Paramedic Science student Oli blogs about his experiences on placement as a second-year so far, and how these compare to Year 1.
Using my initiative
There has been one thing I have noticed over the last week or so on placement: as a second-year, I am certainly not going to get away with hiding out of the way on any call outs!
Even when a job is challenging, I am expected to get stuck in and do as much as I can, which is a fantastic opportunity. This change of pace forces me to think a lot more for myself, and my mentors only step in should I miss something at the point of rounding things up.
In the past, I would ask my mentor what I should do. Now the questions come to me: 'Oli, what are you going to do for this patient?'.
At this point in the course, I am actually experiencing what it is like to be a lead clinician on an ambulance, and it is forcing me to do extra reading and keep up-to-date with the latest research so that I can provide the best care for my patients. My mentor is always there should they feel the need to step in or provide feedback.
Taking the lead
I really noticed this change when we were called to someone suffering with an allergic reaction.
The paramedic I was working with allowed me to fully assess the patient and make the decisions regarding what drugs the patient required and what our action plan was.
The paramedic told me on the way to this job that, providing I didn't put the patient at risk, he wanted me to treat him as my crewmate, and that he would only do what I asked him to.
The patient said afterwards that he couldn't believe that I was a student – a much needed confidence boost!
It's at this point in the year that I am really beginning to show to myself how much I have learned in the space of a year and a bit. It's still daunting that this time next year I will be starting to apply for jobs as a paramedic, though!
Oli studies Paramedic Science at ARU in Cambridge. Find out more about this and other degree courses at one of our Open Days.