Ambulance Service careers

Information on careers in the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, including paramedic, ambulance care attendant, emergency medical dispatcher and ambulance call taker.

Paramedic

Paramedics are an extremely important part of the healthcare team. They are regularly one of the first healthcare professionals to arrive at an accident or medical emergency. They must act quickly under pressure.

As a paramedic, you will be responsible for managing the pre hospital treatment, care and movement of patients to hospital without unnecessary delay.

You’ll assess the patient’s condition and then give essential treatment using high-tech equipment, such as defibrillators (which restore the heart’s rhythm), spinal and traction splints and intravenous drips as well as administering oxygen and drugs.

Skills required to be a paramedic

Ambulance staff must be quick-thinking and decisive, while at the same time providing a calm and reassuring environment for both patients and relatives. You must be responsible and take your work seriously. You should also:

  • show initiative
  • have good communication skills
  • have good people skills
  • have a caring personality
  • be prepared to work with all types of people
  • be well organised
  • enjoy working as part of a team

Professional recognition

Paramedics must register with their professional regulator, the Health Professions Council (HPC), in order to practise in the UK. The ‘Paramedic-in-Training’ programme meets the requirements set by the HPC for registration.

Ambulance care attendant

The role of an ambulance care attendant involves the management and transportation of patients to and from healthcare facilities in non-emergency situations.

Patients may require transport if they are wheelchair or stretcher bound, and/ or may require oxygen therapy.

You will be trained in manual handling techniques so that you will be able to lift and move wheelchair and stretcher patients in and out of the ambulance. You will also be trained in resuscitation so that you can treat patients who take ill while in your care.

Skills required for ambulance care attendants

Ambulance staff must be quick-thinking and decisive, while at the same time providing a calm and reassuring environment for both patients and relatives. You must be responsible and take your work seriously. You should also:

  • show initiative
  • have good communication skills
  • have good people skills
  • have a caring personality
  • be prepared to work with all types of people
  • be well organised
  • enjoy working as part of a team

Training for ambulance care attendants

Ambulance care attendants are required to complete a six-month  programme with a mix of classroom tuition and work-based learning, which includes:

  • lifting and manual handling techniques
  • first aid and basic life support
  • automatic electronic defibrillator (AED) training
  • safe driving techniques

For further information, including entry requirements contact the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service HSC Trust.

Emergency medical dispatcher (EMD)

EMDs are the first point of contact for anyone who makes a 999 call. You will record details of the patient’s condition and when appropriate dispatch an ambulance or rapid response vehicle.

You will also give scripted medical instructions to help members of the public provide care before an emergency vehicle arrives.

Skills required to be an EMD

Ambulance staff must be quick-thinking and decisive, while at the same time providing a calm and reassuring environment for both patients and relatives. You must be responsible and take your work seriously. You should also:

  • show initiative
  • have good communication skills
  • have good people skills
  • have a caring personality
  • be prepared to work with all types of people
  • be well organised
  • enjoy working as part of a team

Training programme for EMDs

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service provides extensive training to ensure that you have the skills, knowledge and confidence to be able to handle 999 calls and dispatch ambulance resources.

The training is modular with a mixture of classroom theory, practical application of that theory and observation.

You will be given one-to-one supervision before you begin handling calls and dispatching ambulance resources on your own. Upon successful completion of your training, you will achieve Advanced Medical Priority Dispatch System (AMPDS) accreditation from the International Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch.

For further information, including entry requirements contact the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service HSC Trust.

Ambulance call taker

Call takers are a very important part of the pre-hospital healthcare system. They are the first point of contact for GPs and other healthcare professionals and for non emergency calls from members of the public.

You will deal with routine transport requests, accurately record patient details on a computer system and liaise with various healthcare facilities about the routine transportation of patients.

Training programme for call takers

Induction is provided in-house and involves a mixture of classroom tuition and on the job training. The induction process is designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge to be able to handle urgent and non emergency calls.

Upon successful completion of your training you will be proficient in the use of the computer system and other equipment within the medical dispatch centres.

Career pathway

There is scope to enter the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) as an Ambulance Care Attendant and to progress to Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) or Paramedic.

Many paramedics and EMDs pursue other operational and managerial roles within the Ambulance Service. Call takers may progress to supervisory or managerial positions.

How to apply for a career in the Ambulance Service

All vacancies are advertised in the local press and on the websites listed below:

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