Ambulance care assistant

Some ambulance care assistants work on the urgent tier, in a two-person crew with qualified ambulance technicians or paramedics, responding to accident and emergency urgent calls. Others work in scheduled care teams, transferring non-emergency patients to and from hospitals for admissions and discharges. They may also provide support during major incidents and large public events.

Ambulance care assistant in NHSScotland

Ambulance care assistants must have a full driving licence including category D1 and an excellent understanding of the highway code. They must also have good geographical knowledge of the area and be able to use GPS systems to navigate safely, providing status and location information to Control.

The typical responsibilities of an ambulance care assistant include:

  • safe transport of patients, ensuring their dignity and respect is maintained
  • transporting patients safely and comfortably in a timely manner
  • carrying out daily equipment checks
  • ensuring that appropriate moving and handling techniques are applied when moving patients under non-emergency conditions
  • liaising with Control, responding to instructions and providing location or status updates
  • ensuring daily vehicle checks are carried out prior to deployment
  • completing accurate patient journey records

They may also be required to drive a range of ambulance vehicles, taking additional training courses if necessary.

To work as an ambulance care assistant, you must have:

  • a caring attitude and friendly manner
  • good driving skills and experience
  • a flexible approach to work in terms of operational needs and service demands
  • excellent communication skills
  • a good level of physical fitness
  • good organisational skills and the ability to follow a schedule

Useful abilities include:

  • able to work on own initiative or as part of a team
  • adherence to guidelines for the manual handling or moving of patients
  • first aid, including CPR
  • the ability to remain calm under pressure

To apply for a job as an ambulance care assistant, you will need:

  • a good standard of general education, including English and Maths
  • a clean driving licence including D1
  • to pass an occupational fitness test

You are advised to visit the Scottish Ambulance Service website to find out the specific entry requirements for the Patient Transport Service and advertised vacancies.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG)

Ambulance Care Assistants may be required to work with children, vulnerable adults or frail people in their role. Therefore you'll need evidence of your good health and character, and background checks, such as the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme managed by Disclosure Scotland, will be carried out.

Induction training will be provided by the Scottish Ambulance Service when you start. Additional training may cover the following:

  • moving and handling
  • first aid
  • using automated defibrillators
  • patient care
  • patient care for priority groups, such as cancer, cardiology, mental health and renal patients
  • advanced safe driving
  • health and safety
  • Equality and diversity
  • driving other vehicles in the fleet

In the role, you’ll be expected to produce and maintain personal a development portfolio and comply with Continuous Personal Development (CPD) guidelines within the NHSScotland Personal Development Planning & Review (PDPR) process and the Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF).

This role could lead to a job as a team leader or supervisor, for example, a patient transport services controller. With experience and training, ambulance care assistants can progress to an accident and emergency role. Therefore, you could go on to apply to train as an ambulance technician.