Paramedics deal with emergencies, giving people life-saving medical help.Job Category:
What you will do:
Most paramedics work for 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 (organisational skills)
- knowledge of healthcare and medicine
- knowledge of public safety and security
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
As well as:
- excellent driving skills
- the ability to think and act quickly under pressure and the patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations (adaptability)
- practical skills and the ability to follow procedures
- excellent communication skills
- sensitivity and understanding
- customer service skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be flexible and open to change
- the ability to work well with others (teamwork)
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 may help you to get onto a training course.
To become a paramedic you’ll need:
- to register with the local Health Care Professions Council
- a driving licence, including ability to drive medium sized vehicles (Category C1 in the UK)
- to pass a medical check
- you are likely to need criminal or security clearance from the local authorities in the county you intend to work
Working Hours 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 in 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.
Career Path & 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.