Paramedic Ambulance paramedic
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Paramedics deal with emergencies, giving people life-saving medical help.
1. Entry requirements
You'll need a foundation degree, diploma of higher education (DipHE) or degree in paramedic science or paramedic practice.
You could start as a student paramedic, a trainee technician or an emergency care assistant for an ambulance service.
Working as a volunteer community first responder with an organisation like St John Ambulance or an NHS ambulance trust, may help you to get onto a training course.
Your local ambulance trust has information about the services in your area.
To become a paramedic you'll need:
- to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
- a driving licence, including C1 category entitlement
- to pass a medical check
- an enhanced background check which your employer will arrange for you
The College of Paramedics has more information about becoming a paramedic.
2. Skills required
- excellent driving skills
- the ability to think and act quickly under pressure
- practical skills and the ability to follow procedures
- excellent communication skills
3. What you'll do
Most paramedics work for NHS ambulance services. You'll deal with a range of situations, from minor wounds and substance misuse to serious injuries from fires and major road, rail and industrial accidents.
Your day-to-day tasks could include:
- checking a patient's condition to decide what action to take
- using electric shock equipment (a defibrillator) to resuscitate patients
- carrying out surgical procedures like inserting a breathing tube
- giving medicines and injections
- dressing wounds and applying supports for broken bones
- delivering babies
- working closely with the police and fire services
- keeping accurate records and checking equipment
Starter: £22,000 (qualified paramedic)
Experienced: Up to £28,500
Highly Experienced: £35,250 (specialist paramedics and team leaders)
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environment
You'll usually work 37.5 hours a week on shifts, including nights, weekends and bank holidays.
You'll wear a uniform including protective clothing.
You'll work on an ambulance, or as a specialist you may work on your own, using a car, motorbike or bicycle.
The job is physically and emotionally demanding.
6. Career path and progression
With around 3 years’ experience, you could become a team leader or a specialist paramedic or emergency care practitioner.
You could also move into operations management, education and training, research or human resources.
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Last updated: 02 April 2018