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  • 08 December 2014
  • 4 min read

Keep calm - I’m a Paramedic

  • Guest Writer
    nurses.co.uk

Jamie Shorter is a paramedic and has been working for the Ambulance Service for over 7 years. If you’ve ever considered what motivates a paramedic, or have even considered it as a career for yourself, you’ll find his article fascinating.

My name is Jamie. I’m 27 years old and have been working for the Ambulance Service since 2007. I currently work as a Paramedic and a Practice Paramedic Educator (PPED). I left school at 18 years old after completing A Levels in Health and Social Care, Science and English Literature.

After much consideration I decided not to go to university and I started work with the Police force as a Detention Officer. This exposed me to a structured working environment with a strict hierarchy. I quickly had to adapt to working a shift pattern that meant missing out on weekends, bank holidays and christmas’.

It also exposed me to people; all kinds of people that I would never have met or talked to in most other professions. I found that I enjoyed working with the public, but after two and half years I felt the role was not challenging enough and lacked career progression.

My mother was working for an Ambulance Trust, and she told me that the service was doing a recruitment drive for Ambulance Technicians.

Knowing that I’ve always had an interest in health and social care and human biology she suggested I look into it and apply. I worked as a Technician for 3 years with my crew mate and mentor Rob. I was lucky: Rob’s an excellent Paramedic.

He’s very knowledgeable, extremely well experienced, has a great sense of humour and has a lovely way with people.

I learnt so much from him and in inherited many of his traits.I eventually applied for the Paramedic Foundation Degree course. The section process for this was like the X Factor.

Stage 1 = Application Process

Stage 2 = Maths Exam, English Exam, and Clinical Exam followed by a Practical Scenario.

Stage 3 = 1000 word essay and just when you think you’re there

Stage 4 = The Interview

After weeks of studying and anxiety I received an email that read: “Congratulations” and enabled my entrance into St Georges Medical School, University of London for the next 2 years.

It was a stressful time in terms of time management. I found it really tough combining full time shifts with travelling to University and study / essay writing.

The final practical scenarios were particularly nerve racking. In fact I don’t recall being as nervous before or since.

But it paid off in the end: I passed and registered with the Health Care Professions Council as a Paramedic.

I now work with my crew-mate, Kate, who’s just fantastic and has become a true friend, as well as a brilliant colleague. Which is just as well because we quite often spend over 50 hours a week together.

I have also completed a Practice Paramedic Educator Course at the University of Greenwich which means I can now mentor new staff and student paramedics, passing on my experience.

I’ve discovered, in fact, that this is something I really enjoy and I’m currently thinking of developing my career in the direction of Learning and Development.

In the meantime, I continue to love being a paramedic and working with Kate. It can be a very difficult and demanding job at times.

I get to see the best and worst of human nature and everything in-between.

We go to people when they are often at their most vulnerable and distressed. I have had experiences no other job would offer me and stories I can dine out on for many years to come.

At times, I have been deeply touched by people. At other times I’ve laughed hysterically with and at patients, sometimes thinking “this has got to be a wind up”. I’ve met some truly fascinating people who have lived extraordinary lives.

But more importantly than all of that is that I have made my best friends in this job. Not just colleagues but life-long friends who, when times are tough, are the reason I go into work for another shift.

While the Ambulance Services across the country are facing very difficult and challenging times I strongly believe that working in the ambulance service is one of the very best jobs available.

Is being a paramedic stressful? Yes.

Is it physically and mentally exhausting? At times yes.

Do I sometimes wish I could do something else? Yes.

Would I ever do anything else? No.

About the author

  • Guest Writer
    nurses.co.uk

Our guest writers at nurses.co.uk come from all different walks of life. Although they come from different professions, whether that be a Mental Health Nurse, a Paramedic, a Surgeon, a Doctor, or a Recruiter, they all offer a wealth of experience and knowledge which is invaluable. Their dedication, loyalty and love for their role is what brings them here, to nurses.co.uk, where they write helpful content for you. They are real people bringing you real experiences.

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About the author

  • Guest Writer
    nurses.co.uk

Our guest writers at nurses.co.uk come from all different walks of life. Although they come from different professions, whether that be a Mental Health Nurse, a Paramedic, a Surgeon, a Doctor, or a Recruiter, they all offer a wealth of experience and knowledge which is invaluable. Their dedication, loyalty and love for their role is what brings them here, to nurses.co.uk, where they write helpful content for you. They are real people bringing you real experiences.