How to Become a Paramedic

What is a paramedic?

A paramedic is a medical professional who specializes in emergency treatment. They respond to emergencies and provide first-line emergency medical care for sick and injured people at the scene.

How to become a paramedic?

You’ll need to do a paramedic science degree approved by the Health and Care Professions Council. Full-time courses usually take 3 years.

You can get into this role through a paramedic degree apprenticeship, or you could start as an ambulance care assistant. With experience, you could apply for a place on a paramedic training scheme.

Entry to paramedic courses is very competitive and it may help you if you have some relevant experience or training. Examples include:

  • volunteering as a first responder with a charity or social enterprise, like St John Ambulance
  • volunteering with an NHS ambulance trust
  • working at a residential care home or daycare centre
  • a first aid certificate
  • working in an office-based job for an ambulance service

Paramedic duties

Paramedic duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Provide emergency medical treatment, including administering medication, pain relief, intravenous infusions, and dressing wounds/injuries
  • Employ specialist equipment, such as ventilators and defibrillators, when needed
  • Transport patients to the emergency department of healthcare facilities, such as hospitals
  • Monitor and tend to patients while in transit.
  • Establish patient care priorities.
  • Provide medical care and transportation for patients
  • Foster and maintain professional relationships with other providers, staff, and patients

Paramedic skills

To be an effective paramedic, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Empathy and care for others
  • The ability to make swift decisions and stay calm under pressure
  • A good level of physical fitness
  • Navigational and driving skills
  • Resilience
  • Stamina

How to find a paramedic job

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the paramedic jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for paramedic jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

Paramedic Job Titles

When you search for paramedic jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for paramedic jobs include;

  • Ambulance paramedic
  • Emergency Medical Technicians
  • Emergency Care Practitioner

What does a paramedic do?

The job of a paramedic varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of paramedic job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience. 
The day-to-day tasks of a paramedic include;

  • respond to emergency calls
  • assess situations when you arrive and check details with others at the scene, like the police
  • work calmly and quickly to stabilise patients
  • use a defibrillator to revive patients
  • give patients medicines and injections
  • help to deliver babies
  • attend non-emergency calls and decide whether patients need to go to hospital
  • check equipment regularly and keep accurate records
  • reassure family and members of the public who are on the scene