Paramedic Science placements

You need a cool head and the ability to work under pressure in emergency healthcare; it's challenging, rewarding and fast-paced.

This course provides the training you need to be eligible to apply to register as a paramedic when you graduate.

Over the three years of the Paramedic Science course you'll be offered a placement with either the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust or the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust in Cambridgeshire, Essex or London. Your placement over three years will consist of time in an ambulance trust and time in out of ambulance placements (Maternity Services, Mental Health Services, Emergency Departments, Assessment Units and Critical Care Facilities).

You'll be responsible for funding your travel to all of your placements. This could involve large geographic areas as illustrated by the maps of East of England Ambulance Service Trust and London Ambulance Service Trust below, depending on who you're placed with and where you live during your course. For blocks of ambulance placement per year this can be expensive and time consuming if you intend on relying on public transport.

You'll be assigned to a hub and from here will be allocated to an ambulance station. The allocation of the station will be undertaken by the relevant staff and will be dependent on Paramedic Educator (PEd) numbers to ensure 1:1 supervision of you as a paramedic science student. You'll be allocated a named PEd and will also find yourself working with associate PEds to ensure all your clinical experience and placement is under the direct supervision of a qualified paramedic.

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Year 1

In the first year placement takes place within Trimester 3 to give you enough time to consolidate your learning undertaken earlier in the year and feel ready to get the most out of your placement experience. Your allocated Paramedic Educator will support, mentor and coach you, as well as undertaking your formal assessments during this time.

This placement will be with either East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust or London Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

As a student Paramedic you need to understand your role as part of the wider multidisciplinary team. You'll work with Paramedics, emergency medical technicians, emergency care assistants, emergency care practitioners, doctors, nurses, carers, social workers and specialists in their field.

You’ll gain an understanding of individual scopes of practice and work collaboratively in the best interest of patient care.

You'll have the chance to experience a significant variety of patient scenarios. You can be involved in exciting and challenging situations to learn and practice:

  • How to undertake base line observations and understand what they mean in relation to the patient's symptoms: you will consider normal parameters including respiratory rate, pulse rate, blood pressure, blood sugar readings, response levels, temperature, pain score, pupil-response, capillary-refill, peak expiratory flow
  • The basics of the sound clinical decision making: early decisions will be made for time-critical patients including Heart Attack, Stroke, Transient Ischaemic Attack, Sepsis, Aneurysm, Trauma, Neck of Femur Fractures and appropriate referral pathways or advice to avoid taking patient to A&E
  • The basic techniques in managing a patient’s airway and supporting their ventilation and circulation
  • The safe practice in the appropriate drug selection and administration for a range of medical emergencies
  • How to move and handle patients using a range of techniques, like assisted walking, transferring patients with specific equipment
  • How to remove patients from scene to the ambulance and/or hospital: this may include rescue equipment, patient positioning and alternative methods of transport
  • How to present an accurate clinical handover in a systematic manner: this includes other appropriate ambulance colleagues, medical staff and healthcare workers involved in physical patient handover
  • How to identify the correct destination of patients across a range of emergency and urgent situations: this might include transfers to specialist heart attack centres or other alternative care pathways
  • How to identify scenes that present with safety issues i.e. at road traffic collisions, structural incidents, chemical incidents
  • How to be aware of environmental factors that influence scene safety decisions including defusing and resolving conflict
  • How to recognise and address adverse circumstances that impact on a patient's health: this might include identifying potential trip or slip hazards in a patient's home or appropriate access to personal safety aids (walking frames or emergency alarms) and lifestyle guidance.

Year 2

During your second year you’ll undertake a further placement with the Ambulance Service during which you’ll develop and enhance your clinical practice in line with your learning at university in order to complete the module Clinical Practice in Paramedic Science 2.

In addition you’ll undertake placements with our out-of-ambulance partners. These will include emergency department and mental health placements. These are provided to ensure that you, as a developing health care professional, are able to perform autonomous clinical practice aware of the wider health industry.

Year 3

In your third year you’ll undertake a further placement with the Ambulance Service, achieving the standards required for autonomous practice as a paramedic and completing the module Clinical Practice in Paramedic Science 3.

In addition you’ll be placed with our out-of-ambulance providers, these will include maternity services and critical care areas. These placements will enhance your clinical practice, enabling exposure to key clinical interventions that are often required within emergency medicine.