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- Pursuing a career as a paramedic was something I was always interested in, but never seriously considered until the start of my second year studying History at the University of East Anglia. The interest that was sparked during my time as one of the designated First Aiders for the Universities’ Fell Walking Society grew into a passion, volunteering for Red Cross in Norwich, as well as the St John’s Ambulance LINKS society on campus. Once I began volunteering for the SOS Bus I became certain I had what it took to be a paramedic.
- The SOS Bus is project staffed by a variety of volunteers, including First Responders and First Aiders who work alongside youth workers and an ECP. The project responds to calls to clubs and bars, often dealing with drunk and vulnerable individuals, as well as providing basic first aid to avoid unnecessary emergency calls. When I turn up at the start of a shift, I have no idea what is going to occur that night. Each shift presents a unique challenge, which is something I love. It is a role that requires a thick skin and a lot of patience, but the sense of satisfaction at the end of each shift makes it more than worthwhile. It is extremely rewarding to see your actions have an immediate, positive effect on someone’s life. It could simply be helping a severely inebriated individual get a ride home, or it could be something more serious, such as dealing with the results of drunken fights or accidents.
- My work with the Red Cross has also played an important role in my decision. It is often very different from shifts with the SOS Bus, as I do not have the support of the trained medical personnel. Remaining calm, operating independently and acting within the limitations of my training is something that has come very naturally to me. While these duties are perhaps not as exciting as those with the SOS Bus, they still involve serious incidents which require getting them to hospital as soon as possible. It has also given me the opportunity to a wide variety of employees of the East of England Ambulance Service, ranging from Emergency Care Assistants to Emergency Care Practitioners. While they have often conveyed the challenges of this career, I have only been more convinced that this is the right choice for me.
- I have also recently been employed by the UEA’s Sports Coordinator to provide First Aid to the Lacrosse, Rugby and Football teams. This involves working alongside three other First Aiders, providing care for any serious injuries until the emergency services arrive.
- During my time studying History I have often found myself immersed in a subject, and undertaking this degree is not something I regret in the slightest. My major area of interest has been the pathology of the Black Death and the social history of the period. However, I have never experienced the passion and drive I experience when I’m volunteering. I have often found myself more interested by pre-hospital care textbooks than those on my reading list.
- Undertaking another course is a challenge I’m willing to undergo, simply because I’m certain that a career with the ambulance services is something I would excel l at. I enjoy working with people and having a positive impact on their lives, and I know that I am best suited to do this as a Paramedic.
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