Interested in medical care, but don't want to be a doctor? Looking for a course that will lead into a career where no two days are the same? Interested in being a life saver? Then Paramedic Science could be the course you're looking for. Set up primarily for people looking to pursue a front line ambulance role, paramedic science encompasses a broad number of subjects both practical and theoretical essential for delivering reflexive medical care.
As well as the more traditional methods of learning, students will experience a broad range of supporting clinical placements, this will include observing practice, working under supervision and participating in practice at different times of the day and night - preparing you to become a professional paramedic, ready to face the unexpected challenges that come with providing unscheduled, out of hospital healthcare.
Learning is also based on lectures, seminars, tutorials, group activities and lab-based practical work. Students have access to specialist lecturers such as anaesthetists, cardiac specialist nurses, midwives, paediatric nurses, mental health nurses, emergency planning teams and medical personnel with special interest in pre-hospital care. Police, social workers and pharmacologists also often contribute their specialist knowledge to the course. Assessment for paramedic science is therefore based on theory and practice. Theoretical assessment is in the form of essays, reports and case studies. Practical skills are assessed in terms of simulated clinical incidents and clinical examinations. Clinical practice is measured in terms of being assessed in practice by paramedics, nurses and doctors.
Placements can extend to up to 40% of the course and embrace both ambulance and non-ambulance areas. Again the placement structure provides a great deal of variety and prepares you for the various strands of career development a paramedic can take.
Paramedic Science can be, and often is, studied part-time and in some instances a pro-rata salary is paid to students on stage 2 and 3 of the course by the ambulance trust. This very much depends on each institution and you should check with your institution of choice to see if they provide this option.
Example Areas of Study
Paramedic Science covers a broad range of areas both practical and theoretical. Although most courses have core subjects that will not differ in content, you will need to check with your preferred institution directly to find out the exact subjects you will be studying and in what way they will be studied. Common subjects covered include:
- Psychology and Communications
- Social Sciences
- Health Promotion
- Medical Design
- Clinical / Professional Studies
- Clinical Skills and Behaviours
- Applied Anatomy
- Applied Psychology
- Structure and Function of Contemporary Health Services
- Driving Emergency Service Vehicles
- Accident and Emergency Care
- Managing and Facilitating Appropriate Options for Patients
- Managing trauma and Environmental Emergencies
- Recognising and Managing Illness
- Maternity and Paediatric Care
- Practical Placements can make up up to 40% of the course
Some Career Possibilities
Initially most students will go directly into the ambulance service as a qualified paramedic, putting into to practice all of the skills and theory learnt across the course, this is often the main priority for students studying paramedic science and is an enormously rewarding profession although one which requires a great deal of commitment and, at times, bravery. There are then three different strands of career progression: clinical development: moving into primary care, assisting with public health initiatives and working within clinical effectiveness, management development: moving into operational supervision, divisional management, communications, health and safety or risk management and education: going onto become a paramedic instructor or mentor. There are a wide number of opportunities within the NHS for broader career development too including in delivery, management and administration.
What Do I Need to Get on a Course?
Entry requirements vary from course to course so you will need to check with your preferred institution to get up-to-date information on the requirements they have for entry. To give you a general idea of what is expected please see below:
- UCAS Tariff: 100 - 280 points.
- A-Levels: A pass in one A-level.
- Minimum requirement of 3 GCSEs including English language, mathematics and science.
- Foundation degree / Access: Kite marked Access Course or qualification is considered on an individual basis.
- Interview: compulsory.
- Students must be over 18, hold a full clean driving license and must pass a health assessment and a criminal record bureau screening.
For your application or Interview, the following may be useful:
- Further information can be found at: The Health Professionals Council, NHS Career Pathways, The British Paramedic Association
To find out more about the typical subjects you will study, potential career paths and further information useful for your application log-on to Course Discover atwww.coursediscoveronline.co.uk*
*NB: Your school or college will need a subscription to Course Discover in order for you to gain access, for further information go to:www.coursediscover.co.uk