- Rewarding role, helping save lives by providing emergency care to the sick and injured
- You'll need to be calm under pressure and have excellent driving and practical skills
- Progress to become a team leader, specialist paramedic or emergency care practitioner
Most paramedics work for NHS 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.
- Check a patient's condition to decide what action to take
- Use electric shock equipment (a defibrillator) to resuscitate patients
- Carry out surgical procedures like inserting a breathing tube
- Give medicines and injections
- Dress wounds and apply supports for broken bones
- Deliver babies
- Work closely with the police and fire services
- Keep accurate records and check equipment
You could work on an ambulance, at a client's home, or in the community. You working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding, and outdoors at times.
To be a paramedic, you'll need knowledge of public safety and security, customer service skills, sensitivity and understanding, the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure, patience, knowledge of medicine and dentistry, flexibility and openness to change, and the ability to work well with others.
You'll need a university paramedic qualification that is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council.
You can get into this role through a paramedic degree apprenticeship.
You could start as an ambulance care assistant, and with further training and experience, you could apply for a training scheme as a paramedic.
Entry is very competitive and it might help if you have volunteered as a community first responder with an organisation like St John Ambulance, or an NHS ambulance trust.
You could apply for a training scheme as a student paramedic for an ambulance service, completing your university paramedic qualification on the job.
You'll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council. You'll also need to pass enhanced background checks, pass a medical check, and have a driving licence that includes medium-sized vehicles.
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.