An ambulance care assistant works in medical transportation for private or public transport companies and usually requires positive personality traits, an excellent driving record, and possibly also training or previous experience in a medical field. Patient transport services usually hire an ambulance care assistant to transport specific patients to various medical related appointments including hospital visits, standard doctor appointments, out-patient treatment, surgery, and pharmacy visits. This service is primarily provided to elderly, disabled, or patients unable to drive due to a medical condition.
Patient assistance is a key service provided by an ambulance care assistant. The assistant generally picks up and drops off patients, but some people may require physical help getting from the house and into the vehicle. Most patients who use this service use it continuously and are often scheduled with the same driver or in some cases, a driving team of two. Many companies use a pair of drivers in order for them to take turns caring for patients and to assist one another with lifting patients when needed. Due to the time spent interacting with patients, an ambulance care assistant must have an outgoing personality, excellent communication skills, and a compassionate nature.
Impeccable driving records are generally a requirement because the driver will usually be insured by the company and constantly driving during work hours. This job is primarily based on driving, and the distances depend upon the patient and his or her appointments. License requirements may vary depending on the weight classification of the vehicle that a particular company uses. Many companies provide additional driving courses in order for the ambulance care assistant to acquire proper licensing. A potential assistant should research individual companies to determine the requirements needed for employment.
Education and training are not generally required, but there are a few steps that could assist an applicant gain this type of employment. Courses in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), emergency medical training, and other first aid related certifications are valued experiences in the field. Some patients could experience a medical emergency during transportation, and companies prefer that the care assistant be equipped to handle minor medical situations. In addition to outside education programs, companies usually provide a training class that prepares the driver to handle different types of medical equipment. There are patients that have oxygen tanks, wheel chairs, or other physical aids, which an ambulance care assistant should be familiar with and be able to properly handle during transport.