Paramedic, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation, Bristol, United Kingdom
Bachelor of Health Science in Paramedicine
Every day is different when you’re a paramedic, says Sam Lindsay who now works for the South Western Ambulance Service in Bristol in the United Kingdom.
“I really enjoy the unpredictability of my job. I work as a paramedic in a busy metropolitan area, responding to 999 calls. I can be called to a wide range of medical and traumatic emergencies, while also playing a key role in managing and referring less urgent patients, so they can get treatment in the community rather than the hospital. Further to this I’m also a mentor to university paramedicine students who regularly come out on shift with me.
“There’s very little downtime, which makes the days go by fast and gives me a large range of experience to draw upon. I love meeting people from all walks of life and being able to help them in their time of need.”
Creating world-ready graduates
It was easy to transfer the skills he learned at AUT to his work in the UK, the AUT alumnus says.
“My knowledge base and the critical thinking skills I developed through my time at AUT have made me confident in my everyday work.
“AUT was up-to-date in its teaching and catered for students wanting to work anywhere in the world. I gained a broad overview of paramedic practice from my lecturers, and they always used current best practice in their teaching, making it relevant to more than just the New Zealand ambulance service.”
For Sam, the many hours spent in the simulation room were among the highlights of his time at AUT.
“AUT has a great state-of-the art simulation suite with real-life manikins and top-end medical equipment for students to test their skills. I took full advantage of this and would often spend hours practising with my fellow students. As part of the degree, we also completed lots of placement hours in a range of environments including ambulances, hospitals and primary care facilities.”
Advice for other students
Sam, who graduated in 2016, has some great advice for other students considering a career in paramedicine.
“My advice would be to take advantage of tutorial times, as these are taught in small groups and this gives you a good opportunity to pick the lecturers’ brains.
“There can be some really tough, stressful times during the degree but just think of this as perfect preparation for what you may encounter when you’re working as a paramedic,” says Sam who graduated as one of the top 10 paramedicine students in his year.