Posts Tagged ‘advice’

So…you want to be a paramedic? Really? Ok, take 5 minutes, go have a freezing cold shower, and come back if you’re sure!

Oh, you came back. Well, if you’re sure…

Sit down, young padawan, and I will explain everything…

I’m not going to kid you around – being a paramedic for most NHS ambulance trusts in the UK involves working 50% of your time on nights, otherwise known as “unsocial hours”. For this, you do get paid 25% extra, but you also completely naff up your sleeping pattern and you find that you spend most of your social time with other emergency service workers, or other healthcare workers. Get used to it.

Being a paramedic isn’t glamorous. It isn’t a job where you can grab the glory. It isn’t a job where people you help will remember your name for the rest of their life. It involves working all hours of the day, potentially outside, potentially in the rain and mud on the side of a road, potentially getting verbal and the occasional physical abuse thrown your way.

Being a paramedic, at least for the NHS in the UK, does not pay well. Read that one again kids. It. Does. Not. Pay. Well. But I’m hoping you ain’t in it for the money.

On the flip side, and this is the important part – being a paramedic is very rewarding. You get to help people, and you see life at it’s very extremes. When people come into the world, and when they leave. You can tell a family that their loved one is going to be ok, and see the smiles and relief on their faces, and you can tell a family that their loved one has died, and see the grief and hurt on their face.

You get a fantastic team of partners, crewmates and colleagues, who will always be there for you, both in work and out of it, who will always help you, always step up, and always watch your back. They may rip the piss out of you mercilessly, but they will always do everything they can for you. And when you’re in the shit and call for help – the police cavalry will come bursting through the door in minutes to get your back, as you will for them when they get injured.

You get to drive incredibly fast in something big, and occasionally powerful, with lots of blue flashing lights on top that makes a lot of noise. Don’t underestimate this – it’s helluva lot of fun.

And finally – you get to go home at the end of the shift, no matter how crappy it was, and know that somehow, even if it doesn’t feel it, you made a difference to someone’s life today.

Stay tuned for part 2 – how to do it, and part 3 – how to cope!

Peace, love and hugs.


Now, as far as I can remember I have always known bots of first aid. Both my parents have always been qualified first aiders, and when I was a lot younger, I was part of a snorkelling club, and later moved onto a scuba diving club – weird organisation, I know! But a huge element of both clubs was first aid, and so I’ve always known the basics of DR ABC, CPR, and how to deal with choking, bleeding etc etc.

However, I don’t understand how when someone is hurt, injured or otherwise incapacitated, that someone can just stand by and do nothing…more than this, I definitely don’t understand the people who, when a call taker in Ambulance Control is giving instructions for CPR or basic first aid, people REFUSE to do it. ┬áSurely if you can take the opportunity to try and save someone’s life, or at least give them a better chance until the ambulance arrives, you would?! Or is that just me??

So this brought to mind the recent St John Ambulance advertising campaign to make people more aware of basic first aid techniques, the type of skills that could save someone’s life very easily. Below are a few videos from the campaign, and please, if you are not first aid qualified or you don’t know much about first aid, PLEASE follow the advice and learn some skills.

There are so many organisations that train first aid, including St John Ambulance, British Red Cross, and lots of national and local organisations and independent trainers.

PLEASE, if you don’t know any first aid, do a course, even just the half day or one day courses! And also, if the day ever comes that Ambulance Control ask you to do basic first aid, CPR or similar, listen to the advice, and follow it. What you do will not hurt the patient anymore, and will almost probably increase their chances of surviving – you could make the difference between life and death!

Thank you!