How to transition from a Nurse to a Paramedic
Working as a Registered Nurse (RN) is an incredibly rewarding experience, one that brings with it a variety of skills and knowledge which can be applied across other areas of the health care sector. What happens, however, when you want to change career paths? Do you have to start again from scratch?
If you want to make the change from a Nurse to a Paramedic, the Australian Paramedical College can help you transition into your new career.
We can show you which options you have available, via a Diploma of Paramedical Science, or by way of a degree/graduate diploma.
There are a few options – so please read on.
First…make the most of your nursing skills, experience and qualifications
Throughout your studies and experiences as Nurse, it goes without saying that you possess many great qualities that will contribute to having a successful career as a paramedic. For that reason, the HLT51015 – Diploma of Paramedical Science qualification via partial RPL could be the first step towards validating your experience.
Available online with face-to -face clinical workshops and clinical placement, the APC HLT51015 – Diploma of Paramedical Science is nationally recognised and will deliver essential pre-hospital emergency health care skills necessary to step into roles, such as:
- Emergency Services Officer (ESO) Mining and Resource Sector – Diploma of Paramedical Science
- Industrial medic – Diploma of Paramedical Science
- Basic to Advanced life support medic first responder
- Ambulance Paramedic (additional degree required)
- Ambulance transport attendant (ATA) – Certificate IV in Health Care / Diploma of Paramedical Science
- Emergency medical technician (EMT) – Certificate IV in Health Care / Diploma of Paramedical Science
- Private patient transport officer (PTO) – Certificate III in Non-emergency Patient Transport
- Emergency patient transport officer (Certificate III in Non-emergency Patient Transport – Diploma of Paramedical Science
Considering a Registered Nurse is already degree-qualified, (or perhaps you are working as an EN), explore the option of further study via one of the universities who have awarded degree credits to APC graduates.
Comparing Paramedics and Nurses
Paramedics and Nurses share similar roles when it comes to caring for patients in need of medical attention. Whilst nurses look after patients once they arrive at hospital, Paramedics tend to a patient’s needs on-site at the scene of an accident for instance, then transport the patient to hospital. These environments are so very different from one another, hence the need for additional training.
Most paramedics operate on 12-14 hour shift roster. Their job includes the following responsibilities:
- Transporting emergency patients to a medical facility.
- Observing patient vital signs.
- Managing the medical supplies and equipment in an ambulance in the best manner possible
The job of nurses is vastly different from that of paramedics, although both focus on patient care as an absolute priority. Typically, nurses are required to work within contained environments, hospitals, medical facilities and the like to assist the doctors and other medical staff.
Nurses are typically responsible for:
- Developing care plans for patients, checking their medical history, and documenting their progress.
- Operating medical equipment in the facility.
- Performing examinations and interpreting results.
- Educating patients about a future course of action.
Benefits of being a Paramedic
Transitioning from a nurse to a paramedic can be made easier with help from the Australian Paramedical College and the Diploma of Paramedical Science. It is definitely worth looking into.
Here are a few perks of being a paramedic.
Satisfaction of helping others
Paramedics are often the first on-scene to assist those who require life-saving medical care. They are required to quickly assess the medical state of a patient and make snap decisions to provide essential care. While this process can be demanding, the satisfaction of playing such an important role in someone else’s recovery is what makes the life of a paramedic so rewarding.
Freedom and autonomy
On-road, Ambulance Paramedics aren’t bound by the walls of a hospital or medical facility. They are for the most part on-the-go and respond to emergency calls at a moments notice. Their job takes them to different locations every single day, which appeals to so many people. Being engaged in your job, where no two days are ever the same, are compounding reasons why the paramedic profession is a highly sought after one.
- A Bachelor of Paramedic Science degree (or equivalent on-road experience) is required to become a registered Ambulance Paramedic in Australia.
- Paramedics are required to register with the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme and Paramedicine Board of Australia.
- Paramedic registration is administered via the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
- Only those who possess recognised qualifications and/or experience or who are registered can use the term ‘Paramedic’ to describe their job role.
Transitioning from a nurse to paramedic can be achieved by;
- Applying for RPL and/or credit transfer into the Diploma of Paramedical Science
- Use the Diploma of Paramedical Science to get potential course credit towards the Bachelor of Paramedical Science
- Complete the degree and apply for a position with a State Ambulance Service
- Work in the private sector as a Paramedic (once the degree has been completed)
- RPL existing RN qualifications and experience, complete the essential bridging units of competency to gain the Diploma of Paramedical Science – work as a Life Support Medic in the private sector (mining, oil & gas, community, flight medic etc). There are opportunities to work as a Paramedic with the London Ambulance Service (no degree required)
- Complete a Graduate Diploma with a participating university.
The process of RPL or Recognition of Prior Learning will assess and recognise the qualifications and experience of RN’s wanting to become a paramedic.
The RPL process can be quite detailed, however, it is well worth the time and effort to do so.READ MORE ABOUT RPL HERE