Paramedics have a highly responsible role, often being the senior ambulance ser
Paramedics have a highly responsible role, often being the senior ambulance service healthcare professional in a range of emergency and non-emergency situations. You will be one of the first healthcare professionals to arrive at the scene.
vice healthcare professional in a range of emergency and non-emergency situations. You will be one of the first healthcare professionals to arrive at the scene.
Paramedics are usually the senior member of a two-person ambulance crew, with an emergency care assistant or technician to support them.
Or you might work on your own, using a motorbike, emergency response car or a bicycle to reach your patients. You might also work to provide advice over the telephone from a control room or clinical ‘hub’.
You will assess the patient’s condition and make potentially life-saving decisions about whether the patient can be treated at the scene or transferred to hospital. In non-life-threatening situations, you’ll use your professional judgement to make key clinical decisions.
In an emergency, you’ll use high-tech equipment such as defibrillators (which restore the heart’s rhythm), spinal and traction splints and intravenous drips, as well as administering oxygen and drugs.
You will be trained to drive what is in effect a mobile emergency clinic and to resuscitate and/or stabilise patients using sophisticated techniques, equipment and drugs. For example, you might be called out to someone who has fallen from scaffolding or an elderly person with a suspected stroke.
As well as contact with your patients, you will also deal with their relatives and friends and members of the public, some of whom might be highly distressed or aggressive. You will also often work alongside the police and fire and rescue services.
Based at a local ambulance station, you will work shifts, including evenings and weekends, going out in all weathers at all hours of the night or day.
You will work closely with other healthcare teams in the community, such as:
- occupational therapists
- mental health teams
- diabetes specialists
- doctors and nurses in hospital emergency departments
To practise as a paramedic, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). To register with the HCPC, you first need to successfully complete an approved qualification in paramedic science.
There are different routes to studying and qualifying as a paramedic. You can:
- take a full-time approved qualification in paramedic science (e.g. at a university) and then apply to an ambulance service as a qualified paramedic
- become a student paramedic with an ambulance service and study while you work
- apply for a degree standard apprenticeship in paramedic science with an ambulance service trust