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Undergraduate study

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Anthony O'Connor

Anthony completed an Access course in health science at a local college before studying paramedic practice.

Anthony O'Connor

BSc (Hons) Paramedic Practice

'I felt that maybe I was too old to change careers – I was nervous that maybe I was out of my depth, but I was proved wrong.'

How did you find out about Teesside?

While I was completing an Access course in health science at a local college, I heard about the paramedic practice degree at Teesside University. After enquiring further and visiting the University, I was very impressed with the facilities. I couldn’t wait to try out the ambulance simulator room where students can practise different scenarios. The course is taught by experienced paramedics with a wealth of knowledge about the role and each is very approachable.

I was 31 when I started University. I felt that maybe I was too old to change careers – I was nervous that maybe I was out of my depth, but I was proved wrong. I was pleased to see that the course attracted people of all ages and from all kinds of backgrounds. Going to University and studying to be a paramedic has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was the most challenging three years of my life but I have no regrets – I’m now working in a job that I absolutely love.

Best thing about the course?

This course delivers an equal balance of theoretical and practical learning. It’s exciting to go out on placement and put into practice what I’ve learned. I really enjoyed the pathophysiological effects certain conditions had on the human body. Ultimately, this theoretical understanding allowed me to detect and identify what was going on with the patients I was treating out on placement.

I’ve always wanted to be a paramedic. It’s an exciting time for paramedics and the role is so diverse. Paramedics are not only employed within the ambulance service – there are also opportunities for paramedics to work within urgent care centres, GP surgeries and elsewhere.

What about the campus and services?

The library is impressive with a range of books suitable for what I need. It’s accessible and I could always find a quiet place to study. I was also able to access a wide range of current articles online – vital for the paramedic profession as research plays a big part in its practice.

The Students’ Union is a good place to chill with friends and grab something to eat or drink in between lectures. And there are pool tables and table tennis tables if you wanted a break from studying in the library. As a mature student with a mortgage and bills to pay, I was pleased that I was able to get a student loan which made my three years a lot less challenging.

Have you done a work placement?

Throughout the course I was required to take part in a shift rota with my dedicated mentor on placement. The placements gave me complete exposure to what it’s like on the road as a paramedic, providing me with an insight into other specialised roles as a paramedic. For example, you can experience what it’s like by working with the Great North Ambulance, the hazardous area response team or within an urgent care centre as an advanced practitioner. I particularly enjoyed my placement with the Great North Air Ambulance where I did a shift at the Penrith base. The view of the lakes from the aircraft were spectacular.