You’ll help aircrew stay healthy and be on call to work with RAF and civilian emergency response teams.
Pay after training
17.7 - 32
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Citizen of the UK or the Republic of Ireland, or a Commonwealth citizen since birth.
male or female
Qualifications you need
2 GCSE/SCEs at Grade C/2 minimum or 2 SNEs at Grade 5 or equivalent, in English Language and Maths.
Qualifications you can gain
Apprenticeship in health and social care; NVQ Level 2 in health and social care; Health and Safety Executive Certificate; Opportunity to become a state registered paramedic.
Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the five years immediately preceding your application.
RAF Medics provide essential medical and medical administrative support to the RAF. You will manage medical documentation including electronic medical records, as well as forming part of a team that responds to medical emergencies. You will also provide some basic nursing care in both treatment room and bedded medical centres. Whilst working in a medical centre, you could work in a medical administration, booking appointments and keeping patients medical records up to date. You may also be employed within the medical stores responsible for the receipt and storage of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, and under supervision, dispense prescribed medication. RAF Medics have a clinical role and are trained in pre hospital emergency care. They provide a medical response in the event of a road or air emergency, as well as for a variety of non-serious routine injuries.
You will play a key part in the medical surveillance of all RAF personnel which includes the monitoring of aircrew by performing specialised investigations such as electrocardiograms, taking blood and other specimens for sampling. There are also opportunities to help care for patients being transferred from overseas back to the UK by air as part of an aeromedical evacuation team. Most of your tours will be in a medical centre on an RAF base in the UK, but there are also opportunities to work in secondary care providing support to aeromedical evacuation co ordination. You may also be posted to specialist units within the RAF Medical Services like Tactical Medical Wing and the Centre for Aviation Medicine. Within your first few years, you will probably be detached both within the UK and overseas to perform your role in tented and hardened accommodation. These detachments can last anything from a few days to a few months on either exercise or current operations. Whether employed in the UK, on exercise or operations, RAF Medics have an important administrative and clinical role as part of the medical team that provides healthcare for Military personnel putting them in a position of considerable responsibility.
I do this job
‘I was nervous going out to Iraq for the first time, but you get loads of support from colleagues. When you’re there, you’re using your medical training to make a difference to people’s lives.’
‘My time is divided between administrative and clinical work, though most tours tend to involve more medical admin.
‘When you do your specialist training, you learn about suturing, advanced airways and emergency care. You also learn how to support medical teams by dispensing medicines and maintaining medical records.
‘Once you get your first tour, you get more administrative training specific to the job. Although you’ll mainly work in an office, you also take your turn as duty medic. This means that you provide medical cover for the airfield – and without this, pilots aren’t allowed to fly.’
‘At the moment, I’m based at the Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre at RAF Cranwell. When new recruits come in, we have to run them through the various medical tests.
‘It can be hard to make them focus on what we’re trying to do because they’re in between the aptitude tests and their interviews, so they’ve got a lot on their minds. You have to have people skills and be a good communicator.’
‘I’ve been out to Iraq twice – both times at Christmas. The morale was really high and I loved the experience.
‘You get to do so much more – you’re using your clinical training to help people every day. I was working with an immediate-response helicopter squadron during my second detachment. We were in Basra during rioting and had to evacuate casualties to hospitals in the area.
‘I received the Queen’s Commendation for working seven hours on the ground during the riots. It was presented by the Air Chief Marshal, and it was a really proud moment for me and for my family. It’s great to feel that you’re doing a good job and that you’re being recognised for it.’
‘My family was surprised when I first joined, but they put aside any apprehensions they had when they saw how much I love the job and the forces. I’ve just signed on to serve for 22 years.’
Your career will start with a 10 week Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you’ll also learn about the RAF lifestyle.
The next step is 6 months of specialist training at the Defence School of Medical Technical Training currently located at Keogh Barracks which is a Tri-Service training establishment near Aldershot in Hampshire.
This training will provide an introduction to pre hospital care. You will also be taught medical administration and basic healthcare skills.
At the end of the course, you will have gained a Health and Safety Executive Certificate in First Aid at Work and an Apprenticeship in Health and Social Care.
This Apprenticeship consists of three individual qualifications: an NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care, a Technical Certificate in Health and Social Care and Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number.
On graduation you will receive your first assignment as an RAF Medic.
Your first tour
For your first tour, you will be posted to the medical centre on an RAF station, where you will work with other RAF Medics, Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacy Technicians, Environmental Health Technicians and Physiotherapists as part of a multi disciplinary team. You will organize appointments for doctors’ consultations, look after both electronic and paper medical records and work with the stock control system for medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to perform minor injury/ailment consultations under the supervision of the Practice Nurse. You may also be required to carry out the role of Duty Medic and be responsible for providing airfield emergency response as well as providing a response to other types of medical emergencies.
As your career progresses, we will continue to train you in new skills.
If required, you will be sent on a course which will qualify you to form part of an aeromedical evacuation team.
This qualification could see you flying all around the world and within the UK to escort military patients with varying degrees of injury or illness back to the UK. After gaining clinical experience and following successful selection, there is the opportunity for RAF Medics to undergo training to become an HPC Registered Paramedic.
As you progress through the non-commissioned ranks, the experiences gained will prepare you to take overall responsibility for the management of a medical centre, thus becoming the Practice Manager.
You will initially join the RAF for a period of 9 years.
After a year, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman/woman if you pass your trade ability test.
Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is by competitive selection.
The qualifications you can earn are as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF – which means that whenever you decide to leave the RAF, you will be well placed to find a job in medical administration or a related field.
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