9 February 2015
I have just finished my first trimester, my first 12 weeks towards the job of my dreams. I will proudly tell anybody that asks that, yes, I am indeed a student paramedic. I can take your pulse and tell you how many vertebrae are in your spine. (The answer? 33, divided into 7, 12, 5, 5 and 4.)
This is a course that requires a huge amount of dedication; I can only count a handful of times where we’ve not had a full class. I couldn’t imagine spending my time with anyone other than my 29 colleagues and friends. All people who have the same goal, who want to help others, who laugh and cry with each other and offer unwavering support no matter the circumstance.
We’ve covered a huge amount, of both practical skills and theory in the first 12 weeks (I do recall a slight hysterical breakdown when trying to understand ECGs.) I can now say that I can assist in lifting a patient in a carry chair, strap them in on a stretcher and ask them questions as part of my treatment. These are part of the wide range of skills that will be necessary on my placement.
Placement is something every student looks forward to, be it in healthcare or otherwise. It’s a taste of the world of work, being able to make a real difference in the lives of people. It’s a real privilege that I am extremely excited about being able to have. I will be doing a series of shifts with my mentor and will be spending 24 hours a week with them until my course finishes. I am looking forward to developing my questioning skills and learning how to think on my feet.
I will be recording my journey alongside Oli, a fantastic scout and singer, and we should each be able to give you a slightly different perspective on placements and activities that we take part in throughout the next few years. Coming up we have a trauma conference on ‘Traumatic Cardiac Arrest’ alongside the Air Ambulance – a dream role for many student and qualified paramedics.
As my title says, ‘many hands make light work’. If I have taken one thing only away from the first trimester, it would be that you’ve got to work as a team to achieve the ultimate care experience for the patient. You may be able to do it alone, but having your crew mate there helps lighten the load quite a lot.
Until next time…