In Summary - Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technician
Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technicians typically work in the following Career Sectors:
Videos & Interviews
Keith Hayes, Ambulance / Paramedic
Keith works as an Advanced Paramedic with the National Ambulance Service and is based in Dublin. He pursued this career directly from leaving school and has gone on to complete a Higher Diploma in Emergency Medicine. Despite the sometimes horrific incidents he is called to attend he remains upbeat and rewarded by the unique and influential role he plays in life and death situations.
Videos on the Web
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The Work - Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technician
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is the entry-level employment role within the national ambulance service.
EMTs are only authorised to work on non-emergency ambulances. This is because the official requirment for emergency calls is a minimum two-paramedic crew.
Student Paramedics undertake a training programme as well as ongoing training processes thereafter. Once qualified and licensed to practice by the Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC), candidates will be offered positions at the grade of Paramedic at various locations throughout the National Ambulance Service.
The Paramedic Training Programme is a two year full time programme comprising of:
- An initial twelve weeks training in the National Ambulance Service College (NASC). Here students learn both the theory and the skills necessary to function as an operational paramedic.
- An additional four weeks experiential module in various hospital departments such as maternity, coronary care, theatre and the emergency department.
- Five weeks experiential ambulance placements as an observer.
- Two further weeks in the classroom cumulating in the first stage PRE-Hospital Emergency Care council NQEMT Paramedic examination. This consists of both theory and practical examinations.
On successful completion of the training programme, student paramedics progress to a twelve week undergraduate internship based on an emergency ambulance, working under the supervision of a mentor.
Following this, students return to the NASC for a further two weeks training and consolidation cumulating in the second stage PHECC NQEMT examinations. This consists of both a theory and practical element.
On successful completion of these assessments the student progresses to a Post Graduate Internship; where the Student Paramedic is allocated a position in one of the NAS areas and undertakes working as part of an Emergency Ambulance crew.
Paramedics are more highly qualified than EMTs because they undergo a longer period of training. However, EMTs are a vital part of the voluntary and auxiliary services where an emergency practitioner must be on board any ambulance transporting a patient to hospital.
Paramedics respond to emergency calls, perform certain medical procedures and transport patients to hospital in accordance with protocols and guidelines established by physician medical directors.
Advanced Paramedics - The PHECC Registered Advanced Paramedic is responsible for the care, treatment and movement of patients and maintaining self, vehicles, equipment and station in a manner fit to respond to that role. Paramedics must have a minimum of two years paramedic registration experience in order to be eligible to apply for this training programme.
Some of the Clinical/Patient Care responsibilities of an Advanced Paramedic include:
- Developing positive working relationships with other staff and stakeholders; internal and external, to ensure seamless delivery of care and to optimise outcomes for their patients
- Attend to cases of accident and sudden illness and respond to AS1, AS2 and AS3 calls in a prompt and timely manner
- Deal with emergencies as directed
- Attend to patients in a professional courteous and compassionate manner using best practice including compliance with Clinical Practice Guidelines
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Administer first aid treatment or life support care to sick or injured persons in prehospital settings.
- Operate equipment, such as electrocardiograms (EKGs), external defibrillators, or bag valve mask resuscitators, in advanced life support environments.
- Perform emergency diagnostic and treatment procedures, such as stomach suction, airway management, or heart monitoring, during ambulance ride.
- Observe, record, and report to physician the patient's condition or injury, the treatment provided, and reactions to drugs or treatment.
- Assess nature and extent of illness or injury to establish and prioritize medical procedures.
- Drive mobile intensive care unit to specified location, following instructions from emergency medical dispatcher.
- Decontaminate ambulance interior following treatment of patient with infectious disease and report case to proper authorities.
- Administer drugs, orally or by injection, or perform intravenous procedures under a physician's direction.
- Immobilize patient for placement on stretcher and ambulance transport, using backboard or other spinal immobilization device.
- Coordinate work with other emergency medical team members or police or fire department personnel.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Interests - Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technician
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
A caring, responsible and mature personality is very important. You must be able to cope with distressing situations. Good social and patient communication skills are also important, as in times of trauma the patient needs to feel as comfortable as possible and you will need to build good working relationships with regular patients.
You must be fit, healthy and have good stamina, as there is a lot of heavy lifting involved. In some ambulance services, your colour vision may be tested. A full, clean driving licence is essential and you will need to be qualified to drive an ambulance.
Also highly motivated, stamina as you could be asked to work shifts and also on call which could be twenty-four hours. A clean current full driving licence for a minimum of one year is essential.
Entry Requirements - Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technician
The National Ambulance Service College provides training to Ambulance Personnel, the Irish Coastguard, the Defence Forces, Gardai, Health Care Professionals and members of Voluntary Organisations.
The range of training courses includes patient care programmes, leadership courses, tutor development, major incident planning and preparation and driving.
Student Paramedics gain experience under the guidance of fully qualified Paramedics and the Education and Competency Assurance Officer in that area.
Eligibility Criteria for the Grade of Student Paramedic [October 2016]:
1. (i) Possess a minimum of six passes in the Leaving Certificate Examination Ordinary Level or higher including Mathematics and a Science subject (i.e. Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Agriculture Science)*
*A Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) EMT Certificate is acceptable in lieu of Science subject
Or (ii) an equivalent qualification
Or (iii) A Degree at QQI L7 or above from a recognised Higher or Further Education Institute
2. Be the holder of a full unendorsed Class C1 Driving Licence on application. (Note Irish 78 Restriction is not acceptable)
- The minimum six passes* in the Leaving Certificate Examination must be taken at Ordinary Level or higher. *A pass equals a grade at D3 or above in an ordinary or higher level subject (formally known as pass or honours)
- Mathematics & Science must be two of the six subjects. Science subjects are Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Agricultural Science.
- A Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) EMT Certificate is acceptable in lieu of a Science subject where the applicant already possesses six passes in the Leaving Certificate.
- Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) or Leaving Cert Vocational Programme (LCVP) will not be accepted.
- Subjects taken at Foundation Level or Link Modules will not be accepted.
Bachelor of Paramedic Studies LM103 at UL - Undergraduate Entry via CAO
An alternative route open to all those with an interest in patient care in the Pre-Hospital Field is Paramedic Studies at UL. Students get the opportunity to acquire skills, knowledge and competencies required for a career in professional ambulance services. During your 4 years of study you will be taught the basic medical and clinical sciences and afforded the opportunity to hone and practice your skills in a controlled supervised environment. This will hopefully build you into a rounded and knowledgeable registered health care professional.
BSc Paramedic Studies LM236 at UL - Practitioner Entry (Graduate /Mature Sudent Entry)
The Paramedic Studies programme at UL is open to experienced paramedics/advanced paramedics who can demonstrate current paramedic practice. It has a highly innovative curriculum which offers students the opportunity to complete an honours degree by predominantly distance learning. During your 1.5 years of study, you will be taught the basic medical and clinical sciences necessary to build into a rounded and knowledgeable healthcare professional.
A list of frequently asked questions about how to become a Paramedic with the HSE and current eligibility criteria are available here.
See also: National Ambulance Service Recruitment Information Pack [October 2016]
The HSE periodically run recruitment campaigns for the position of Student Paramedic within the HSE. The recruitment process involves online application, aptitude testing and interviews.
Successful candidates are then placed on a panel which is used by the HSE to recruit new Student Paramedics as positions become available. When the panel is exhausted, a new recruitment competition is opened.
You can register your interest for specific grades by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. When a competition for this grade of staff is about to be launched you will receive an email notification, alerting you to the campaign advertisement.
You can also register for alerts on www.publicjobs.ie where all HSE and NAS recruitment campaigns are advertised.
Campaigns are also advertised on the HSE website
See also: National Ambulance Service
Last Updated: November, 2016
Pay & Salary - Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technician
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 25k - 40k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technician
While no shortages exist, demand is evident for dieticians, cardiac technicians and audiologists.
National Skills Bulletin 2018
Useful Contacts - Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technician
Public Appointments Service
Health Service Executive (HSE)
National Ambulance Service