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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Becoming A Paramedic In The UK

Posted by patrick

By Dave Grystond

To become a paramedic in the U.K. you can either train directly with an Ambulance Trust or attend university and gain a Paramedic Degree. Either of these routes leads to a qualification that allows for registration with the Health Professions Council as a paramedic.

The best way to become a paramedic in the UK depends upon your circumstances. Training with a Trust is the preferred method for many as you are in paid employment whilst training. Student paramedic vacancies however are rare and extremely competitive, often attracting more than 100 applicants per place. Here you can find more details about help with a paramedic training application.

If you train at university to become a paramedic the final result is a full paramedic degree qualification, however, for some it can be an expensive option. Some students are eligible for grants to cover fees but the situation about university fees is currently a hot political issue. Others can apply for student loans but in all instances you do not receive wages whilst training at university. Read more about applying to university to become a paramedic here.

University students have placements with NHS ambulance trusts. These can be blocks or a sandwich year. Training placements are not paid positions but many trusts offer paid shift work for students. If you choose a sandwich course to become a paramedic then most students are paid for their sandwich year although at reduced student rates.

When making an application to become a paramedic, regardless of the route you choose there is a basic level of education required. This includes the following.

GCSEs at level C or above in Maths, English and at least 3 other subjects preferably including a science.

A Levels or the equivalent in at least 2 subjects, again preferably one being a science.

Often mature applicants looking to become a paramedic are considered on the basis of alternative equivalent qualifications such as NVQs or Open University credits. These should demonstrate a similar level of academic ability and again cover some sort of scientific subject.

It is important that those wanting to become a paramedic can demonstrate a level of physical fitness appropriate to the work involved. Applicants should be able to carry a 20kg bag up and down stairs for 5 minutes at a brisk pace. This is to simulate attending emergencies in flats and apartments.

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