Paramedics are the first healthcare professionals on the scene of an accident or emergency.
As a paramedic, you will usually work as one of a two-person ambulance crew on call-outs. Your job is to assess the patient’s condition and give essential and often life-saving treatment at the scene.
This page answers the following questions about paramedics:
- What makes a good paramedic?
- Where can I study paramedic science?
- What are the entry requirements for paramedic science?
- What is the training for paramedic science?
What Makes A Good Paramedic?
Being a paramedic is a demanding but rewarding job, which requires a specific set of skills and qualities. These include:
- The ability to make decisions under pressure. As the first medical professional on the scene, you have to make informed judgments in life-and-death situations.
- Good communication skills. You’ll be dealing with people in distress, and need to be able to assess the situation and maintain calm.
- Physical stamina. Paramedics work shifts at all hours of the day and night, including evenings and weekends.
- Emotional stamina. Paramedics have to deal with difficult and upsetting situations. On top of medical emergencies, this might include dealing with patients under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Be compassionate. A genuine desire to help and care for others in distress is essential.
Where Can I Study Paramedic Science?
Once you’re qualified, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), so you must choose a course that is approved by them (you can find a detailed list here).
The following institutions offer HCPC-approved courses in Paramedic Science:
- Anglia Ruskin University
- Birmingham City University
- Bournemouth University
- Canterbury Christ Church University
- Coventry University
- Edge Hill University
- Institute of Healthcare Development
- Liverpool John Moores University
- Oxford Brookes University
- Scottish Ambulance Academy and Glasgow Caledonian University
- St George’s University of London
- Staffordshire University
- Suffolk, University Campus
- Swansea University
- Teeside University
- The Open University
- University of Bedfordshire
- University of Brighton
- University of Central Lancashire
- University of Cumbria
- University of East Anglia
- University of Greenwich
- University of Hertfordshire
- University of Northampton
- University of Plymouth
- University of Portsmouth
- University of Surrey
- University of the West of England, Bristol
- University of Wolverhampton
- University of Worcester
In addition, the following Ambulance Trusts offer training towards an Institute of Healthcare Paramedic Award, which also allows you to register with the HCPC:
What Are The Entry Requirements For Paramedic Science?
If you think you’d make a good paramedic, take a look at our paramedic checklist to see if you meet the entry requirements for a course in paramedic science:
- Work experience is essential. You’ve got to prove you are dedicated, up to the task and know what this demanding job entails! Your experience can be voluntary or paid and can be in any healthcare environment — it doesn’t have to be in paramedic science.
- A good reference from a previous employer or school
- A full UK driving license. It’s ok if you’re still learning, but you must have your license by the time you attend interviews.
- Courses have different academic entry requirements, but the baseline is at least 5 GCSEs of grade C or above, including in English, Maths and Science and at least 2 A Levels or equivalent.
It’s a good idea to join the College of Paramedics before you apply. You can join as an associate member before you’re qualified. It will demonstrate your commitment to the profession and also be a useful resource throughout your training.
What Is The Training For Paramedic Science?
To become a paramedic, you will need to obtain a Higher Education Diploma in Paramedic Science. The NHS Ambulance Service is by far the biggest employer of paramedics. So if you’re a qualified paramedic, the likelihood is that you’ll work for them.