23 May 2016
Alex shares his experiences whilst on placement as a paramedic.
The final week of paramedic placement has come to an end. The previous five weeks have flown by and quite frankly I didn’t want it to end! I finished the week by having four 12-hour day shifts on Monday, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. I have completed 214 hours this placement, which is way above the required 187.5 hours!
My mentor has been really supportive of me over the course of my placement and he encouraged me to ‘attend’ as many calls or shifts as I could. Attending means to take the lead with the patient by asking all the questions, making first contact, filling out the Patient Report Form (PRF) and handing over in hospital. This was a scary thought at first, but on my fourth shift I started to attend calls once I was comfortable with how everything worked, with the occasional input from my crew mates. This was really exciting and a great opportunity to develop as a Student Paramedic and for the final two shifts on Saturday and Sunday I decided to attend every call, which was exhausting but worth it.
On a number of occasions whilst handing over patients in hospital I have accidentally photo-bombed a BBC film crew, filming a crew out of my station. The BBC is filming a new documentary capturing the work of front line ambulance crews and control staff and I believe it’s due to air later this year. I was mainly annoyed as to how I left my flat that morning without doing my hair!
The first job of the day on my last shift was to an elderly female in a collapsed state in bed with a temperature. A FRU (First Response Unit) arrived first on scene and told us she was septic. As I was attending, I directed the treatment of the patient, radioed Red Base with the Blue Call and handed over to five doctors and four nurses in Resus (Resuscitation) once at hospital.
Camden has been an amazing place to work out of. It’s such a creative and buzzing environment to be in. I have received my rota for my second block of placement and I will be posted to Islington Station where I have already had six shifts and I know how lovely the staff there are. After handing in three 1000-word assignments, I am enjoying three weeks off at home in Swansea and then Brighton before returning to London. My experience of the London Ambulance Service has been second-to-none. I cannot wait to get back into the swing of responding to 999 calls!
Alex studies Paramedic Science at ARU. You can find out more about this and other degree courses at one of our Open Days.