Shadowing a DoctorJanuary 8, 2015
An ambulance care assistant is responsible for transferring non-emergency patients to and from social care or health care settings for pre-arranged appointments.
If you have a calm and friendly personality, enjoy helping people and have excellent driving skills, then this could be the job for you. To work as an ambulance care assistant, you will need a full manual driving licence along with a good understanding of the Highway Code and the ability to read maps.
Detailed Job Description
Some of the duties of an ambulance care assistant would include:
- Helping patients into and out of the ambulance, which may involve some amount of lifting
- Transporting patients to their appointments comfortably, safely and on time
- Taking the patient home after their appointment and making sure they are settled in before leaving
- Carrying out daily vehicle checks and routine maintenance of ambulance equipment
- Keeping accurate records of all journeys undertaken
The people you would transport may often be in very poor health. Some patients will be elderly, whereas others may have physical disabilities or mental health problems. A crucial aspect in this role would be to show kindness and consideration to anxious patients and their relatives. You will often see the same patients regularly. Some of these people may be alone and afraid, so a friendly and patient disposition is essential.
During a shift you would keep in contact by radio or telephone with support staff at the control room who would give you clinical advice in case of any emergency.
Entry & Training requirements
Each regional ambulance service has its own unique entry criteria as well as its own induction training programme and it is important to make enquiries with the ambulance service you would like to join.
The general requirements you will need to meet to be able to work as an ambulance care assistant include:
- A full manual driving licence valid in the UK
- Excellent driving skills, with at least 1 to 2 years’ driving experience
- A good understanding of the Highway Code
- The ability to read maps
- Physical stamina as your work could include lifting and carrying
- Basic English and maths skills.
Different ambulance services use vehicles across different weights and you will need to hold a driving licence in the appropriate classifications to drive vehicles in that particular service. For this it is important to check with the ambulance service you want to work for.
Training and development
Trainee ambulance care assistants receive between 2 and 4 weeks training in areas such as:
- First aid – including basic emergency accident management
- Advanced (safe) driving skills
- Resuscitation techniques
- Moving and handling techniques
- Administering oxygen therapy (in some services)
- You will be tested throughout your training and you will take written and practical examinations.
If you reach the standard set by the service, you will be attached to an ambulance station where you will work under the guidance and supervision of a trained mentor for a probationary period. After this time, you will be allowed to work unsupervised.