Paramedics are the senior ambulance service healthcare professionals at an accident or a medical emergency. Paramedics often work by themselves to assess a patient’s condition and give them essential treatment. They use high-tech equipment such as defibrillators, spinal and traction splints and intravenous drips, as well as administering oxygen and medication.


Paramedic: career casenotes 

check out all the vitals for a career as a paramedic

Graphic of a clipboard on background of medical illustrations that reads: Profession: Paramedic Essential Qualifications: Degree or degree apprenticeship in paramedic science, driving licence. Frequently works in: Based at a local ambulance station with ability to work anywhere Frequently works with: Emergency care assistant, doctors and nurses in emergency departments,  police, fire and rescue services Average working hours: 37.5 hours on shift pattern which will usually include nights, early starts, evenings, weekends and bank holidays Key skills: Calm under pressure, quick problem solving, resilience, communication, physical fitness


Why Study Paramedic Science? 

Paramedic science could be for if want to: 

  • Save lives and make a real difference
  • Be constantly challenged.
  • Have variety day-to-day. Every day is different.
  • Learn parts of other subjects, such as psychology and sociology as well as the healthcare side.
  • Have good graduate prospects as Paramedics are always in demand.

Student Experience: Phoebe, Year 3 Paramedic Science

  • Phoebe's Journey to Paramedic Science

    “I completed A Levels and then went into an apprenticeship at a leisure centre, followed by an apprenticeship at an outdoor centre – both of which gave me some exposure to situations that required first aid and/or the attendance of an ambulance. I then went to work in an ambulance call centre taking 999 calls for the ambulance service.”

    “The exposure and experience gained through this work is what ultimately helped me decide that I wanted to become a paramedic.”

  • Why Paramedic Science?

    “I chose my course because at the end of it I will be a fully qualified paramedic. This will enable me to work on an ambulance helping people when they are ill or injured. This appeals to me as I want to be able to make a difference in people’s lives and being able to help and support people at what is often a very scary time, and it is a very privileged position to be in.”

    “When you attend to a patient you aren’t just attending to the person who is ill or injured, you are also responsible for reassuring and supporting their family members or friends who are also concerned for their loved one. Being able to help all those people is what drew me towards this course.”

  • What is it like being a student paramedic?

    “A typical day on placement for me would be waking up at approximately 5:30am to get to the ambulance station by 6:20am to ensure I am ready to start my shift at 6:30am”

    “The first thing we do is check the ambulance’s equipment to ensure we have everything we need to treat patients. We then wait until we get our first call of the day; for example, a patient with chest pain. We would drive on blue lights to the patient and once we arrive, we would go in with all the necessary equipment. I would then conduct an assessment of the patient with support from my paramedic mentor, by gaining a history of the patient’s condition and obtaining basic observations such as oxygen levels and a picture of the patient’s heart (ECG). If we decide that the patient is having a heart attack, we will administer certain medications and transport the patient to hospital on blue lights.”

    “We are likely to go to go to two more calls before our break, and they could be anything from a patient who has broken their leg, to someone who is breathless or someone giving birth.”

    “No two jobs are the same in the ambulance service! In a 12 hour shift you may go to anywhere between 2 and 8 or 10 calls of a varying nature.”

  • What are the main skills that you need as student paramedic?

    •    “Excellent communication skills – Paramedics have to be able to talk to everyone. Anyone could be your patient, so you need to be comfortable talking to people from all parts of society and all backgrounds to give them the best care possible.”

    •    “Ability to problem solve – Not everything is straight forward when you are a paramedic, you may need to be able to work out how to get a patient out of a tight location or figure out how best to manage a situation.”

    •    “Strong teamwork skills – paramedics often have to work with other members of the ambulance service such as emergency care assistants or other paramedics to ensure that a patient gets the care they need.”

    •    “Willingness to learn – Paramedics are always learning. You will get your initial education before you become a paramedic but even after that you ae always learning new pieces of information and skills.”

  • Phoebe's advice

    “Go for it! Be aware that it’s not all guts and glory. You will be exposed to people from all walks of life, but if you truly want to help people there is not better job.”