Want to become a paramedic?
South Africa has a great need for skilled, qualified emergency care providers. The profession has grown enormously over the last 25 years. It can no longer be considered a job but rather a professional calling. A commitment to patient care, professional integrity and lifelong learning is vital to success in this career. You can qualify as a paramedic in two ways: University education: Certain universities offer a four-year Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Care (BTech). Graduates of this programme are qualified as Advanced Life Support practitioners able to provide the highest level of pre-hospital emergency care available.
Contact the university of your choice for further information on costs and entrance requirements.
A two year National Certificate is also available, the Emergency Care Technician (ECT) course. This qualification is also offered by certain institutions and graduates will work under the indirect control of a BTech paramedic. ER24 does not offer the ECT course. Short Course Education
- Basic Ambulance Assistant (BAA) – Basic Life Support: Seven-week course, entry-level requirement for a career in emergency services.
- Ambulance Emergency Assistant (AEA) – Intermediate Life Support: Four month course that builds on the foundation laid during the BAA course.
Current HPCSA registration as a BAA for at least six months
1000 documented, verifiable hours of patient care experience as a BAA
- Critical Care Assistant (CCA) – Advanced Life Support: Eleven month course that qualifies successful candidates as Advanced Life Support paramedics. Highest level of short course training.
Current HPCSA registration as an AEA for at least one year
1000 documented, verifiable hours of patient care experience as an AEA
ER24 does not currently offer the CCA course but we are hoping to offer it in the near future. Please keep in contact with the college should you be interested in the CCA course.
Which Route Should I Choose?
This is a personal choice which will depend on many factors including academic performance, finances, location and personal preference. Many candidates who have recently matriculated, have the required academic record and can afford to attend university full-time for four years choose the degree route. Many others who do not have the means to attend university choose the short course route. There has been a move to discontinue short-course training in favour of university education. The latest directive from the ministry of health is that short course training will continue in its current form for the foreseeable future, until further clarity and agreement has been reached.
Employment in Emergency Medical Services
There are two major employers in the emergency services industry, namely the government and private emergency services. Minimum requirements are typically HPCSA registration as a BAA, a valid driver’s licence and a Professional Driving Permit (PDP).
There is currently an oversupply of BLS providers in the country. BLS practitioners may need perseverance and commitment to secure full-time employment in the industry.
There is a significant demand for ILS and ALS providers. As such, the demand for training in these areas is high. Please note that the ER24 Training Academy does not facilitate employment and completion of one of our courses does not imply automatic employment with the company.
Should you already meet the minimum requirements mentioned above, please register on on our careers portal: www.mediclinic.co.za/careers
ER24 does not have a volunteer programme. Registered professionals may be employed on a part-time basis to fulfil a specific need at a Branch. Please contact the Branch Manager at your nearest ER24 base should you be interested in part-time work.
Thank you for considering a career in pre-hospital emergency care. Our country is in need of dedicated, skilled people committed to the highest standards of emergency medical care. Should you be considering a career in the emergency services, we are more than willing to consult with you and assist you in your decision. Please feel free to contact us for further assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) governs the standards of all medical training in South Africa. Their website contains a list of all institutions accredited to run Emergency Care training.