Asthma UK community forum

Asthma- if you want to be a paramedic

Hi all, i have just heard some horrible news, well it is to me anyway! In a couple of years time the only thing i want to do is to acheive being a paramedic. Its my whole dream and all my friends and family are pushing me to become it, and get me there to make them proud. Well do you think that this is right? I do and dont agree with it!

To be a paramedic you must go through a series of test including Lung Function tests, and you have to get average or above results. Well we all know that roughly 99% of Asthmatics have a lower Lung Function! Well now it gets to the good part!

You have to go a year without having your inhalers and meds. I guess this will include, Becotide, Serevent, Ventolin. Seretide, Pred. ect and i think that this is toatlly impossible and outragious, how can a 'real' asthmatic go without inhalers, its complete health risk, well if the NHS want to spend more money on Nebs and doctors time then go ahead.

Does anybody have any information about this, its a real worry for me!


Holly- May xx

7 Replies

i was told u needed very very good controll for at least 4 years..wiv very little or no use of inhalers

have 2 b very fit nd strong..

Emma X


A friend of mine recently sent for the guidelines for applying to join the ambulance service; having looked at them certainly most of the health restrictions are fairly stringent, yes.

I would probably disagree with your statement that 99% of asthmatics would have lung function below average. A well controlled asthmatic - and this is approximately 85-90% of asthmatics - would have lung function sufficient to meet the criteria for joining the Ambulance service. Bear in mind that they're not asking for you to have above average lung function all the time - just as a base line.

I'm not certain about the statement about having to have had no meds at all for a year. I don't remember reading such stringent criteria reading my friend's information. What I do remember is that if you required either frequent or maintainence oral steroids then you would not be eligible to apply. Certainly, I know a few folks in the ambulance service who are asthmatic and carry salbutamol inhalers with them.

You may still think this is unfair - however, turn the situation on its head. Working in the ambulance service is a physically and emotionally extremely demmanding job. It wouldn't be a good situation if the paramedic turning up to treat someone was in a worse condition than the patient. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but this is a perspective you have to consider.

Where did you get your information from initially? Just interested to know.


Hi Cathbear. I was told this information by a few friends of mine who applied. I guess it varies in different regions and so on!


Holly- May x


Hi, Me. Thanks for the info. x


I Know at least 2 paramedics in Essex who are asthmatic. One used to work bank shifts for London too!

There are many super fit sports people who have asthma too so when under control It shouldn't interfere with your life, career and leisure time.



Thanks Kate


I want this too

I have decided that this is what I want to do. I am currently a PE teacher but have had enough to be perfectly blunt! I need a change. I had submitted a provisional application in to begin a nursing diploma but I have now withdrawn that as I have decided that it is a bit like teaching - too much time in one place! So, I am now looking to my original plan (the one in my head when I was at school!) I want to be a paramedic.

I do however, use seretide but rarely now need salbutomol (seretide seems to have it sorted) The doctor even mentioned trying me off seretide at the last visit.

Teaching PE is as demanding as it gets really. I am running (literally) for 6 - 7 hours a day in all weathers and do a fair bit of sprt and dancing myself.

What do you think my chances would be?


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