13 March 2015
Oli discusses what he's found particularly rewarding so far about training to be a paramedic.
The title says it all: after about a month in placement I have seen how rewarding working in the ambulance service can be.
I have started attending (leading the questioning and treatment of a patient) for some calls, and it has been a great confidence boost seeing what I have learned just in the short amount of time I have been out on the road.
One of this week's jobs was a call to a lady in her 70s who was ‘not alert’. On our arrival, she had a reduced level of consciousness (GCS 8) and, once we had taken our routine observations, we had a working diagnosis that she had an infection which had been left untreated and developed into a form of sepsis (also known as blood poisoning).
I was able to say what treatment was required and put this into action while we waited for a crew to arrive to transport the patient to hospital (we were working on a car for the week so were unable to transport the patient ourselves).
My mentor cannulated the patient (inserted a thin tube into a vein in order to give medication and fluids) and I prepared a saline drip in order to give the patient fluids, I also gave oxygen, as her oxygen saturation levels were slightly reduced.
At no point in this treatment did I feel that I was out of my depth or lacked the experience needed to help the patient, which is testament to the quality of teaching I have received both on the road and in the classroom.
Once the crew had arrived to transport our patient, the procedures we had carried out had stabilised her and she was fully conscious. Further treatment would still be required in hospital to find the source of the infection and to treat that with antibiotics, something that the ambulance service are not currently equipped to do.
Oliver studies Paramedic Science at ARU in Cambridge. Find out more about this and other degree courses at one of our Open Days.