Paramedics often partner with other colleagues in responding to medical emergencies. One person is usually the leader while the other takes a support role driving the ambulance, as the emergency care assistant, or as the emergency medical technician. Paramedics can work for public sectors like the NHS or private companies, these companies are the companies that offer you things like private event medical services.
Sometimes a paramedic can work alone in different situations. The paramedic can respond to emergencies by going to the site by motorcycle, by bike, by an emergency response car, or by an emergency helicopter. It does not always have to be by ambulance.
There are also times when the paramedics will administer emergency treatment at the patient’s home. This is only when they assess that the situation is not severe enough to require transport to the hospital and that the patient will do well recovering at home.
At Health Careers, specialist Alan Simmons stated that in recent times, paramedics are now trained to do a lot more than what they were able to do years ago. Examples are doing urine tests and interpreting results, giving medication, admitting patients to special units at the hospital, referring patients to social services, and much more. The skillset of a paramedic has expanded in scope.
Desirable qualities for a paramedic
Certain personal qualities can help you become an excellent paramedic. These include:
- Being able to stay calm under high stress and chaotic situations
- Being able to remain focused on the task, work quickly and accurately, and not be distracted
- Have confidence in your abilities to take control so that you can reassure the patient and people involved
- Being able to continue working steadily even when others are emotionally charged.
- Being able to work effectively on your own or with others
Being prepared at all times for anything
Skills that all paramedics should have
You need skills that are essential for all paramedics because you have to operate an ambulance and deal with the public. These include:
- Good technique in driving
- Good listening and communication skills
- Highly organized
- Good skills in using machinery and equipment
Important tip: when you are preparing for an interview or need to write a personal statement about yourself, talk about these skills. You probably have used these skills during your work or volunteer experience. Even though it might feel like second nature to you, it is important that you try to illustrate how you applied these skills in a particular situation so the potential employer can see your strengths.
What you need in order to become a paramedic
The first step is to earn a Paramedic Bachelor Degree with honors. After you get that, you are eligible to register with the HCPC, or the Health Care Professions Council, as a paramedic.
Courses and qualification requirements
The first step is to enroll in a university for their Bachelor of Science Degree program in Paramedic Science/Practice. Review the program offered by different universities, and choose the one that you like best. Find out what their entrance requirements are because each university has its own set of requirements around grades and courses taken.
At the moment, you can still apply for the Paramedic Diploma of Higher Education. However, after 2024, the Health Care Professions Council will no longer accept this degree as a qualifier for registration as a paramedic.
From what the College of Paramedics said, eligibility requirements will change after the autumn of 2024. The Health Care Professions Council will only accept the following as a qualifier:
– Bachelor of Science Degree in Paramedic Science/Practice: completion of this degree will qualify you to register with the HCPC.
– Paramedic Degree Apprenticeship: this is a fairly new standard.
The ideal approach would be to get your Paramedic Science/Practice degree because, in the job world, it is very rare for a person working in another NHS career to work his up to be a paramedic. Even if you work in Patient Transport Services or the Ambulance Team, you will be competing with others who have the degree, which is a more desirable qualification.