Posts Tagged ‘career’

Career choices

Posted: August 10, 2012 in Personal, Work
Tags: , , , ,

As I said last night – I’ve wanted to be a paramedic longer than I can remember. It’s been a career that has always appealed – I’ve never wanted a 9-5 job, I’ve always wanted to help people, and I’ve always wanted to be the guy who drives to work in the morning, or is on the train, and I look around, and know that I’m different to everyone else.

But equally – I love the anonymity the uniform provides. I love that I can see a patient and potentially make a difference in their life, or ease the pain for them or their family, but that as soon as I walk away, they won’t remember my name, just that someone in green was there to help them when they needed it. Every patient means something to me. I have notebooks with brief details in on every patient I’ve seen so far – it helps with reflection and learning, but also makes me realise how crazy work can be.

But so far, through all the jobs that I did during my undergraduate degree, and all the other jobs I’ve had – I’ve still always wanted to be a paramedic. And it feels right, I feel like it’s the place that I fit.

Though recently – some people have been questioning why I’m happy “just being a paramedic”. I’ve encountered this attitude both at work, and out of it. I’m sure I’m capable of going further, training as a doctor, as people suggest. But why? That would defeat the whole point of becoming a paramedic. Of being on the frontline, just me and a crewmate, dealing with whatever the shift throws our way. Of adapting and improvising to treat the patient as effectively as possible. Of being an ever present anonymous guy in a green uniform, there for when people need us, 24/7/365.

Yes, I want to push myself further in my career, but still remaining a paramedic. I want to specialise, I want to push the ambulance service forward. Heck, I want to push MYSELF forward. But, at the end of the day, I always want to be a paramedic.

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.

OK, so I found this online a while ago, and recently just saw it again here. Made me think, and realise that I’m maybe getting myself into a lifetime career that is going to near enough emotionally kill me… Do I care? No. I want to do this, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do, and this just reinforces that. Enjoy.

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When God made paramedics, He was into His sixth day of overtime. An angel appeared and said, “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”
So God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?
A Paramedic has to be able to carry an injured person up a wet, grassy hill in the dark, dodge stray bullets to reach a dying child unarmed, enter homes the health inspector wouldn’t touch, and not wrinkle his uniform.”
“He has to be able to lift three times his own weight. Crawl into wrecked cars with barely enough room to move, and console a grieving mother as he is doing CPR on a baby he knows will never breathe again.”
“He has to be in top mental condition at all times, running on no sleep, black coffee and half-eaten meals, and he has to have six pairs of hands.”
The angel shook her head slowly and said, “Six pairs of hands??? No way!”
“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God replied. “It’s the three pairs of eyes a medic has to have.”
“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel.
God nodded. “One pair that sees open sores as he’s drawing blood, always wondering if the patient is HIV positive,” when he already knows and wishes he’d taken that accounting job, “another pair here in the side of his head for his partner’s safety. And another pair of eyes here in front that can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say, “You’ll be alright ma’am when he knows it isn’t so.”
“Lord,” said the angel, touching His sleeve, “rest and work on this tomorrow.”
“I can’t,” God replied. “I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound drunk out from behind a steering wheel without incident and feed a family of five on a public service paycheck.”
The angel circled the model of the Paramedic very slowly. “Can it think?” she asked.
“You bet”, God said. “It can tell you the symptoms of 100 illnesses; recite drug calculations in it’s sleep; intubate, defibrillate, medicate, and continue CPR non-stop over terrain that any doctor would fear… and it still keeps its sense of humor.”
“This medic also has phenomenal personal control. He can deal with a multi-victim trauma, coax a frightened elderly person to unlock their door, comfort a murder victim’s family, and then read in the daily paper how Paramedics were unable to locate a house quickly enough, allowing the person to die. A house that had no street sign, no house numbers, no phone to call back.”
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Paramedic.
“There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.”
“That’s not a leak,” God replied, “It’s a tear.”
“What’s the tear for?” asked the angel.
“It’s for bottled up emotions, for patients they’ve tried in vain to save, for commitment to that hope that they will make a difference in a person’s chance to survive, for life.”
“You’re a genius!” said the angel.
God looked somber.
“I DIDN’T PUT IT THERE” He said.

–Author unknown

Welcome!

Posted: February 18, 2011 in Personal, University
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Hey folks! Thanks for stopping by!!

So…this is what having a blog feels like…sort of a lot of responsibility! Anyway – as it says up above, I’m a first aider with St John Ambulance, and currently a healthcare assistant in the NHS, but as of September I will be a student paramedic! WOOOO!!

Anyway, more will follow, so stay tuned!