How do I become a Paramedic?
Paramedics perform vital life saving activities on our roads. The Arrive Alive website and this blog are updated regularly on the latest accidents and emergency evacuations – and the public often participate in their responses to these stories.
In 2007 we posted a story under the title “A day in the life of a South African Paramedic.” Many positive responses from the public followed this blog story and several youngsters have since enquired as to how they can become paramedics.
I raised a few questions with the experts from Netcare 911 to assist these youngsters in their quest to consider this career. The information provided include the following:
There are 3 major divisions or qualifications (Basic, intermediate and advanced life support) of emergency care practitioners at present in South Africa. All emergency care practitioners register with the regulatory body – the Health Professions Council of South Africa – This body lays down the requirements for training institutions and scope of practice.
There are two routes to becoming a advanced life support paramedic at present, one is to pursue the in service training route of obtaining a qualification then gaining practical work experience before progressing to the next level of training. The alternative is to enter a B-Tech program at one of the universities presenting the curriculum and exiting 4 years later with a advanced life support qualification.
1st Qualification – Basic Life support (BAA)
This course is presented over a 6 week period and at the conclusion of the course the successful candidate can administer oxygen and oral glucose, they are proficient in CPR and AED use, delivering a baby and safely extricating a patient from a motor vehicle accident. They are trained in the management of medical conditions as well as how to treat a trauma patient. This qualification is the entry level requirement for those who want to work in the emergency medical services. Netcare911’s School of Emergency and Critical Care presents this course at all of our 3 campuses in Midrand, Durban and Nelspruit.
2nd Qualification – Intermediate Life Support (AEA)
This course is presented over a 13 week period and includes a 6 week practical rotation. At the conclusion of the course the successful candidate in addition to all the BLS skills can perform ECG monitoring and defibrillation as well as performing several invasive life saving techniques. They are allowed to administer life saving inhalation as well as intra venous medications. This qualification is the entry level requirement for those who want to work in the emergency medical services. Netcare911’s School of Emergency and Critical Care presents this course at two of our 3 campuses in Midrand and Durban.
3rd Qualification – Advanced Life Support (CCA)
The CCA course is presented at the SECC’s Midrand campus over 10 months. The ALS course is exceptionally challenging and the successful candidate will be able to handle any emergency with confidence.
[Visitors to the Road Safety & Arrive Alive Blog are invited to respond and raise their questions on any specific aspect that might require further clarification. A word of appreciation to Netcare 911 for the information provided.]
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