depends on the theme and personality to project. What should also be taken into consideration are the materials of the furniture used in a space. If a business is targeting high class society, it would be appropriate to use luxurious rattan furniture instead of plastic ones. In addition, restaurants, spas and hotels furniture must match the surrounding whether outdoor or indoor. The choice of outdoor furniture for hotels, beaches and restaurants requires knowledge in the materials to use to maintain their good shape and condition in all types of weather. Metal, aluminum and rattan outdoor furniture are the best options to equip a garden or patio.

In conclusion, knowing what each color represents before planning the hospitality spaces is very important. Using the wrong color can be determinant for the business itself, as it can affect negatively the mood of the customers, and their experience. Businesses must not neglect matching furniture with the surrounding space and using the right material for the garden furniture.


9 Ways to Analyze Why Your Website Is Not Delivering Results


When putting together a marketing campaign, every business hopes to get good results. Digital marketing options are so many and when working with a good strategy, you are likely to be a success in making your brand more visible and increasing sales and revenue. Businesses are able to tell how good their marketing campaigns are by tracking results.

There are so many ways of getting the reports that you need to tell you whether your digital marketing approach is working to your advantage or not. You can get free digital marketing analysis report to tell you more about the performance of your campaign out there. With the report, you can decide on which areas to improve and which ones to do away with to improve the results that you get. Here are a few pointers in today’s digital marketing scenario that you can use to tell you whether your online marketing campaign is favoring you or not. This information is easy to extract for a digital marketing expert.

  • UI-UX Analysis – the feedback on your visitors experience when they visit your website on what it would take to enhance their experience to promote the conversion from visitor to customer.
  • SEO-Audit – On page – an analysis of on page SEO parameters like the URL, keyword density, meta tags, page content and structure etc. All these can contribute to an increase in SEO.
  • Off page SEO- Audit – an analysis of your activities outside of your website or off page SEO factors like link building or your social media activity which are also responsible for SEO.
  • On site SEO or Technical Audit – whether your website is climbing down the rankings because of technical glitches.
  • Local Search Analysis – knowledge of how your website is showing up in search results when people are looking for a product or service similar to yours in the local area around you.
  • Keywords Analysis – knowledge of which keywords are working and which are not.
  • Social media presence and influence – A look at the way your website is trending on Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media and a study of how you can gather a greater following and involvement.
  • Analysis of Competitors – How your closest competitors are faring in the digital marketplace. What seem to be their processes?
  • Content Audit – The content of your website and your social media pages – what more can be done to engage your customers across all digital platforms.

Any report giving information about the present status of the above pointers is definitely giving you a direction for your digital marketing activities in the future. The best part of such an analysis is that it is real time analysis, as it should be in these digital times.

It is best to entrust such an analysis to digital marketing experts who are well versed in all these aspects. All you have to do is provide them with the necessary links – to your website, social media pages like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others.