The Emergency Care Assistant role came into being around 2006, the exact reasons for the invention of this role appear unknown but however the primary reason appears to have been to replace the emergency medical technician (EMT).
With the introduction of university trained Paramedics, trusts saw the ideal opportunity to downgrade training facilities and save money. With this development they also decided to replace emergency medical technicians who were band 4 with emergency care assistant’s band 3, more money saving.
Emergency care assistants are required to,
Work as part of a team
Use initiative and determination
Plan and organise their work
Communicating with others
Anticipate and solve problems
Learn new skills / acquire knowledge
Excel at Customer relationships
Emergency Care assistants are primarily used to assist the paramedic, draw up drugs, help bandage, drive on blue lights and just generally be an extra set of hands and eyes. Sometimes ECA’s deploy on their own as either solo responders or as double ECA crews, this is a less than ideal situation.
Emergency Care Assistants are trained in Basic Life Support, moving and handling patients, Oxygen and Entonox administration.
With no two shifts ever being the same, meeting people and dealing with differant situations from delivering a baby to dealing with a multiple car accident becoming an ECA is the best way into pre-hospital care.