Ambulance care assistant and Patient Transport Service (PTS) driver

Ambulance care assistants or Patient Transport Service (PTS) drivers drive disabled, elderly, sick or vulnerable people to and from outpatient clinics, day care centres and routine hospital admissions.

Working life

You'll be responsible for looking after your passengers and, because many of them will be in poor health, you will also need life-saving skills in case there is a medical emergency. 

As well as driving, ambulance care assistants and PTS drivers also lift and help patients in and out of the vehicle. You'll make sure patients are safe and comfortable during the journey and arrive on time for their appointment.

Some of your passengers will be anxious about their hospital visit and others will lead isolated lives so will value your reassuring manner and the chance to chat. You'll often see the same people on a regular basis and get to know them.

Based at an ambulance station or sometimes a hospital, you'll cover a particular local area and might work shifts. 

You might be part of a two-person team using a specially-designed ambulance with a tail-lift for wheelchairs, carrying several people on each journey. Alternatively, you might work on your own, driving a standard car to transport one or two able-bodied people at a time. 

Your duties will include making sure that the vehicle is clean and tidy and keeping an accurate record of their journeys.

More experienced PTS drivers may take on specialist work such as transporting:

Training and development 

Ambulance care assistants and Patient Transport Service drivers usually have an initial two to three week training course. This covers:

Training includes practical assessments and written exams. Once you have passed these tests, you are allocated to an ambulance station. You work under the guidance of a trained supervisor before working unsupervised.

Later you could take further training to work with patients with particular needs, such as kidney patients or babies.

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