Ambulance care assistant

Ambulance care assistants are part of the team that enables the Scottish Ambulance Service to provide the best care possible. They make sure that non-emergency patients are transported safely.

Starting your career

Choosing subjects at school

To become an ambulance care assistant, you need a good standard of education. Useful subjects include:

  • English
  • Maths

Work placement

If you’re at school or thinking of changing career, doing a work placement could help you when applying to college, university or for a job in healthcare. You’ll learn new skills, improve your knowledge and discover what it’s like to work in the health service. Find out how to apply for work experience with the NHS. It would be helpful to have some experience in a driving job.

The role

You will work with the patient transport service. Your primary duties will be to provide high-quality care and safe transportation for non-emergency patients. You’ll transport patients between their home and hospital for clinical appointments, or from hospital to hospital when a different level of care is needed.

You’ll also provide additional support during major incidents or large public events.

What you’ll do

Your main tasks include:

  • transporting patients to appointments safely and comfortably and on time
  • carrying out daily equipment checks
  • making sure 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
  • completing accurate patient journey records

You’ll also need to have a good geographical knowledge of your work area and be able to use GPS systems to navigate safely.

Top skills

You’ll need these skills:

  • caring for people
  • communicating with people
  • decision making
  • listening
  • relationship-building
  • teamwork

Who you’ll work with

You could work with:

  • paramedics
  • ambulance technicians
  • schedules care co-ordinators
  • emergency call handlers
  • emergency dispatchers

Working environment

You could work in:

  • an adapted ambulance or standard car
  • a person’s own home
  • hospital

Useful information

To work as an ambulance care assistant in NHSScotland, you’ll need to:

Did you know?

The Patient Transport Service makes 660,000 journeys every year to help people with medical and mobility needs to reach their healthcare appointments.

Learning and development

You’ll be trained through an internal education programme that lasts approximately 4 months.

From your start date, you will be an employee of the service and enrolled on a 4-week clinical programme. This includes:

  • 3 weeks of classroom training
  • a one-week driving programme
  • The classroom training includes:
  • moving and handling
  • first aid
  • using automated defibrillators
  • managing conflict and difficult situations
  • patient care
  • patient care for priority groups, such as cancer, cardiology and mental health patients
  • advanced safe driving
  • health and safety

If you complete this programme successfully, you will gain the Certificate for Ambulance Patient Care: Non-Urgent Care Services at SCQF Level 6.

With experience and training, you could become a team leader or supervisor and qualify as a patient transport services controller. You may decide to apply for an accident and emergency role. The ambulance technician programme could lead to a job as an ambulance technician.