Paramedics are autonomous clinicians who work within the wider multi-disciplinary team to assess, manage and treat a range of patient presentations, predominantly in the pre-hospital environment. As a paramedic it is your clinical decision-making, underpinning knowledge, leadership and communication skills that enable you to deliver outstanding care for your patient using an evidenced-based approach.
You will graduate from our BSc Paramedic Science programme at UEA with a science degree, and with the clinical knowledge and skills to excel as a paramedic. You will also have graduated from one of the best schools of health in the UK, and be ready to embark upon an exciting career.
You will be able to register as a paramedic with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) which is the independent UK-based regulatory body who set standards of professionalism and proficiency for paramedics, and all other allied health professionals. On graduation you will also need to obtain a C1 category driving licence to work in an ambulance trust setting.
As a paramedic, you are most likely to work with others on an ambulance, but you could also work on your own, using a car, motorbike or bicycle. You may provide advice over the telephone from an emergency control room. Much of your time will be spent treating people in their own homes.
Paramedics also work in GP practices, minor injury units, urgent care centres, walk-in centres and A&E departments. Wherever you work, you will undertake full clinical assessments and make decisions about the care you provide.
You need to cope well with constant change, be an excellent communicator, be physically fit with fine manual dexterity, be empathetic and diplomatic and most of all, care.
Working as a paramedic is unpredictable. The severity of the patient’s condition dictates the degree of urgency required, and excellent clinical decision making is key. You could be dealing with an acute emergency, or a situation where your patient requires help at home to avoid un-necessary hospital admission. As a paramedic you need to be able to adapt to your patient’s needs.
Not all patients who dial 999 are critically unwell, and paramedics commonly treat those with minor injuries, chronic illness and mental health issues as well as finding solutions to complex social care issues.
The best paramedics always do their best for their patients, but recognise when the best course of action is to call on the expertise of other healthcare professionals.
Top Tip: Exercise frequently and keep strong. Lifting patients with the assistance of manual handling equipment is a key part of the role.
Once you have qualified as a paramedic you will be keen to develop your skills to provide first-class care to your patients. Once you have gained experience, you could progress to become a team leader, supervising other paramedics or emergency care assistants, or develop your skills, such as working on an air ambulance or as part of a specialist team. You could also become a manager, or follow a path into education or research.
The College of Paramedics has set out the career pathways for paramedics so you can develop your clinical role through further education, or move into research, management or education as you progress.
As part of their professional registration, registered paramedics are required to maintain a portfolio to demonstrate that they are keeping their skills and knowledge up to date with annual CPD (continuing professional development).
NHS real life case study: Specialist Paramedic - Emma Relf
What would my starting salary be?
Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change pay scales and, as a recently graduated paramedic you will start at Band 5. Pay and conditions will vary depending upon your employer and competitive rates are offered throughout the private and voluntary sectors. You should always check with the employer to confirm the pay rate for any post for which you are applying.
What hours would I be working?
37.5 hours per week are standard hours and many areas require you to work shifts, involving evenings, nights, early starts, weekends and bank holidays.
Where could I work?
You could work for ambulance trusts; in the community, in hospital wards, clinics, GP surgeries, or off-shore. The nature of this role means that you need to be prepared to work outside in all conditions.
What will I wear?
You will wear a uniform, including protective clothing.
This provides all the information you will need about health careers.
National Careers Service
Provides information, advice and guidance on learning, training and work opportunities.
Health and Care Professions Council
The HCPC is the regulating body for health and care professionals. They maintain a database of registered ODPs who meet the necessary standard of education that is required to practice. Once you finish your training at UEA you will need to register with the HSPC in order to become a registered professional before you can be employed as a registered practitioner with the NHS.