An ambulance paramedic will report to medical emergencies around the community, and will also play a part in the discharge and transfer of patients. Incidents an ambulance paramedic is called to include road accidents and sport injuries, during which you may be required to perform emergency treatment. This may include dressing wounds, performing CPR or possibly some form of surgery.

University course

In order to become an ambulance paramedic you will need to attain a Health Professionals Council (HPC) certified qualification. This may be a foundation degree, Diploma of Higher Education or degree in paramedic science. This will need to be followed by a student placement with a paramedic team, with available posts often displayed on the NHS Jobs website.

Education pathway

You will typically need five GCSEs graded A-C, including mathematic and science to get on to a course, followed by the attainment of two or three A Levels, including one science. Entry requirements will vary for different courses. A student place can be attained by checking the NHS Jobs website. Fitness and driving skills are essential to the role. You must have a C1 driving licence and no more than 3 penalty points. Paramedic courses would involve training in physical examination, minor injury and acute illness, with much of the training done in a clinical setting under the supervision of qualified paramedics.

Work experience

It is advantageous to acquire work experience while at college. It may be difficult to achieve with an ambulance crew but it is still beneficial to get experience in a hospital setting. You can contact local hospitals or clinics to see if there are any spaces available.

Career pathway after graduation

Once graduated and registered as a paramedic you can work with the NHS or possibly the armed forces. You may be able to concentrate on community work or may even choose to train as a helicopter paramedic. There are openings in other areas such as education and human resources, or you may decide to apply for an Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) position, which would advance your diagnosis and treatment skills. This can be done once three years experience has been attained as a paramedic. Professional development and training will need to be maintained throughout your career.