Arrive Alive

Information on how to become a Paramedic

Paramedic and EMS Training in South AfricaParamedic and EMS Training in South Africa

Many young South Africans wish to become paramedics, however many do not know what the requirements, different training options are and how to access them. Most people also don’t know that there are several different qualifications available and several different levels of care which paramedics operate at.

One of the main functions of paramedics is to provide emergency medical care to patients in the pre-hospital setting. This means that the patient is not in a health facility and is essential, where ever the patient is. This could be at the patient’s house or workplace, in the street, or down an embankment. Paramedics respond to the patient and treat and stabilize the patient on scene before transporting the patient to a health facility in an ambulance.

Paramedics can provide more than just simple 'first aid'. Procedures and interventions that can be provided by paramedics differ, according to their qualification (which is discussed below).

Paramedics also continue the medical management of patients in the ambulance while the patient is being transferred between hospitals.

Paramedics can also be trained to perform a medical rescue, which includes using the 'jaws of life' to rescue people from crushed cars and using complex rope rescue systems to rescue people in the mountains.

Being a paramedic is not a 'job' but a calling, which requires you to be:

  • Confident
  • Outgoing
  • Physically fit and healthy

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

This category of staff is 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 in 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.

Some private colleges have started training for the ECA and Diploma Emergency Medical Care courses. Several universities currently offer a Bachelor of health sciences. In Kwa-Zulu Natal, the Bachelor of Health Sciences is provided at Durban University of technology and more info is available at:

http://www.dut.ac.za/faculty/health_sciences/emergency_medical_care_and_rescue/

Entry Requirements:

The applicant with a national senior certificate with a higher certificate endorsement must have the following subjects and ratings: Either 1 or 2 or 3:

1. The applicant with a Senior Certificate (Prior to 2009) must have at least a minimum of an E symbol on Higher Grade or a D symbol on Standard Grade for all of the following subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Biology and/or Physical Science

2. National Senior Certificate and must have an achievement rating of at least a Rate Code 3 (40%-49%) for each of the following subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Life Sciences and / or Physical Sciences

3. National Certificate (Vocational), must have achieved a minimum pass of 60% for all of the following subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Life Sciences and / or Physical Sciences

Please note these are provisional symbols and subjects and they may be changed by the relevant universities.

KZN EMS only does in-house (for KZN EMS staff only) medical training at our college.

The department of health does offer Bursaries and more details are available at:

http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/bursaries.htm

When the department advertises posts they are advertised at:

http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/vacirs.htm

There is more information on KZN EMS and how we work at:

http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/EMS.htm

Also View:

How do I become a Paramedic?

Click to download the Training Brochure

Click to download the ER24 Course Costing

Different levels of emergency personnel

Professional Board For Emergency Care Personnel Accredited Training Centres

Loading...

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

Clearing the Road after a Road Crash

Clearing the Road after a Road Crash

Clearing the Road after a Road Crash When the injured have been taken to hospital or have been properly tended to, the drivers - if they have not been injured - can attend to the damaged vehicles. Remember, however, that when someone has been killed or injured in an accident in an urban area it

Read More

Emergency Services Communications

Emergency Services Communications

We have all driven past an accident scene or witnessed the flashing lights of an ambulance heading towards the scene of an accident or other medical emergency. The first hour of response is most important and is commonly known as “The Golden Hour”. Emergency medical services have stressed

Read More

Feet, Footwear and Safe Driving

Feet, Footwear and Safe Driving

Crash avoidance and bringing the vehicle to a sudden stop requires not only effective brakes but also the ability to react swiftly and apply adequate pressure to the brake pedal. Despite this awareness, few drivers pay enough attention to the footwear that would best enable them to control their vehicles

Read More

Hostage Situations and Hijacking

Hostage Situations and Hijacking

Safety Hints: Hostage Situations and Hijacking The following safety hints are aimed at providing a potential hostage or hijacking victim with practical advice and enhance road safety. It is important to note that most hostages, victims of hijacking survive the incident and are eventually released

Read More

Don't Break Your Back Whilst Driving

Don't Break Your Back Whilst Driving

Driver Fitness and Back Pain Back and neck pain is serious occupational diseases which can result in a loss of productivity and even costly workers’ compensation claims. Truck driving, in particular, is an occupation that is prone to causing back and neck pain. However, there are some simple

Read More

Absorption of Alcohol in the Body

Absorption of Alcohol in the Body

The Absorption of Alcohol in the Body The absorption of alcohol in the mouth and oesophagus is minimal because of the rapid passage of the alcohol through these structures; approximately 20% of ingested alcohol is absorbed in the stomach and the rest is absorbed in the small intestine. Depending

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All