Once you are an experienced paramedic with additional skills and qualifications, you can develop into other roles that allow you to carry out more treatments and take on more responsibility.
There are many opportunities for experienced paramedics to develop into more senior roles such as:
- Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) paramedic
- specialist paramedic
- advanced paramedic
- consultant paramedic
Paramedics in these roles have the necessary experience and training to make decisions and treat patients at the emergency scene. As a result, the patient may not need to go to hospital and experienced paramedics can treat people at home. They may, for example:
- carry out tests (such as urine tests) and interpret the results
- undertake basic procedures in the home
- refer patients to social care services
- directly admit patients to specialist units
- administer medication
You’ll do shift work, including evenings and weekends, and also on-call work. As part of a team, working with other healthcare professionals, you’ll have your own area of responsibility and be able to provide care independently.
Working from a response car, GP surgery or urgent care centre, you will assess patients with symptoms and conditions such as suspected fractures or chest pain. You might also see patients in nursing or residential homes, schools or prisons. You will take a patient’s medical history, examine them and order tests and scans where necessary.
There are also opportunities for experienced paramedics with extended qualifications to move into executive director posts, research and teaching roles.
Training and development
If you do not already have a degree you will be encouraged to study towards one, for example, community healthcare practice or emergency care. You will be expected to attend further training courses to keep your skills and knowledge up to date.
Experienced paramedics often join the College of Paramedics. Registered paramedics in more senior roles have to keep their skills and knowledge up to date with annual CPD (continuing professional development). The College of Paramedics runs courses, conferences and seminars where specialist paramedics can exchange ideas and update their skills.
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- Pay and conditions Expand / Collapse
Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales and experienced paramedics usually start at band 6. This pay system covers all staff except doctors, dentists and the most senior managers. Although experienced paramedics work standard hours of around 37.5 a week, these are often on a shift pattern. Shifts can cover 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the year, so a paramedic’s work pattern may include, evenings, nights, early starts, weekends and bank holidays.Terms and conditions can vary for employers outside of the NHS.
Paramedics need to be prepared to work outdoors in all conditions, where necessary.
- Where the role can lead Expand / Collapse
As you gain even more experience, you could become a team leader, supervising the work of paramedics and emergency care assistants. You could become a manager, responsible for several teams. In some ambulance trusts you could progress to consultant paramedic, advising on and developing the clinical practice in that service.
Teaching or research are other options. Some experienced paramedics choose to join a specialist team such as caring for stroke patients or working on an air ambulance.
- Job market and vacancies Expand / Collapse
In January 2018, there were 25,113 paramedics registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.
Most NHS organisations advertise their job and apprenticeship vacancies on NHS Jobs, including those who run NHS services. Some advertise on their own websites. You can find a list of NHS organisations at NHS Choices.
If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services, you'll be asked to show how you think the values of the NHS Constitution apply in your everyday work. The same will be true if you are applying for a university course funded by the NHS. Find out more about NHS values.
- Further information Expand / Collapse