Health and ability/disability
We welcome applications from those with disabilities in line with the Equality Act (2010). It should be noted however, that paramedics need physical strength and stamina, to lift and transport patients unable to walk on their own. Applicants will need to be able to lift and carry at least 100lbs (45.4 Kg), and to push and pull objects that weigh more than 50lbs (22.7 kg). Paramedics must also have the stamina and endurance to repeatedly bend, lift and kneel in uncomfortable positions throughout their work shifts and to work 12-hour shifts.
Paramedics also need strong motor skills to be able to perform the precise work the role involves. For example, steady hands are needed to give patients intravenous medications or providing wound care. When monitoring patients’ vital signs, paramedics use equipment with small, precise controls. Good coordination is also needed, to climb stairs, retrieve equipment and carry patients. The ability to move around and perform tasks in small areas, such as an ambulance or treatment room, is also important. Finally, because paramedics communicate with patients and other health care professionals, they must be able to speak clearly, precisely and succinctly. Reasonable adjustments in academic and practice will be implemented wherever possible in partnership with West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) but, these physical requirements should be considered by potential applicants as they are requirements for employment as a paramedic.
Potential applicants should also note that there are certain physical and mental health conditions that may prevent you from gaining employment as a paramedic, for example, epilepsy/seizures. This is because typically, paramedics will be required to undertake emergency or ‘blue light’ driving which requires them to meet higher medical standards for driving beyond this of the medical standards for non-emergency driving. For example, if an individual with epilepsy/seizures has an ‘untoward episode’, it is likely that your B class driving licence will be revoked for 12 months and the C1 element (required to drive an ambulance) may be revoked for up to 5 years. This makes it very difficult to gain employment in most NHS Ambulance Services. This does not prevent you from applying for the BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science course, nor successfully completing it. Paramedics now work in a range of health care environments and as such, it is possible to gain employment in a non-driving paramedic role. There is no requirement to drive to be an HCPC registered paramedic. For further advice on medical conditions and driving please see the Assessing fitness to drive: a guide for medical professionals.
We work in partnership with the West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (WMAS), and other local NHS and Health and Care Trusts with regards to practice placements. Students on placements will be required to attend urgent and emergency calls with their mentor or supervisor during shifts. As such, student paramedics will potentially attend incidents that may be upsetting. The health and wellbeing of our students is paramount at all times and students are taught about resilience and self-care and are supported by course staff throughout the 3-year BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science degree. Support is also available via University of Worcester Student Support Services and by WMAS. We welcome applications from people who have experienced mental health issues but ask that applicants consider the necessity for robust mental health prior to applying. Applicants will be faced with many unprecedented situations which require the resilience and the ability to cope under pressure.
Applicants are required to disclose any severe and enduring physical and mental health conditions on a self-declaration form (which also asks you to declare any potential DBS issues).
Potential applicants who are concerned about a health issue are strongly advised to seek advice from their GP or consultant and /or contact the BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science Admissions Tutor prior to applying.