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Career profile: Ambulance care assistant

ambulance care assistantGet the lowdown on what the job involves, what qualifications you need and how long it takes to train.

A what?

Ambulance care assistants drive non-emergency patients to outpatient appointments, hospital admissions or day centres.

On the job

Ambulance care assistants work in the patient transport service. They deal with non-emergency transport work, e.g. driving patients to and from outpatient clinics, hospital admissions or day care centres. Patients are often elderly or have special needs and may need support and reassurance.

You need to have a caring attitude and excellent communication and interpersonal skills. It also helps to be well organised and calm under pressure.

Entry requirements

Applicants for ambulance care assistant jobs must be at least 21 years old, have a clear police check and a clean driving licence. Services may ask for at least four or five GCSEs/S grades (A to C). Applicants must also pass entry exams. All ambulance service trusts in England and Wales advertise on the NHS Jobs website. You could also visit ambulance service trust websites directly

What does the training involve?

Ambulance care assistants have two or three weeks' training during which you learn moving and handling techniques, first aid, basic patient skills and safe driving techniques.

The course includes assessment and written practical exams, successful trainees are then attached to an ambulance station where they work under the guidance of a trained supervisor for a probationary period before working unsupervised..

You can move on to become an Ambulance technicians, which involves a 20-week intensive course, and then work under supervision for up to a year.

Ambulance workers can also take further training to become paramedics, or move into management, control room work or training.

Related links

(Information taken from Connexions)