Do you consider becoming a paramedic? Many have raised this question in emails to the Arrive Alive website, and I believe it might be important to raise further awareness on this important occupation. The paramedics are those people who are faced with trauma daily in their efforts to help others in life threatening situations.
Their training, response and professionalism might not only save lives – but will also have an impact on so many medical, disability and life insurance claims.
Background on Paramedic Courses:
There are currently numerous options on how to become a paramedic.
In order to work on an ambulance you have to have at least BAA (Basic Ambulance Assistant) qualification and be registered with the HPCSA. Over and above the BAA you can later enrol for AEA and CAA/Btech EMC.
There are two ways to become and Advanced Life Support Paramedic, via short courses or the full four year BTech Degree.
You can enrol for BAA at an accredited academy in your area. Once you passed this four week course you have to be active for approximately 1000 hours or six months. From here you can enrol for AEA, which is the next level. This course is approximately four months. Again you have to practise for 1000 hours or six months before you can enrol for the ALS course. The ALS course is one of your most Advanced courses. The course lasts for approximately nine months full time.
You can also take a once-off route to become ALS. The University of Cape Town offers the BTech Emergency Medical Care. This is four years full time. You can enrol straight after school.
You can also have a look at www.hpcsa.co.za and download the protocols of the different levels in order to view their capabilities. Please remember there are other Emergency Courses you can do as well. A fairly new qualification, ECT is also available. Unfortunately the ECT course is not presented by all the academies. The ECT course is two years and you have the option to bridge into the Btech degree once you have passed the ECT course.
We would also like to refer to the following important reading materials: