Tuesday, 22 October 2013

BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science

I am often asked by colleagues and other student why did I want to do Paramedic Science. This is one question I am yet to actually have an answer to. This did make the interviews for the programme more difficult, as this was a question I was asked at all of them. I don’t think there is just one reason I chose this programme, and although difficult to explain I just knew it was what I wanted to do.

I began my journey in to this career path at only 10 years old when I became a cadet member at my local St. John Ambulance division. At this point I had no intention of becoming a Paramedic partly because I didn't really know what one was but more because I was really interested in cars and wanted a career as a Mechanic. As my time with St. John progressed I began to gain skills in Basic Life Support and Basic First Aid. Once I had gained these skills I was fortunate enough to be able to shadow a fellow colleague who was a Paramedic. I was allowed to attend events providing First Aid to injured or ill members of the crowd. This early clinical expose gave me a great sense of pride and achievement, and in turn I became more interested in Volunteering with St. John. Once I reached 16 I was allowed to attend motor sport events, including the stock car banger racing and the speedway motorbikes (which have NO brakes).

Now my attention was beginning to turn back to what was I going to do with my life? I no longer wanted to work as a mechanic having completed my school work experience programme. However I needed to have some focus as I was about to choose my A levels, and the pressure was on. My family wanted to become a Doctor, and I went along with this taking Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. I really did not enjoy my A levels except Maths, Biology at A level is predominantly studying plants, and Chemistry just went straight in one ear and out the other. However my family still wanted me to be a Doctor, and applying to UCAS was fast approaching.

Before I applied I decided I needed more work experience, this was a very difficult process I was only 17 at the time and most organisations would not take me on. I also found that a common issue was around patient confidentiality which would prevent me from shadowing a GP. However I gained some work experience working in my local Pharmacy, this I found gave an interesting insight in to patients living with long term complex medical conditions. My continuing development with St. John had introduced to the role of a Paramedic, and career in acute healthcare.

So I wrote my personal statement to apply to do Paramedic Science because I wanted to continue in to a career as a Paramedic. I didn't really consider my option when applying and in fact chose my universities on geographic locations. I chose Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Plymouth as I wanted to live by the sea and Greenwich because it is London based. I would not recommend this method to other applicants you should really view each university and see how the course is delivered. I was fortunate enough to get interviews at Greenwich and Plymouth, which I personally felt if I could get an interview this would be my best chance to get an offer. I arrived on the day of my interview at Plymouth, I personally did not like the campus or the programme but I was offered a place. I then attended my interview for Greenwich at the Medway campus, and immediately fell in love with the campus and the programme. Although I had an offer for Plymouth, at this point all I wanted to receive an offer for Greenwich. Then one day whilst out working for St. John an email from UCAS arrived notifying my application status had changed, this meant Greenwich had made their decision. However I was on my phone and only had limited internet access, I took me over 2 hours to log on to UCAS track, needless to say I was pretty stressed when it finally loaded. So that was it I had an offer from the University I wanted to go to, I was so happy. Only thing left, learn how to drive a van (oh and pass my exams).