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So you want to become a paramedic?

Many people see ambulances whizzing by with blue lights flashing and sirens blazing and wonder what emergency they are on route to. For others there are questions such as; what training do these ambulance personnel undergo? How long does the training take? How difficult a career is it to get into? In a nutshell…how can I become a paramedic?

Within Ireland there are presently two routes to becoming a paramedic: National Ambulance Service Student Paramedic Recruitment, and the University of Limerick BSc in Paramedic Studies.

Did I hear that there are degree courses now?

There are several paramedic degree programmes on offer in Ireland. Many of these are "top-up" degrees aimed at practicing paramedics who currently hold a Diploma or equivalent. The University of Limerick also offer a 4-year undergraduate degree for those who wish to become a paramedic - please see Education Programmes for more information.

Who decides what a paramedic can and can’t do?

Entry-to-practice requirements are put in place by the Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC – www.phecc.ie) who are the clinical governing body for prehospital practitioners in Ireland. Paramedic students must sit and pass independent PHECC exams which include multiple choice exams, short answer questions and practical exams to be eligible to practice and sit on the register of practitioners at the grade of Paramedic. Alternatively, qualified paramedics from other jurisdictions may apply to have their qualifications assessed for equivalency by PHECC.

I’m still confused…I have more questions?

Should you have further questions on a career as a paramedic in Ireland please feel free to contact us and we will reply to you as soon as possible. Please note, we are not an educational college or university, and do not offer paramedic courses or provide entry-to-practice education programmes.