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Careers Advice: How To Become an Ambulance care assistant

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What does an Ambulance care assistant do?

It’s the responsibility of an ambulance care assistant to help non-emergency patients to and from pre-arranged appointments at hospitals or social care institutions. They help patients home after appointments and make sure they’re settled and comfortable.

The role also contains the routine tasks involved in caring for an ambulance, but dealing with patients is the central focus. Assistants are often called on to help elderly, infirm, or disabled people to and from appointments.

A typical task could involve returning an older person home after a visit to the hospital. The ambulance care assistant in question would be required to act in a caring and considerate manner and try and make the patient feel comfortable, as well as getting them to or from their appointment.

Duties also include:

- Keeping accurate records of all trips
- Caring for the ambulance and its equipment
- Returning patients home
- Helping patients into an ambulance (this could involve an element of heavy lifting)

Skills & interests required for an Ambulance care assistant

You'll need a full manual driving license and more than a year’s experience, as well as familiarity with the Highway Code and the ability to read maps and directions.

You'll also need good timekeeping, empathy, good presentation and to be physically fit and able.

Being resilient enough to deal with challenging situations or patients is also incredibly important.

Working hours

Typically 37 hours a week which may include some weekends, bank holidays, etc.

Part time postings are also available for potential ambulance care assistants.

Work base

Travelling around a particular geographical area, you will cover a lot of miles and help people to and from hospitals, care homes, and other institutions.

Salary ranges & earning potential

Ambulance care assistants earn between £13,600 and £16,750 a year but as you gain experience this can rise to around £18,000.

Perks & benefits

The main perk of the job is the reward of helping people and the feeling that you are contributing to the community you serve. However, be prepared to face challenging situations and patients.

The NHS also provides a fairly generous pension scheme.

Education requirements

Some employers may ask for around four GCSEs (A*-C). They will likely include English, maths and science. A first aid certificate is also necessary. The appropriate driving license is a must, as is over a year’s driving experience.

Some direct experience may be preferred to academic attainment, but this depends on your local ambulance service and the preferences of recruiters.

Useful subjects to study at school & university

- English
- Maths
- Science
- First Aid
- Health and Social Care
- Biology

Useful resources

NHS Careers