It was a very different learning experience for a group of students from throughout the region last this week as they discovered what it is like to work for the ambulance service.
A total of 12 youngsters spent the week at Dudley Hub as part of the Trust’s work experience programme, during which time they met a range of operational staff, including paramedics from the Trust’s Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), to find out more about their roles and responsibilities. This included how 999 calls are handled, basic life support, how to use a defibrillator, what causes a cardiac arrest and the work of community first responders amongst much more.
They also got to explore the back of an ambulance and sample some of the various equipment staff use daily to treat patients.
Not only that, but they were also given a first-hand account of what the week’s work experience can lead to, as recently qualified paramedic Laura Barnett spoke to the group about how she carried out the same work experience four years ago and how her career path led to a job with West Midlands Ambulance Service.
Diane Pittom, the Trust’s Organisational Development Officer, said: “It has been a pleasure to hose a group of very keen students who have hopefully learnt a lot in their time with us.
“They have all shown great determination and it was really nice to have Laura come along and explain how just four years after she did the same week of work experience, she is now a fully qualified paramedic.”
One of the students, Sam Simpson, has already secured a place at the University of Wolverhampton – where he will study Paramedic Science from January – and said the week has been beneficial to him.
“It has been really good to see lots of different aspects of the ambulance service such as the HART team and the MERIT doctors. I had done plenty of research prior to coming this week and it has been good to see that first hand.
“I want to become a paramedic because it is every healthcare role rolled into one. The thrill of saving lives is one that excites me and it will be nice to feel like I am putting something back into the community.”
Chelsea Evitts, who attends the Health Futures College in West Brom, said: “It has been a really good week and interesting to find out about all of the different roles in the ambulance service.
“I’ve enjoyed the first aid learning that we have done as that has helped me gain confidence. I have always wanted to be a paramedic and this week has just made me want to do it even more.”
Dudley-based paramedic Laura, said: “The work experience programme is still the same one as I did four years ago, and look where it has allowed me to end up.
“It is a good opportunity for those students who get to do it. It allows them to learn a lot about the service and hopefully gives them a good understanding of the work that we do.
“I would advise anyone wanting to work for the ambulance service to keep working hard and to try and get some other voluntary care experience behind them.”