"I'm currently working as a paramedic with the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, where I've settled in well and I enjoy the challenge of the job."
Why I chose Surrey
I always wanted to be a paramedic as it was the closest thing to being a superhero. One of the reasons I chose Surrey for my BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science course was because of its fantastic facilities. I also liked the fact that placement blocks were separate to theory, so we could work full-time when on placement. The tutors were very knowledgeable and have all been, or still are, practising paramedics.
My clinical placements
Being on clinical placement was the most challenging and the most rewarding part of the course. Most placements took place at ambulance stations, but we also had placements on a stroke ward, in walk-in centres, A&E and Paediatric A&E. These allowed us to gain more specific experience.
The best thing was the variety of different people I got to work with. I also loved the fact that we were always on the move and that every job was different – it kept me on my toes.
Some of my best memories from the course are the months I spent on the road - this really prepared me for life as a working paramedic, and allowed me to gain confidence in my own ability. Alongside this, the hospital placements were so rewarding. My favourite was in paediatric A&E as I was allowed to triage the children and get experience in an area that I lacked.
The mentors that we had whilst on placement were amazing and were happy to help us learn.
My life at Surrey
I lived in halls during my first year and it was amazing! I met so many people. It’s a rather large jump from living at home with your parents, but it gives you independence. Cooking and cleaning for yourself seems like a challenge at first, but soon becomes part of your routine.
The University has such a buzzing environment with so many different clubs and societies you can get involved with. It was a great opportunity to meet new people. Personally, my best memories of Surrey are the people I have met, especially those I lived with throughout my three years in Guildford.
The main reason I loved living in Guildford is that it has everything you could need in a small area, from entertainment venues to shopping, as well as areas of countryside to explore.
My career and development
I'm currently working as a paramedic with the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. As I did my placements within the Service I have settled in well, however it's very different when you don't have a mentor looking over your shoulder the whole time! I am still enjoying the challenge of the job, however.
My top tip for students trying to get into this profession is to get some experience of talking to different types of people. Against popular belief, this doesn't have to be on ambulances, it can be in care homes, teaching or even working in customer care. Anything that involves talking to people of a variety of ages and backgrounds will help."