During the specially tailored, induction programme on offer at EMED Group, our trainee Ambulance Care Assistants (ACAs) will gain insight and understanding into working on the front line of patient transport in EMED’s Patient Care division.

The programme includes an accredited qualification in first aid – FAW Level Three – and is a fascinating introduction to supporting the NHS and how you can make a difference through patient experience.

One of EMED’s ACAs details her experience of our induction programme, day by day…

Day One

On our first day at the EMED induction, we took part in an activity where we introduced ourselves and broke the ice. We met our trainer – Sachin – and learned all about the company’s various roles and services, some of which surprised me and others that drew me in. I was interested to hear about the Falls team and how that might offer me a path of progression through the business. We also discussed the importance of good communication, learned about dementia and autism, and the difference between disability and difficulty. I now know that NEPTS is a non-emergency patient transport service whose role is to transport people who are deemed stable but whose health status could change at any time.

Day Two

Today was about Safeguarding and how and when reporting Safeguarding is appropriate. Also, in today’s training, we explored scenarios we might encounter during our work, like neglect and domestic abuse. We know the proper Safeguarding procedure if we deem anyone in immediate danger. We named all 10 forms of adult abuse and how we can use Prevent to stop radicalisation. We also learned that if a patient has a cardiac arrest, it will be our duty of care to perform CPR, depending on whether they have a DNR form in place. We must abide by their wishes.

Day Three

Today we studied manual handling, which I have completed numerous times in care home settings, although there were quite a few differences. We discussed mobility codes, which determine the transport techniques we use. We also learnt what we can expect to come face-to-face with, including administering Oxygen Therapy. Sachin told us that tomorrow, we will complete a moving and handling assessment where we will carry a 70kg mannequin up and down the stairs on a carry chair. I haven’t seen or done this before, but I will stay optimistic and try my best.

Day Four

Today, we carried out the manual handling test. The most important part of this exercise was communication, which had to be clear and precise such as: “Ready, Steady, Lift” or “Ready, Steady, Lower”. Sachin also went over how to use the ambulance ramp safely and effectively and I learned how to safely strap in a patient with restraints attached to the floor. Then we learnt how to use the PATSLIDE to move a patient from stretcher to bed. Today gave us insight into what we would have to complete on shifts because tomorrow we go out on our first shadow shift.

Day Five

Today, I was on an 11 am-10 pm shift with Ajay and Lauren. I was shown how to complete all the required checks before starting. We went to Warrington Hospital to the discharge lounge and transported patients back home or to another hospital. A serious accident happened on the M53 involving a coach, which resulted in us transferring more patients from one hospital to another to help clear beds for those patients coming in. Lauren showed me how to fill in the paperwork and helped me to complete it for the rest of the shift. I enjoyed my day out and felt at ease with the crew. They let me get stuck in with them because I learned better through ‘doing’.

Days Six, Seven and Eight

Today, we started to complete a three-day first aid course. This was a little bit more intense than I imagined, but still enjoyable.

Hopefully, I won’t have to use what I’ve learnt over the past three days, but I am confident I can use it to help patients in need.

Day Nine

Today, we completed the driving theory. I was nervous, but I’d done it before, so I knew I could do it. Once I sat the theory assessment, I felt more confident in myself, as I knew most of the answers and passed the first time – a small compliment!

Day Ten

Today, I was excited and nervous to complete my driving practical assessment.  It was explained that we may require further training for the role until we perform well in driving.

I decided to go first and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be; the ambulance was pretty easy to drive, and because it is tall, I had a great view of the road. I had to consider the length of the vehicle to ensure that I didn’t hit curbs and so on. At the end of the day, Sachin went over the assessment and told us what we did well and what to work on. He used the traffic light system green, amber and red to categorise. I was in green, which is a safe driver and a pass. I was very happy and proud of myself and phoned my family to tell them that I had passed and would commence my shifts the following week.