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What operational roles are available within the Welsh Ambulance Service?

The Trust has three grades of operational staff within the Emergency Medical Service.  The available roles are:

  1. Urgent Care Assistant
  2. Emergency Medical Technician
  3. Paramedics

What does the Urgent Care Service do?

The Urgent Care Service (UCS) ambulances support the emergency crews by attending calls where a patient requires an urgent planned transfer for treatment either from home or from one treatment centre to another. These patients will have been assessed as being suitable to travel with the UCS by their GP or other referring Healthcare Professional. Urgent Care Assistants work on an emergency type ambulance vehicle. In addition the UCS provide back up to transport patients who have been assessed by a Paramedic on a Rapid Response Vehicle. In such cases sometimes the Paramedic will travel to hospital with the patient and the UCS crew. UCS staff are trained to provide immediate care for patients including basic life support and defibrillation as well as basic ambulance aid.

UCS staff are trained in response driving as part of their role is to undertake emergency transfers from one hospital to another. In such cases the UCS team will be accompanied by a hospital medical team.

Who makes up the crew on an emergency ambulance?

The Emergency Medical Service (EMS) deals with emergency (999) and urgent calls (those from doctors or midwives) as well as some high acuity inter hospital transfers.  An emergency ambulance crew normally comprises of a Health and Care Professions Counsel (HCPC) registered Paramedic and an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).

Both Paramedics and EMTs are highly trained in all aspects of pre-hospital emergency care and our ambulances are equipped with a wide range of emergency care equipment to manage patients who are seriously ill or injured.

Crews have to be highly skilled and able to treat and stabilise patients at home where appropriate or be able to transfer patients to hospital without unnecessary delay. They need to be quick thinking and decisive, yet able to provide a calm and reassuring environment for patients and relatives. Both Paramedics and EMTs are trained in emergency response driver training and may work within ambulances, or Rapid Response Vehicles.

The work of Paramedics and EMTs is varied and demanding. Crews do not know what the next call will entail but they do know that the patients and their relatives will be counting on them to make an assessment and provide treatment which may be routine but sometimes may be the difference between life, death or disability.  This variety, responsibility and autonomy is not for everybody but it is the thing that sets ambulance service roles apart from other similar healthcare roles.    In time there is the opportunity for development as an advanced technician or advanced paramedic practitioner as well as the opportunity to develop as a team leader or move into a management role.

Ambulance work is challenging, unpredictable but never lacking in interest.
It can be the most rewarding job, but it is sometimes physically and emotionally demanding.

General Entry Requirements

The Trust recruits and trains Urgent Care Assistants and Emergency Medical Technicians. Paramedics will hold a university diploma or first degree in Paramedic Science or Pre-Hospital Care and will apply as a qualified applicant. 

The personal qualities required to become an Urgent Care Assistant, an EMT or a Paramedic include:

  • a mature and well balanced personality
  • a caring and compassionate disposition
  • honesty and integrity
  • a reasonable level of intelligence
  • a good level of manual dexterity
  • resourcefulness and organisational skills
  • a willingness to work shifts

Applicants must also have:

  • a full driving licence which must include categories C1 and D1. Applicants who have passed their driving test or had their driving licence re-issued since January 1, 1997 will need to ensure they obtain Categories C1 and D1
  • Consideration will be given to candidates with up to three points on their licence.
  • You must not have been convicted of any serious driving offences

All roles require a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check, a current driving licence and you will be required to provide documentary evidence of your qualifications.

Each role has their own entry assessment requirements, details of which will be provided to shortlisted candidates.

HEALTH AND CARE PROFESSIONS COUNCIL (HCPC) REGISTERED PARAMEDIC

To join the Trust as a Paramedic you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Paramedic. In order to register with the HCPC you will have to have completed an approved Diploma or first degree programme in Pre-Hospital Care or Paramedic Science. These programmes are available at universities across the UK.

This is a link to Swansea University’s webpage, which can provide you with further details on the current entry requirements for their course.  All Qualified Paramedic recruitment campaigns are advertised via NHS Jobs, www.jobs.nhs.uk

EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN

In order to apply to become an EMT, you must have a minimum of five GCSEs at Grade C or above, including Maths, English or Welsh Language and a Science subject - or other equivalent educational qualifications.

The initial training programme for a Trainee Ambulance Technician will comprise of:

  • three weeks residential emergency response driver training
  • nine weeks residential training in Pre-Hospital Patient Care at the National Ambulance Training College, Swansea

Following successful completion of the training, trainees are allocated to a station or group of stations where they will continue their training, for a period of 12 months, working under the mentorship of qualified EMTs and Paramedics.  Quarterly assessments of progress are carried out during this period, and a final assessment made after 12 months.

On satisfactory completion of this programme, trainees will be considered qualified EMTs.

URGENT CARE SERVICE

In order to apply to become an Urgent Care Assistant, you must have a minimum of five GCSE at Grade C or above, including Maths, English or Welsh Language and a Science subject - or other equivalent educational qualifications.

The initial training programme for the Urgent Care Service allows the UCS Staff to treat and convey lower acuity patients to hospital. It consists of:

  • Three weeks patient care training, which includes how to perform base line observations, the ability to identify any problems with them and when to request emergency Paramedic or EMT support.  Training in being a “first service” which includes the initial management of cardiac arrests, breathing problems and chest pain.  Statutory and mandatory training is also included in this course, e.g. safer handling, conflict resolution, safeguarding and infection control.
  • Three weeks emergency response driver training.

All our current vacancies are shown here.  In order to apply, please visit www.jobs.nhs.uk.  You can also register your email address on the NHS Jobs website, and the site will automatically notify you when we advertise vacancies.

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