An emergency care assistant (ECA) responds to emergency calls as part of an accident and emergency crew or at times as a first responder, using skills and procedures that they have been trained and directed to do. They need to help move patients safely and observe patient vital signs - reporting any changes to the qualified clinician - and provide and take relevant information from carers or others at the scene.
Based at a local ambulance station or at a large hospital as part of a team, they work shifts, going out in all weathers at all hours, sometimes working in difficult conditions such as in confined spaces or on a motorway. No two shifts will be the same. They might be called out to a road accident victim with multiple severe injuries or someone who has had a heart attack in a busy shopping centre. They could be transferring a very sick baby to a specialist centre, dealing with an elderly person who has fallen down the stairs or attending a case of domestic violence. ECAs drive a range of ambulance service trust vehicles under normal and emergency (blue light) circumstances and carry out checks to vehicles at the start of and during each shift, to make sure they are clean, have fuel and are appropriately stocked. They need to know how to use all of the medical and life support equipment carried on vehicles that is appropriate to their skill level, and how to assist a qualified paramedic. A key responsibility of the ECA is to make sure that equipment is carefully stored, transported and cared for so that it is always in good working order. They also need to complete relevant documentation, be familiar with and use communication equipment (including radios and telephones) to inform colleagues about the work they are dealing with. Although ECAs will work with a paramedic, they also need to work effectively as part of a larger team of people, including other ambulance service personnel (such as line managers and control room staff), other healthcare staff (such as doctors) and representatives from other emergency services - including the fire and police services. These are some of the essential criteria you will need to be successful as an ECA:
• Ability to communicate effectively.
• Ability to make decisions, take responsibility and respond to a changing workload. •
Ability to remain calm while working under pressure.
• Ability to work within a Team environment and alone.
• Customer Service / People Skills.
• Flexible approach to work and shift work