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

The Emergency First Aid Kit and Safety on the Road

The Emergency First Aid Kit and Safety on the Road

We should always do our best to be prepared to respond to any emergency. Even though we may not be trained medical professionals there are often small bits of assistance we can provide with first aid and effective and fast response to smaller emergencies. We always advise motorists to travel with

Read More

Motorcyclists and Safely Sharing the Roads with Trucks

Motorcyclists and Safely Sharing the Roads with Trucks

Motorcyclists are at constant risk, operating their motorcycles for recreational rides and business commuting. The condition of our roads, and traffic congestion, pose a very dynamic threat to life on two wheels. Trucks are even more so, especially when the roadworthiness of the truck, the competency

Read More

Trucking Wellness & HIV Treatment

Trucking Wellness & HIV Treatment

Introduction Trucking Wellness (TW) is an initiative of the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI), which was launched in 1999. The aim of Trucking Wellness is to provide primary healthcare to those employed within the Road Freight and Logistics (RFL)

Read More

Eating behind the Steering Wheel and Distracted Driving

Eating behind the Steering Wheel and Distracted Driving

Introduction The first thought for most on distracted driving is about texting while driving and drunk driving. Eating while driving is, however, one of the most common forms of distracted driving. With a fast-paced modern life and drivers rushing from one responsibility to another fast food and

Read More

Safe Driving and Preventing Jackknife Crashes

Safe Driving and Preventing Jackknife Crashes

What are jackknife crashes and how can we adjust our driving to prevent these crashes? We approached a few industry experts on driver training and crash investigation to gain some important insights! What is a jackknife crash and how does it happen? Jackknife crashes are, unfortunately, among the

Read More

Road Safety Conferences

Road Safety Conferences

The Arrive Alive website supports those individuals and institutions who take the initiative to arrange road safety conferences in South Africa. We believe that this contributes to greater awareness of road safety and could assist in planning effective road safety strategies. 14th Annual Leadership

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All