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Hello, Guides: How to be a Paramedic (Part 1)

Speaking to people who have spent years in the emergency services has made me wonder how many of them got started. Paramedics for example, how exactly does one become allowed to drive in an ambulance and how long does it take? Here is what I have found.

First and foremost, what does a  paramedic actually do? I mean officially what is this job description? We’ve seen the movies where someone is getting paddles out or driving off in ambulance but what else does the job entail? According to the NHS paramedics are ‘senior ambulance service healthcare professionals at an accident or a medical emergency’. Ok fair enough, but what how does one become a ‘senior ambulance…professional’. The answer is… with difficulty.

Originally, those who wanted to go into the ambulance service could work their way up through work experience and additional training eventually going from ambulance technician to paramedic. However, this route isn’t possible anymore.

If you want to be a paramedic you now have to secure a student paramedic position with an ambulance service trust, or attend an approved full-time course in paramedic science at a university. You also need (shockingly) a valid drivers licence and to register with the Health Care Professions Council.

The amount of things you can study as a paramedic is also huge. According to The Complete University Guide website. Studying to be a paramedic can include

  • Biosciences
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychology and Communications
  • Ethics
  • Law
  • Social Sciences
  • Health Promotion
  • Medical Design
  • Technology
  • Clinical / Professional Studies
  • Clinical Skills and Behaviours
  • Applied Anatomy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Structure and Function of Contemporary Health Services
  • Driving Emergency Service Vehicles
  • Accident and Emergency Care
  • Managing and Facilitating Appropriate Options for Patients
  • Managing trauma and Environmental Emergencies
  • Recognising and Managing Illness
  • Maternity and Paediatric Care
  • Pathophysiology
  • Practical Placements can make up up to 40% of the course

Courses vary in length from 8 months to four years.

There is no obvious top 5 guide to which place is the best to go to study to become a paramedic. But as far as I can see one of the most highly sought after places in St Georges University in London. This is largely due to the fact that the course works in conjunction with the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and LAS is the place to work to become a paramedic.

For more details on how to become a paramedic look for part 2.

Featured Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Star_of_life2.svg, Star_of_life2.svg belongs to Verdy p, the image has been used with the permission of Verdy p through a wikimedia creative commons licence


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