Ambulance technician / paramedic

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by eupharies, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. eupharies

    eupharies New Member

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    Hey, well ive always wanted to become a paramedic. The last year i have not really done alot about it. So ive finally decided to act, im 20, have a clean driving license and live in cardiff.
    Im looking to join as an ambulance technician, but am having a serious problem finding a route in. Have looked at some of the hospitals around cardiff and they just dont seem to be recruiting.
    I had to camm paramedics out a few weeks ago for a friend, and i was speaking to them about it, they advised Uni isnt a must, You just need to pass the entrants exam for paramedic. But i cant even find a route in as a technician. Ive always wanted to become a paramedic as i love working with people, and im not just going to give up, far to much ambition to do that.
    Just wondered if you could give me any advice on what job i could get in a hospital to then work my way up to technician level, or if you could advise me on how to enter as a technician.
    Also about the D1 an C1 licenses, thing is 1 of them you cannot get until your 21 and im guessing you need them to be a technician yet the entry age for technician is 18... can you clarify that for me please.
    Any advice would be much appreciated. As becoming a paramedic is what i desire.
    Thanks and merry xmas :p

    Anthony
     
  2. DrPie

    DrPie New Member

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    You could try working for the Patient Transport System (PTS). Recently a few of them were recruited as paramedics (much to the annoyance of current paramedics) as they weren't quite up to the appropriate standard even after a bit of training (I think they've stopped this now tho'). Theres a few unis that do paramedic degrees, not sure which.
     
  3. nqemtp

    nqemtp New Member

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    Have you looked elsewhere in the UK beyond your hometown? It all comes down to how much you want the job, and how far you are willing to go to get it.

    While Uni isnt a must, it is definite a feather in your cap. You must remember, there are plenty of people out there applying for the same job and you need to stand out. I believe Hereford do a 4 year BSc in paramedic science.

    Also, have you considered voluntary work? St John Ambulance, red cross, etc. A lot of medics start off here. It should also give you an idea of whether the job actually suits you or not (it's not all like what you see on Casualty), and you may meet some more paramedics that could give you advice.

    With regards being a tech at 18, I would imagine that this is the age limit for the course, but you will not be recruited into the service without the appropriate licences, ie: 21.
     
  4. eupharies

    eupharies New Member

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    Hey thanks for that, id love to go to uni but i moved to france after gcse so dont have the A-levels.
    Shame as id not only be learning what i wanted but, also the uni lifestyle...
    Ive looked at foundation degrees but for some reason they still require A-levels!!!!!
    I kniw the best way going about it is to get a job with the nhs and then just progress, i had a look for PTS but couldnt find any jobs for it;
     
  5. eupharies

    eupharies New Member

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    Hey i was wondering about the extra licenses needed? If i say managed to get ajob as maybe a pts or care assistant or something along those lines, and indicated i wanted to progress to an ambulance technician, would the NHS pay for me to take these licenses or would i need to pay out myself??
    Thanks

    Ant
     
  6. Medic2013

    Medic2013 New Member

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    ok, so you wanna be a ambulance dude-i respect you! now for some advice-there are two entry methods, degree and via the PTS. do the degree in my opinion and that of many others, cos its the way forward (structure, guaranteed access to EMT1-2-3-Para). with the PTS option, i recommend it for those who have no amb experience and who are undecided bout their desire. as additional experience, you may wish to join st john ambulance, as many ambulance crews welcome a "third hand" as they are referred to to accompany them (you need to be over 18, have a first aid at work and some other qualifiactions-but i recommend you join st john before you go further). now to the degree-there are BSc's and Foundaton degrees. BSc's are standard quals and make you big, but beware-time is running out fast for appliactions as the UCAS deadline closes in. with the foundation degree, you apply direct to the institution, but a Fd may not be as academically recognised.

    abou yer a-levels, if you choose the PTS route, then a levels are no problem (far as i know-dont take my advice for gospel). with the uni route, most unis ask for one at most i think, and i vaguely remember a couple who idnt specify anything at a-level, but things may have changed (i refer to greenwich and kingston/sgeo)

    for your categories, as most of the *full* ambulanes are over 3.5 tonnes, you require C1. via PTS, the nhs pays for it (i think as long as you promise them your soul and a year's contract :)). with the uni route, some ask for you to have, others provide it one the course-again, please check.

    see the following amigo, and i sincerely wish you the best of luck...

    http://randomreality.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2005/11/1/1334202.html

    http://randomreality.blogware.com/

    http://search.ucas.co.uk/cgi-bin/hs...=&cmbAttend=&cmbInst=&button1.x=0&button1.y=0

    http://www.londonambulance.nhs.uk/careers/careers1.html

    edit-with job progression, those who go in via the EMT route can get stuck in EMT 2/3, meaning you wont become a paramedic for a while,but will have a job. however the degree route ENSURES you are a paramedic, but doesnt ensure certification as a healthcare professional within the nhs, which means you may have to go private, which is a shame.
     
    #6 Medic2013, Dec 28, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2006
  7. nqemtp

    nqemtp New Member

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    Have you checked to see if your French equivalent to the A-Levels is accepted for entry into Uni? Degree is definitely the best option if you can manage it as it would open up many doors throughout your career. However, it is possible to get to these places from the PTS route, it will just require a lot more effort.

    My other advice regarding the degree would be to make sure that you are up for the study; the level of science involved is very similar to the BSc Nursing degree from what I have heard. There are placements on the ambulance and in hospital, but college life takes up the majority of the time, at least in the early years. If driving around and meeting people is more your thing than becoming a clinician (and there is nothing wrong with this, no matter what anybody says to you these days), then the PTS route would be better. The worst thing would be to start the degree and then drop out, it would effectively scupper any chance of being taken serious at interview for an EMT job afterwards.

    But dont take my word for it, contact your local service and see can you get a tour of the station, talk to a few people, and have a look at Ambulance Control if you get a chance. It is a pretty impressive sight and should tell you more about the job and give you something to talk about should you be invited for interview at a later date.

    In my opinion, you have chosen a great career; sometimes you will be tired, hungry, and will wonder why you bothered turning up for work at all; other times you will be upset and annoyed by the responses of patients and their disregard for themselves and others; and occassionally, you will be on a total high after doing something really thrilling. But you will rarely, if ever be bored. Good luck with your application.
     
  8. Medic2013

    Medic2013 New Member

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    most true-the other thing i was gonna say was that you may want to look at a nursing degree and going in as a emergency care practitioner. nqemtp is right though-get some experience first to make sure you like it.
     
  9. turnip09

    turnip09 New Member

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    I spent five years as a Technician with London Ambulance Service so i can only give an informed answer about London, but I think most services are similar.

    You can either join direct as a Trainee Emergency Medical Technician, when your local service next recruits. It will be the Ambulance Service NHS Trust that recruits you, not the local hospitals. This route in requires a maximum of three points on your licence and requires you to have had a licence for at least two years and have C1/D1 endorsments. If you do not have these, the service is unlikely to pay for you to achieve them - you will have to fund it yourself. As an EMT you follow a 12-15 week IHCD Ambulance Aid course and which includes instruction on your local services protocols for drug administration etc as this varies from service to service. After that, you do 4-6 weeks out on the road with a Training Supervisor learning the ropes while attending real jobs. Once signed off, you complete a year as an 80%er, still a trainee, generally on 80% of your final wages and unable to work with another 80%er. After your final assessment at the end of the year, you are fully qualified and can then focus on moving up through the grades.

    PTS staff are recrutied completely seperately, as are the intermediate tier Technicians, and although it is possible to transfer over, you will have to go through the same application procedure as anyone else.

    The Paramedic Sciences degree is the other entry route, although it was rather controversial at the time I was serving as it is questionable how much patient time these guys get in relation to those who joined via the old fashioned route. Hertfordshire university run a 3 year course in conjunction with the LAS and Beds and Herts Ambulance Service and and guarentee a job upon sucessful completion. In this case, students may have their driving lessons paid for to upgrade their licence but it depends on the course.

    Hope this helps!
     
  10. eupharies

    eupharies New Member

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    Thanks so much guys, really appreciated.
    Im just going to check the links now, i would love to go to uni, and i think its unfair that you need A-levels to go for this kind of degree, instead of jsut pure ambition and the willingness to achieve the job that i want, but thats life ;p.
    I was to my girlfried whos friend wants to become a parameidc, she has a degree, its not paramedical science but something similar, yet even she is finding it hard to get in, and said that alot of people go to australia to get the qualifications there.... and then come back fully qualified... Not sure how that works really as surely it would be more of a different degree.

    Thanks

    Ant
     
  11. eupharies

    eupharies New Member

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    Hey i been exploring and well, checked herts uni

    Courses:
    - Foundation Degree in Paramedical Science with IHCD Technician and Paramedic Award
    - BSc (Hons) in Paramedical Science (full-time)
    - BSc (Hons) in Paramedical Science with Emergency Care Practitce (part-time)


    Im guessing the foundation degree does not req A-levels but i will ring and check, im jsut worried that i would not get the same degree...at the end with foundation degree>?

    Ant
     
  12. samoan

    samoan New Member

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    Another bit of ambo info!

    Hey,

    Just to add my little bit. Think lot of your original question was answered but just in case.

    Basically I am currently studying to be an ambulance technician in the South West. I was offered the training position after passing all the recruitment stages in Nov 05 (it took ages!). As mentioned before there are a few ways to get into the paramedic role: through the PTS, joining directly as a direct entry trainee tech (DETT) (only needed 5 GCSE's + C1 driving licience, I had to pay!) or the new paramedic degree's. The services are in a bit of flux at the moment as there have been some significant mergers with other counties e.g.my service has recently joined with Dorset, becoming the South Western Ambulance Trust. Because of this and the anticipated increasing number of trainee degree paramedics the tech position is probably going to become obsolete with front line para/tech crews being replaced with a trainee para/mentor para and an emergency care assistant (ECA). These ECA's will have less clinical skills than the exsisting tech, essentially being a emergency driver for the para team! Applications for the trainee para role would be through the usual UCAS route. Its all a little vague at the mo, but I know of at least one other trust that is going the same route.

    All a little confusing and I don't want to waffle too much, so basically if you want ask me any questions on recruitment, jobs etc please send me a PM and I'll try and find the answer.

    Its a wicked career so far and appears to have increasing appeal with the development of the ECP and consultant paramedic roles.

    Cheers, Sam.....:)
     
  13. Misscarlahollings

    Misscarlahollings New Member

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    Hi there, I was just reading some of the posted blogs on this site and wondered if someone could answer some questions for me!

    I am really looking into becoming a paramedic. I am 22 in June and have been working as a health care assistant on Trauma and Orthopaedics (mainly orthopaedics) at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester. I love the work of the ward however I get more excited dealing with trauma patients than general elective surgery and have learnt alot over the past year and am trying to decide whether to do a degree for nursing or degree for paramedic. I feel that i would be more suited to the emergency side of things rather than the care after just due to the overall stress of the working ward and lack of staff issues.

    Anyway...what i would really like to know is...

    a) what is the best route to go to become a paramedic? there is a 2 year paramedic science course commencing at a university near me which i have thought of applying to..or is it better to do the care assistant and emergency care assistant route?
    I have overheard rumours that technicians will shortly be no more?

    b) I am slightly concerned that this would be a huge challenge for me and the thought of dealing with life or death experiences is rather scary and i have never been a member of St Johns Ambulance but did a lifesavers course a long time ago although this is out of date(but i do work in a hospital and have done all mandatory training for emergencies..but sometimes wonder if i would be competent enough to become a paramedic..but isn't that what all the training is for?

    c) I am hopefully organising to go out as an observer with the dorset ambulance crew to see what it's like...but I want to try and gain as much experience as i can so would like to find a way of doing some work experience on all sides of the ambulance trust...as a ambulance care assistant for a couple of days etc...but have no idea of how to organise this and have looked on lots of websites but none have been of much luck..would phoning human resources help for information?

    I understand that you require a C1 driving license and am currently saving to be able to do the course seeing as i do not have near on £1000! But already have all the information on where and how to do it.

    Last but not least (sorry about this)

    I have the opportunity to do cannulation with my trust...would this be of any advantage to me or should i just wait to do this at universtiy if this is the route i should take?

    I really hope that you can help me! So i have some idea of getting somewhere!

    Thanks ever so much!
     
  14. Medic2013

    Medic2013 New Member

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    a) what is the best route to go to become a paramedic? there is a 2 year paramedic science course commencing at a university near me which i have thought of applying to..or is it better to do the care assistant and emergency care assistant route?
    I have overheard rumours that technicians will shortly be no more?

    the general trend is towards the uni route, so I would go for it. there is a problem with NHS recruitment afterwards, but things should not deter you in the slightest as you can work as a private medic in the rare case you are without work. HOWEVER, the EMT route provides a hell of a lot more experience which many people find enjoyable and fun!

    with that rumour, there is truth in it, but alas I cannot advise you further...

    however, pls visit the top-rated EMT blog by Tom Reynolds: http://randomreality.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2005/11/1/1334202.html


    b) I am slightly concerned that this would be a huge challenge for me and the thought of dealing with life or death experiences is rather scary and i have never been a member of St Johns Ambulance but did a lifesavers course a long time ago although this is out of date(but i do work in a hospital and have done all mandatory training for emergencies..but sometimes wonder if i would be competent enough to become a paramedic..but isn't that what all the training is for?

    hmmm-background is extremely good. I found that my SJA experience is amazing in developing my comms skills, and for real life emergencies. The experience of working alongside drs, nurses, parameds/emts as well as students on large events life today's flora london marathon only adds to your personal development.

    yeah you are right in that the training preps you, but every little helps! plus the voluntary work helps you decide whether you are really upto it or not.

    c) I am hopefully organising to go out as an observer with the dorset ambulance crew to see what it's like...but I want to try and gain as much experience as i can so would like to find a way of doing some work experience on all sides of the ambulance trust...as a ambulance care assistant for a couple of days etc...but have no idea of how to organise this and have looked on lots of websites but none have been of much luck..would phoning human resources help for information?


    join st johns, and with a bit of luck, you may be able to arrange experience as a third hand (completely dependant on your units policy). you could also try the BRC etc.

    I understand that you require a C1 driving license and am currently saving to be able to do the course seeing as i do not have near on £1000! But already have all the information on where and how to do it.

    good to hear!

    Last but not least (sorry about this)

    I have the opportunity to do cannulation with my trust...would this be of any advantage to me or should i just wait to do this at universtiy if this is the route i should take?

    it all helps, but from your wording, it seems there are some side-effects/consequences of following the cannulation route (or am i just reading too far into things? :confused: )

    I wish you the very best of luck!
     
  15. blueberrypie

    blueberrypie Member

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    Hi there,

    I applied to become an ambulance technician with the london ambulance service before. I filled out an application form, then they invited me for a test. After I completed the test, I had a practical. This involved being in a group, and being shown how to assemble an entenox cylinder. We then had to do the same from being shown once and there are quite a few bits to it! We then had to carry a seven stone dummy on a carry chair up a flight of stairs and back down again.

    After this was a medical and a driving test. I unfortunately had never driven anything this big before, and should had tried one out previously. The instructor told me he thought I wasn't confident enough - although not dangerous, but told me I could resit my driving test in a few months.

    I didn't bother going back, because I decided that I had other things I would like to persue. I always wanted hands on work, but decided to go for the total hands on experience.

    They explained about the shifts, etc. You basically train for six weeks to become an ambulance technician, then after two years you can train to become a qualified paramedic.

    I hope this is of help to you. Who provides the majority of ambulances around your way? Maybe they will be able to help you.
     
  16. blueberrypie

    blueberrypie Member

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    Oh, and I forgot. If you are a technician you will automatically have your driving test paid for. So you could save money.
     
  17. Gizmo says -

    Gizmo says - New Member

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    well u need a fair academic ability lol.

    u are gonna need some A lvls or equivalent to study any degree, and the vast memory work involved in medicine means you need some basic competency in acheiving that, macca.
     
  18. Misscarlahollings

    Misscarlahollings New Member

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    Hey thanks for everything guys and all the information. I have a good sound academic base..all my GCSE's A-C and Equivalent of three B grades at A level in Sport and Exercise Science which is completely science and biology based.

    So hopefully i'll be ok! Cheers!
     
  19. Misscarlahollings

    Misscarlahollings New Member

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    Hey...let me see if i can help you out..i have done soooo much research and it's really hard to get info about it! Everyone on here have been a great help mind! I have just found out that Ambulance Technicians are no more! You used to be able to apply to the Ambulance Trust..carry out some exams like literacy, numeracy, fitness with interview and then if you pass those they send you off to train for so many weeks and then hey presto..foot in the door. This is no longer an option as they have scrapped this. There are now such things as Ambulance Care Assistants and Emergency Care Assistants (much like the technician). I believe after much research that you can infact become a Patient Transport person (ACA) for a year or so and then progress up to an (ECA) but there is no longer any route to becomming a Paramedic after that other than going to university. The best thing you could do is to become a Ambulance Care Assistant and go from there earning money and experience at the same time. However, and this is what I am waiting to hear back about...you do need a C1 drivers license. I have been thinking about this route purely because my enthusiasm and hearts in the right place but i have no real first aid experience apart from on the ward, but I cannot afford such money to do it as it costs between £600-£1000. I think you are right about being 21 to be able to do a C1 exam unfortunately.

    The only thing I can say about working in a hospital is that it has confirmed to me that i want to be in the medical profession and no longer as a nurse but as something more exciting. You are only 20 and 21 is not long away, you could work as a nursing assistant in a hospital to earn you some money and get your foot in the door until you are old enough to take your c1 and be able to save up at the same time (which is hard i Kno)!. Many males are Nursing Assistants and you could even possibly become one in A&E which although is a completely different ball game you can have a wider knowledge of trauma and accidents.

    Really hope this helps! Let me know how your getting on and if there's anything else i can help you with!

    Carla

     
  20. Gizmo says -

    Gizmo says - New Member

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    goo luck macca.


    i got rejected an ambulance tech job back in me day hehe!

    ay, i guess you need more extra for the job compared to getting into med skool.
     

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