Paramedic advanced clinical practitioner.
Paramedic advanced clinical practitioners are autonomous clinicians who work in a variety of clinical settings and have an advanced skill set to assess, order and interpret diagnostic tests such as ECGs, bloods, x-rays and CT scans. They use these to diagnose and manage patients that present with both acute and chronic injuries and illnesses.
Many paramedic advanced clinical practitioners are independent prescribers, meaning they can offer medications to patients that will help them to manage conditions themselves.
As senior members of the clinical team, paramedic advanced clinical practitioners support junior staff members, provide leadership and role model their skills, knowledge, and expertise within their field of practice. Paramedics have a vast amount of experience and skills that they bring to other clinical environments outside of the NHS ambulance service, where paramedics have traditionally worked.
A typical day starts with a hand over from the previous team and finding out about the patients that are waiting to be seen by the emergency department.
Teams are then allocated a group of patients to be covered that day - such as walk-in patients, ambulance patients or priority and resus patients.
Providing high quality, safe and efficient care to the patients that need us most is an essential part of our role. We assess each patient by having a thorough look at their medical history, carrying out physical examination and arranging any diagnostic investigations. After we receive their test results, we can give a diagnosis and any management that is required, such as referring a patient to another healthcare professional, admitting the patient to hospital under a speciality team or providing support and guidance so that the patient can mange the problem themselves at home.
The emergency department is an extremely busy environment to work in and we see a very high volume of patients within a shift. Sometimes part of our role is to prioritise seeing those who need to be seen the quickest before moving on to see patients with a less serious condition.
No matter what we strive to provide the best possible care to everyone we see.
In order to practise as a paramedic you must undertake and successfully complete an approved three-year degree pathway at university. This allows you to register as a paramedic with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
To work in advanced roles such as an advanced clinical practitioner, you have to have a minimum of five years experience working as a registered paramedic, undertake further higher education study at masters level and obtain qualifications in advanced physical assessment, injury and illness management, teaching and education, research and independent prescribing. This often is a three to five- year master’s programme.
Each university has a set criteria that must be demonstrated to undertake these courses.
The role of the paramedic has evolved. They are now working in a wider range of roles and clinical environments outside of the NHS ambulance service, including:
- Accident and emergency
- Minor injury or urgent care
- Acute medicine
- Intensive care
- General practice
- Admission avoidance teams
- Palliative care
- 111 services.
Why I chose to be a paramedic:
It’s been my dream to become a paramedic since I was five. I came into this role because, ultimately, I enjoy caring and helping others. Sometimes it’s the smallest thing that can make the biggest difference to a patient’s life. It not always about the medicine, its sometimes simply holding someone’s hand so they know they are not alone. Choosing this career allowed me to progress and become a paramedic advanced clinical practitioner, which means I can provide patients with an enhanced level of care. I have been able to further develop my clinical interests outside of emergency medicine and find other passions, which allows me to also work privately within facial aesthetics. I am passionate about my role, which shows through in the work I do and the care that I give.