I knew university would springboard my career to become a paramedic.
I completed a BTEC Level 3 in Health & Social Care at Darlington College. I visited two University open days and was always drawn to the paramedic course. The open days were informative, and all my questions were answered.
I had interviews at other universities across the UK however Teesside was the best course by far and the placement areas excited me, as there was a range of ambulance stations and hospital placements. I knew I would be able to learn lots from different healthcare providers and this was a major selling point.
I wanted to work for a uniformed service, and I have a passion for providing medical care and studying pathophysiology, along with helping people, so I knew I could really develop myself with the maximum learning opportunities at Teesside.
Ambulance placement has been the most enjoyable aspect of my course, it gives a real taste of what ambulance work is like. I have been placed across North Yorkshire and worked with many fantastic paramedics and ambulance crew. Being able to use the theory and put it into practice out on the road is extremely satisfying. I enjoy the unpredictability of not knowing what emergencies you can be sent to and adapting to different them.
My favourite module was Managing Trauma for Paramedics module. I have developed a keen interest in critical care and trauma care in pre-hospital patients. I have learned how to assess and treat critically injured patients. The training used mannequins and equipment that are found on ambulances such as combat application tourniquets, pelvic binders, and intravenous cannulas. I’ve learned the theory behind traumatic injuries and how to effectively manage them and I feel confident dealing with them.
The library is a place that motivates me. There are silent zones where you can really focus on your work without having any distractions, as well as collaborative learning spaces for group work. I also spent a lot of time in the Students’ Union, being able to socialise with friends on campus has been a great aspect of university life.
Middlesbrough has everything from shopping to nightlife and suits any type of person. I would also recommend visiting the surrounding areas, North Yorkshire is on the doorstep and it’s only a short drive to places such as Richmond, Cod Beck Reservoir, Cleveland hills or the coast.
I was a member of the First Aid Society and we had weekly training sessions practicing first aid. I'm also a member of the Student Paramedic Society and I took part in a 21-mile sponsored walk from Saltburn to Whitby, which took nine hours, and raised money for the Great North Air Ambulance.
As well as ambulance placement, I’ve also been on hospital placement at Darlington Memorial Hospital. I have gained invaluable experience in a wide range of settings. I have worked in elderly medicine, coronary care, minor injuries, paediatric ward, and the emergency department. I also work as a mental health support worker at a residential unit.
I have learned so much I couldn't put it into words. The main skill I’ve gained is being able to draw on my knowledge to help people. I have developed my confidence from being put into stressful scenarios. I have gained a great ability to communicate with people, this has been invaluable with my placements where communication is such a key factor.
To qualify as a paramedic and work for Yorkshire Ambulance Service. I would also like to develop my learning.
I would recommend paramedic practice at Teesside, it sets you up for life in every sense. The University is such a good place to learn and study as the education is second to none.
Make the most of every session, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Take the opportunity to join a society, to build your friendship group and social life.