12 August 2015
Paramedic Science student Oli thought scout camp would be a chance to relax, but he instead found himself practising his skills.
Last week my scout group from home were camping near to Cambridge and, as I had completed my coursework, I thought I would give myself a couple of days off revision for my OSCE exams and give them a hand with the camp.
Who was I kidding? As soon as I set foot on that campsite I became the go-to person for all first aid enquiries, from someone cutting themselves on a cheese grater to a girl with abdominal pains, who I was directed to soon after putting my bag in my tent.
While this was not quite what I had planned for my days off, it was both useful for my practice to work without my mentor standing there, and gave the leaders some time off to focus on running activities.
While I was put to work, I did get to enjoy myself as well: going on a canoeing day trip and an evening hike. It was also much cheaper than catering for myself at home!
This camp has made me realise that now I've experienced working with the ambulance service and am slowly on my way towards qualifying, even when I am officially off duty I will still be called upon to use my skills.
Next week I have my OSCE exams, and then I will be away for a month or so before coming back as a second-year student paramedic. In all honesty, I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone, it's like I've blinked and am all of a sudden one-third of the way to being a registered paramedic.
It is also amazing how much I have learned in this year. I've gone from having a basic knowledge of first aid to knowing about, and putting into practice treatment for a wide range of injuries and illnesses.
One year ago, I was assisting with first aid cover at the Norfolk International Scout and Guide Jamboree and my level of usefulness was taking basic observations, putting on plasters, and then calling for a more experienced member of the team to complete the patient's treatment.
This year, I am doing the same sort of thing at the Cambridgeshire Jamboree and I will really be able to see how much this year as a student paramedic has improved my patient assessment, management and communication skills.
Oli studies Paramedic Science at ARU in Cambridge. Find out more about this and other degree courses at one of our Open Days.