Saving lives isn’t just restricted to the hospital
As Asian-certified professions go, a career with the ambulance service may not seem like an obvious choice for British Asians.
Many young Asians will be acutely familiar with the traditional career paths parents have encouraged them to pursue growing up: from the likes of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy.
For the medical field, most will still stick to the tried and tested formulae of becoming a hospital professional in a specific medical area or a doctor.
But saving lives and helping those in urgent need of medical support is the responsibility of not those awaiting to treat a person but those who arrive at the scene of the illness or emergency first hand – the professionals from the ambulance service.
A rewarding career with the ambulance service demonstrates how the NHS offers so much more in the way of career paths for those seeking an opportunity to help others in need and save lives.
DESIblitz examines how a career in this lesser understood NHS field could be just the thing for British Asians looking for a fulfilling career choice.
Saving Lives while on the Road
There are many misconceptions when it comes to working with the ambulance service that can prevent young British Asians from considering it as a career.
According to West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, less than 60% of patients actually end up going to A&E when they are picked up by an ambulance.
The team, which is made up of paramedics, first-aid assistants and non-emergency staff, will offer the most care a patient requires at the scene, via the phone, or en route to other health services such as a local GP or minor injuries unit.
As such, qualified medical professionals make up the majority of ambulance services, and so, are the first ones to reach patients in their time of need.
Saving lives, therefore, isn’t just restricted to the hospital. And this specialist field calls for front-line expertise and care for the local community each and every day.
20-year-old Ranvir says: “It’s easy to forget how much the ambulance services do when it comes to emergencies and it looks like a career that can give a lot of return.”
Supporting Diverse Ethnic Communities
The West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust covers the whole of Birmingham, Coventry, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Black Country conurbation.
In total, the service covers over 5,000 square miles, serving a population of 5.6 million people.
With the West Midlands being such a cultural hub of different ethnic communities, having a diverse staff on the road to cater for this demographic is paramount.
Working as a team to offer the necessary support to your nearest and dearest is immensely rewarding. And that’s why the ambulance services are the ‘unsung heroes’ of the NHS.
Ambulance staff can expect to engage with many different communities while on the job, which is why an understanding of cultural lifestyles and Asian languages and dialects such as Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu can be crucial to a life being saved.
Indeed, in addition to its frontline training, the Trust is also working towards building bridges with each ethnic community by responding to suggestions and comments from their patients. And by doing so, ensure their services meet the needs of everyone.
While Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country make up the second largest urban area in the country, 80% of the West Midlands is in fact rural. Therefore, the ambulance service has an even more vital role in reaching those areas where access to immediate medical services may be difficult.
The Trust responds to around 4,000 ‘999’ calls each day. To manage this level of demand, they employ 4,000 staff across 16 new fleet preparation hubs and over 90 Community Ambulance Stations.
Sanah, 27, from Solihull says: “It’s a shame how overlooked the ambulance services are.
“I grew up believing only doctors could save lives – completely forgetting how much of an impact the ambulance services have.”
Who Can Join?
The West Midlands Ambulance Service is open to anyone who is passionate about helping others and developing a career doing it.
Just as being a doctor has its perks for Asians, working in the ambulance services comes with respect, passion and a livelihood that is both secure and worthwhile.
Here are some of the exciting job roles that are available at the West Midlands Ambulance Service and the qualifications required:
Student paramedic – with on the job training. Qualifications needed: 5 GCSEs at grade C including English, Maths and Science; 1 x level 3 qualification; and a full driving license with provisional category C1
Ambulance Fleet Assistant – no formal qualifications needed
Patient Transport Services – no formal qualifications needed, but a full driving license
EOC call assessor – answering 999 calls. Qualifications needed: 3 GCSEs including English and Maths at grade C
Apprenticeships & Traineeships
The Trust prides itself in investing heavily in training and developing the skills of its staff.
In fact, the West Midlands Ambulance Service is on it’s way to becoming the first in the country to have 70% of paramedics making up its frontline workforce.
As it is essential for providing immediate assistance to those who might need it, these paramedics are trained to acquire additional skills which allow them to carry out more treatments at the scene or on the way to the hospital.
Student paramedics can also mix their studies with on-the-job experience, allowing them to gain invaluable insight into how the ambulance services work to save lives.
Non-Emergency Patient Services
Part of the Trust’s services also includes non-emergency patient transportation. This is available to those patients who are unable to travel without assistance due to their medical condition. Staff at the West Midlands Ambulance Service complete approximately 700,000 non-emergency patient journeys each year.
Many British Asians who are passionate about saving lives can find a fulfilling career with the West Midlands Ambulance Services. Working to offer the best patient care in a rewarding field, makes this an ideal profession.
So, would you consider a career in the Ambulance Services?
To apply to for a job at the West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, visit the NHS job site here.