Ambulance care assistant

patient transport service (PTS) driver
Healthcare
Care

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would be responsible for safely driving elderly or infirm people to their appointments at hospitals, healthcare and social services. You'd assist them in and out of the ambulance and take them home afterwards.

The people you drive may be frail or ill as well as being anxious and worried. Some patients will be elderly, have physical disabilities or mental health problems. Your kindness will reassure and comfort the patients and their relatives.

You would:

  • Help people out of their home and into the ambulance (which may involve some lifting)
  • Take them to their appointments on time
  • Take them home and make sure they are settled in before leaving
  • Carry out routine care of ambulance equipment and daily vehicle checks
  • Keep accurate records of journeys

You will often see the same people on a regular basis, some of whom may be lonely and vulnerable.

In some ambulance services, you could be trained to work in a high dependency team, where you would regularly drive patients with specific medical problems. You would keep in contact by radio or telephone with support staff at the control room who would give you advice about how to help the person if there was a medical emergency.

Most jobs are in the National Health Service, working for the Scottish Ambulance Service. You can see more about this role in the National Health Service on the ambulance care assistant page on the NHS Scotland Careers website. See the learning and development section for information about career structures, progression and rates of pay.

Working conditions

Hours

You would typically work 37.5 hours a week. Ambulance services operate 365 days a year, so you will be working shifts which will include evenings, weekends and bank holidays. Part-time hours are also available.

Environment

This work is quite physically demanding. Occasionally, you may deal with distressing situations or circumstances with seriously ill patients. You would wear a uniform and, at times, additional protective clothing such as a bright reflective coat and boots. You may work alone or in a two-person team, in an adapted ambulance or a standard car.

Travel

You would spend a lot of time driving, covering a particular geographical area.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Listening to people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Caring for people
  • Being physically fit
  • Coping with pressure
  • Planning and organising
  • Time management

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

Although there are no formal entry requirements, three subjects including English, Maths and a science subject is recommended.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by many courses)
  • Maths (required by many courses)
  • Science subjects

You will also need

All applicants must:

  • Pass the Scottish Ambulance Service entrance test, including a retention and recall test, fitness test and driving assessment
  • Have a full current UK driving licence, including categories C1 and D1, for a minimum of two years
  • Pass a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Disclosure check

 

Helpful to have

Any qualifications that demonstrate understanding of health and wellbeing such as:

  • Skills for Work Health Sector (SCQF Level 6)
  • Health and Social Care (SCQF Level 4/5)
  • SQA Wellbeing Award (SCQF Level 3-5)

Some experience in care work.

Experience in a driving job, preferably with larger vehicles.