DMU responds to need for more paramedics with launch of two courses

Paramedics are in demand across the UK - and De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is responding to the need for more qualified professionals with the launch of two courses.

Students can learn the skills needed for this rewarding profession on the Associate Ambulance Practice DipHE and the Paramedicine BSc, both starting September 2019.

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DMU will work with East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) on both programmes, described as an "exciting development for paramedicine as a profession" by a senior member of the service.

Anthony Kitchener, programme lead, said: "I'm really pleased DMU is increasing its healthcare output to train students for this challenging but rewarding career.

"Nationally, there are about 2,000 vacancies. There is increasing demand because the core population is going up and lots of people leave for other areas across the healthcare system because of the career progression available."

Changes in legislation in April also allow advanced paramedics to prescribe drugs, improving care for patients and speeding up access to treatment, making it an even more varied career.

"Diversity of work is the real attraction - from dealing with someone at the end of life with cancer and next maybe delivering a baby to attending a car crash," said Anthony, who joined the ambulance service in 2006.

"Some days nothing happens and others you are rushed off your feet."

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Anthony believes students with personal resilience and who are good with people are most suited to the job - but you don't have to have a healthcare background.

"If you work in a shop or a pub you can be just as good interacting with others as someone with healthcare experience," he said.

Students can expect their core training in ambulances, fast response cars and maybe even helicopters. They will also benefit from specialist equipment on campus, such as mock ambulances and iPad-based advanced life support simulators.

There will be placements right the way through both courses at EMAS, while students will gain wider exposure though community-based placements in GP surgeries or cardiac units, for example. They will also undertake simulation modules to prepare them for real-life situations.

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On completion of the BSc, students will be eligible to apply to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), while the diploma is aligned to an enhanced technician job role within the NHS.

Anthony said: ""Mostly you deal with chest pains, breathless people and old people who have had a fall, that's the bread and butter."

In his experience, dealing with people who have had a heart attack can be the most rewarding.

"If you make that diagnosis you can call the consultant to be ready and they'll carry out the treatment in front of you. Within hours the patient has gone from being near death to OK," he added.

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Richard Lyne, general manager for Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire, EMAS NHS Trust, said: "This is an exciting development for paramedicine as a profession, EMAS and communities across Leicestershire, as this partnership will see our paramedics training at a degree level. 

"Paramedics are a key part of the workforce within the health and social care system and undertake roles far wider than the traditional ambulance role.

"This partnership will attract a greater number of people to consider this as a career and ensure they have the right skills and competencies to deliver high-quality care in these roles. 

"Leicestershire has ambitious plans to increase its paramedic workforce and this will be a key part of making this a success."

To find out more about the diploma, click here, and for further information about the BSc, click here. Both courses are currently subject to validation and the BSc is awaiting approval from the HCPC.

Posted on Tuesday 9th October 2018

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