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My job explained: Paramedic

My job explained: ParamedicMark qualified as a paramedic five years ago. He works for the London Ambulance Service.

What made you become a paramedic?

I did a lot of different jobs before I joined the ambulance service. I learn very quickly and I also get bored very quickly, so I decided that I really wanted some sort of accident and emergency work. I liked the idea of working shifts, of never knowing what was going to happen and of no two days ever being the same. I never get bored now.

What was your training like?

I joined first as a technician and then applied to be a paramedic. It took me about 18 months to qualify. It meant acquiring new skills and taking on more learning, but being a paramedic opens up such a lot of other avenues. For example, I’m now doing a part-time honours degree in paramedical science.

What is the job like?

Like most people, I suppose, I had this vision of what accident and emergency work involved, but it’s not always like that. Of course, you do get called to the huge emergencies and that’s an important part of the job, but there is another side to it. For example, an old lady might have a fall, be unable to get up and lie on the floor for two days before she is discovered: you are basically going out to get her back on her feet. This is the quieter, less publicised aspect of the work.

We also get called to quite a few domestic disputes and to other situations where people just feel that they have nowhere else to turn. You sometimes have to be a bit of a social worker as well as everything else.

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(Information taken from NHS Careers)