Ambulance Care Attendant

If you're interested in healthcare and respond well in emergencies, you might want to consider a career as an ambulance care attendant. Read on to find out more about job duties, employment outlook, salary potential and training requirements for ambulance care attendants.

Is Becoming an Ambulance Care Attendant for Me?

Career Overview

Ambulance care attendants provide transport and basic emergency healthcare to seriously injured or ill people. In this position, you'd respond to dispatcher calls from healthcare facilities or 911 services by driving or riding in an ambulance to the scene of a medical emergency. As one of the first to arrive, you'd help emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics or firefighters assess patient medical conditions and provide first aid, including oxygen administration and stabilization of vital signs, before transporting patients to hospitals.

Job Duties

Other tasks you might carry out as an ambulance care attendant are participating in rescue operations at an accident scene or moving patients between healthcare facilities in non-emergency situations. After completing an assignment, you'd be responsible for cleaning and decontaminating the ambulance and equipment, as well as restocking supplies. You may have to provide reports for hospital personnel or law enforcement. Risks associated with a job as an ambulance care attendant include exposure to contagious diseases, back strain from repeated heavy lifting, kneeling and bending or injuries sustained from violent or aggressive patients.

Career Options

Employers of ambulance care attendants include ambulance companies, hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. In addition to ambulance care attendant, you might hold a position as an EMT-Basic, emergency vehicle operator, first responder or emergency medical services driver. You might also work as an emergency room technician, a lifeguard or on ski patrol. Another option is to continue your education and become an EMT or paramedic.

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), ambulance drivers and attendants earned a mean annual salary of $24,920 in May 2013. As of the same month, the mean annual salary of an EMT or paramedic was $34,870. Nationwide, the BLS projected a 31%, or much-faster-than-average, growth in jobs for ambulance drivers and attendants between 2012 and 2022. Employment of EMTs and paramedics was also expected to increase by a much-faster-than-average rate during the same period (www.bls.gov).

How Do I Become an Ambulance Care Attendant?

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs for EMT-Basic and emergency medical technology are usually taught at community and technical colleges. You may need to have a current adult, child and infant CPR certification before enrolling; an understanding of medical terminology may also be a prerequisite.

Instructional topics might include training in bandaging, splinting and traction techniques, medical assessments, immobilization procedures for spinal injuries and airway management. You'd also learn about rescue, extrication and childbirth procedures. As a qualified graduate, you may able to transfer some of your credits to an EMT or paramedic program.

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