Is a paramedic in demand?

The demands placed on paramedics can be demanding and stressful, it is however a rewarding profession which is developing.

These are currently the different levels of care which paramedics in South African can perform:

  • Basic Life Support (short course)
    These practitioners provide Basic Medical Care interventions to patients in Emergencies. This will include CPR, stopping of bleeding, helping women in labour and other non-invasive procedures
  • Intermediate Life Support (short course)
    These practitioners provide Intermediate Medical Intervention including IV therapy (drips) Bronchodilators, Defibrillation (shock) & chest decompression etc.
  • Emergency care technician Two years of formal training
  • Advanced Life Support Paramedic
    his category of staff are pre-hospital Advanced Life Support providers. This includes; Advanced Airway Management, IV Drug Therapy up schedule 7 drugs, Advanced midwifery , Advanced Resuscitation, Aviation Medicine, Marine Medicine

South African advanced life support Paramedics are highly in demand throughout the world due to the nature of training and skills.

However there have been massive changes in the way paramedics are trained. There is no longer registration of Basic ambulance assistants and Ambulance emergency Assistants/ ILS, with the HPCSA.. They have been replaced with courses that are all NQF recognised and that can smoothly progress from one course to the other, these are:

  • ECA – Emergency Care Assistant. This will be a one year course.
  • Diploma Emergency Medical Care. This will be a two year course, or only one year if the ECO has been completed.
  • Bachelor of health sciences- this is a four year course provided at universities. It is level NQF8 and equips the paramedic with all the necessary skills to practice as advanced life support.
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