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A career in pre-hospital emergency care
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.
Where can I study in this field?
Certain universities offer a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Emergency Medical Care (BEMC). Graduates of this programme can register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as Emergency Care Practitioners (ECP). Emergency Care Practitioners provide the highest level of pre-hospital emergency care.
The Diploma in Emergency Medical Care is a mid-level qualification offered over two-years. Upon successful completion of the programme graduates are able to register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as a Paramedic.
The Higher Certificate in Emergency Medical Care is a one-year – entry level – qualification and enables qualified graduates to register as Emergency Care Assistants with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.
Mediclinic Private Higher Education Institution offer both the Diploma and Higher Certificate in Emergency Medical Care in Cape Town.
Are short courses available?
Historically, vocational certificate qualifications were the primary means by which practitioners entered the profession, these were referred to as ‘the short courses’. The short course route of entry was terminated in 2017.
Currently the only route of entry into the Profession of Emergency Care is through completion of the formal qualifications offered at a higher education institution.
Can I work as a volunteer?
ER24 does not have a volunteer programme. Registered professionals may be employed part-time 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.
Certain universities offer a four-year Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Care (BEMS). Graduates of this programme are qualified as Emergency Care Practitioners and able to provide the highest level of pre-hospital emergency care available.
Contact the university of your choice for further information on costs as well as entrance requirements.
A two-year Diploma in Emergency Medical Care is available. This qualification is also offered by accredited institutions and graduates will register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as a Paramedic. Mediclinic offers the Diploma in Emergency Medical Care in Cape Town.
Overview of qualification structure and requirements
Below is an overview of thequalification structure and entrance requirements as set out by the Health ProfessionsCouncilof South Africa (the below serves as a guide onlyand specific requirements may differ per institution and qualification).
|Qualification||Duration||Entrance requirements (National Senior Certificate)|
|Higher Certificate in Emergency Medical Care||1-year||Higher Certificate endorsementEnglish (3)Mathematics (3) or Mathematical Literacy (6)Life Sciences (3) and/or Physical Sciences (3)Additional subject 1 (3)Additional Subject 2 (3)The applicant must have a minimum of 18 points excluding Life Orientation.|
|Diploma in Emergency Medical Care||2-years||Diploma endorsementEnglish (5)Mathematics (3)Life Sciences (3)Physical Sciences (3)Additional subject 1 (3)Additional Subject 2 (3)The applicant must have a minimum of 21points excluding Life Orientation.|
|BachelorsDegree in Emergency Medical Care||4-years||Bachelor degree endorsementEnglish (5)Mathematics (4)Life Sciences (4)Physical Sciences (4)Additional subject 1 (4)Additional Subject 2 (4)|
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 / BLS (Basic Ambulance Assistant), a valid driver’s license and a Professional Driving Permit (PrDP) in Goods and Passengers.
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.
Should you already meet the minimum requirements mentioned above, please register on our careers portal: https://careers.er24.co.za
Please note that ER24 does not offer any commercial training to members of the public or corporate institutions.
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Yibanathi Nhlakanipho has 6 years experience writing and curating verified entry-level jobs, internships, bursaries and career resources for South African youth. Every month, her articles on Scholarly Africa reach at least 1 million job-seekers.