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.
Training and qualifications requiredThere are no set entry requirements to become an ambulance care assistant and Patient Transport Service driver. Most employers expect good standards of literacy and numeracy. Some may ask for qualifications such as GCSEs, NVQs or equivalent. Employers look for relevant work experience. It would be an advantage if you have worked with elderly or disabled people, either in paid employment or voluntary work. To drive an ambulance, you need a full, manual driving licence.
Expected working hours and salary rangeMost jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales and ambulance care assistants will usually start at bands 2 or 3. Ambulance care assistants in the NHS will usually work standard hours of 37.5 per week. Terms and conditions can vary for employers outside of the NHS.
Desirable skills and valuesAn ambulance care assistant and Patient Transport Service driver needs a range of skills and characteristics, including patience, a careful driver, an interest in other people and their concerns, physically fit, good communication and driving skills.
ProspectsYou could progress to become a team leader or supervisor. You would be in charge of a team of assistants and drivers, responsible for allocating work and drawing up transport schedules.You could take further training to become an emergency care assistant. With more experience, you could apply to train as a paramedic. You would have to pass entrance exams and meet other requirements before being accepted onto a paramedic course.
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