A paramedic and an emergency care assistant respond to emergency calls together, aiding them in giving potentially life-saving treatment and transferring patients to the hospital as needed. They react to all sorts of accidents and emergencies, often travelling considerable distances and using exceptional emergency driving talents to be at the scene as soon as possible.
In addition to driving emergency vehicles, emergency care assistants (ECAs) examine their cars before and throughout each shift to ensure they are clean, have fuel, and are properly stocked. Other duties include filing paperwork and connecting with colleagues through communication devices (radios and telephones).
In addition to paramedics, ECAs work with other ambulance service employees, such as control room workers. They also work with doctors and members of other emergency services, such as the fire department and the police.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- drive to medical emergencies
- assess the risk to yourself and others and ask for more support if needed
- support the paramedic to carry out essential emergency care
- transfer patients into the ambulance and monitor their health
- record patient information and complete a handover report
- check and maintain the ambulance.
- Apprentice emergency care assistants will usually be on £21,703 (band 3) of NHS Agenda for Change
- Experienced emergency care assistants can earn up to £26,282 (band 4)
- You’ll also have access to our generous pension scheme and health service discounts, as well as 27 days of annual leave plus bank holidays.
Yoll usually works 37.5 hours a week in shifts. Shifts cover 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the year. Consequently, an ECA’s work schedule includes evenings, nights, early mornings, weekends, and bank holidays.
You could work in an NHS or private hospital or on an ambulance.
Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding, working outdoors in all weather conditions.
You may need to wear a uniform and protective clothing.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice emergency care assistant include:
- Level 3 Ambulance Support Worker – Entry requirements for this level include 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship. This qualification will take 13 months to complete.
On a emergency care assistant apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- sensitivity and understanding
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- customer service skills
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- excellent verbal communication skills
- thinking and reasoning skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device.
All ambulance service trusts offer initial training for new ECAs, usually around six to nine weeks. This covers:
- moving and handling techniques
- emergency first aid
- basic patient skills
- safe driving techniques
You might eventually become a team leader or a supervisor. You’d be in charge of a group of ECAs, assigning work and organising shift rotas.
You may apply to be a paramedic. However, you must pass entrance exams and meet other requirements before being accepted to a paramedic programme.