iSpani: Emergency Care Technician

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It’s time to dial 911 and wait for career emergency care today on iSpani as we meet Hustler Kavin Kyungu from Kensington in Jozi.  A bundle of energy as a kid he did everything that came his way never quite finding satisfaction until a first aid class and a soccer match changed everything!

Helping people was always appealing and now he had found a way to do this is the most hands on way possible.  Emergency Care Practitioners often meet people on the worst day of their lives, but for Hustler Kavin this could be the best day of his if he gets his opportunity to join Netcare based on his abilities to give them the best care possible.

If you think that you have the right personality and skills to help others in their time of need Kavin’s story will inspire you but also make you stop and ask some important questions first.

Are you strong enough, physically and emotionally to cope with the realities of the job? You will be exposed to trauma and situations that can put you on personal danger on a daily basis, and through it all you have to stay friendly, be approachable and keep on going n matter what happens.  But as Kavin shows us, when you work with good people for the good of people you reap the rewards.

Kavin has been moving toward this point since primary school, he volunteered to get a foot in the door and has great advice for anyone who is just starting out on the emergency care career journey.  Netcare is one of the country’s biggest providers in the sector and joining them will ensure that his training continues.  There are two routes that you can take if you want to find a career in the medical response field. One is to do a University course and the other is to do a series of short courses.

A four year Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Care (BTech) iis available from a number of universities and graduates qualify as Advanced Life Support practitioners. They are able to provide the highest level of pre-hospital emergency care and can apply for paramedic jobs. A two year National Certificate is also available if you don’t want to spend four years in training. This is called the Emergency Care Technician (ECT) course.

This specific qualification is also offered by certain institutions, and graduates will work as a basic ambulance assistant under the supervision of a BTech-qualified paramedic.

Host – Netcare

Netcare Education’s Faculty of Emergency and Critical Care (FECC) continues to lead the way in paramedic and advanced life support education, by combining theoretical teaching and cutting-edge technology with practical training to provide world-class courses and emergency medical professional resources to serve our communities and country.


Paramedic and Emergency Care Worker [Source NYDA Career Handbook V2 please cite]

Paramedics resuscitate and stabilize the condition of critically ill or injured persons by applying emergency care prior to their transport to hospital and by ensuring that their patients continue to receive care en route to hospital.

All ambulances are in contact with a central control centre by radio or computer. On receiving a call, the nearest available ambulance or rapid response vehicle is despatched to the scene. After a call has been received, two paramedics hasten to the emergency scene, observing traffic safety rules and legislation pertaining to emergency vehicles.

Upon arrival at the scene they make a survey of both the patient and the situation to decide upon suitable treatment, which is then applied, including basic life-support and the treatment of wounds and fractures. They resuscitate and stabilize the condition of critically ill or injured persons by applying emergency care procedures. Specialized equipment and rescue tools, such as the "Jaws of Life" can be used to free anyone that is trapped in the wreckage.

They also make the site of the emergency safe and manage bystanders. The patient is placed on a stretcher and taken to hospital. En route treatment is provided and a report on the patient's condition and the treatment received is supplied to the hospital. After this procedure the ambulance and emergency care workers return to a base where the vehicle, linen and equipment are cleaned and/or replaced.

Paramedics work mostly outdoors in and around their vehicles. Work settings vary according to the different emergencies they respond to, while working hours may vary from one service to another. Paramedics work on a two-platoon, with every second weekend off duty. They may be required to work overtime. Unfavourable weather conditions or less than pleasant circumstances often prevail.

Some form of previous medical training or knowledge is advantageous but not essential as training generally starts at a basic level. Paramedics are at the top of the ambulance service grades. A career route usually progresses through the following levels of Ambulance Care Assistant and Ambulance Technician.

Satisfying Aspects
- knowing that you are serving your community
- the variety of the work and work settings
- the personal contact with patients and their families
- saving people’s lives

Demanding aspects
- working shifts
- having to work over weekends and on holidays
- being responsible for people's lives
- working in adverse weather conditions
- hazardous driving to and from emergencies
- when a patient dies
- working under pressure

A paramedic and emergency care worker should:
- be at least 18 years old;
- have a valid driver's licence;
- have above-average physical strength and fitness to be able to move unconscious or injured patients;
- be in good health (he has to pass a medical test);
- have manual dexterity;
- have sound judgement and level-headed;
- be sympathetic and able to remain calm in emergency situations;
- think clearly and act quickly, appropriate and purposeful;
- be able to work individually and in a team;
- be reliable and responsible;
- be unselfish.

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Grade 10 Certificate for in-service training
Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.
Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Life Sciences

Training: Emergency Medicine - UCT, Emergency Medical Care - UJ, CUT, CPUT, Emergency Medical Care and Rescue - DUT
In-service training: Basic Ambulance Course (BAC): a 4-week orientation and training course must be passed for permanent appointment.
Ambulance College: After 6 months service, the candidate may enrol for the Ambulance Emergency Assistant (AEA) course of 11 weeks offered here.
Successful candidates register at the Health Professions Council of SA as an ambulance emergency assistant.
Advanced training courses include: Basic Medical Rescue; Critical Care Assistant; and Minimum Safety Driving.

- Municipalities, divisional councils and provincial administrations
- Industry
- Private ambulance organisations
- Private clinics and hospitals
- Civil defence units
- Mining industry

South African Emergency Services Institute
Tel: (011) 683-6315

WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO I NEED? http://www.postmatric.co.za/paramedic/ [PLEASE CITE]

One route to becoming a paramedic involves three levels of training, with a theoretical and practical component to each. The first level is Basic Life Support (BLS) course to become a Basic Ambulance Assistant (BAA), the second is the Intermediate Life Support (ILS) course to become an Ambulance Emergency Assistant (ANA), and the third is the Advanced Life Support (ALS) course, which qualifies you as a Paramedic (ANT).

An alternative route is to enrol for a Bachelor of Technology: Emergency Medicine or Emergency Medical Care, which is offered at various universities and universities of technology. Graduates must then register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.


University of Johannesburg
Bachelor of Technology: Emergency Medical Care

Cape Peninsula University of Technology
National Diploma: Emergency Medical Care

Netcare Hospital Management
Basic Ambulance Assistance (BAA); Ambulance Emergency Assistant (ANA); Critical Care Assistant (CCA); Emergency Care Technician (ECT)

Basic Ambulance Assistant (BAA) Course; Ambulance Emergency Assistant (ANA) Course


South African Emergency Services Institute – www.saesi.com
Health Professions Council of South Africa – 


Contact each institution for their specific requirements, but these subjects are recommended: 
• Mathematics
• Physical Science

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