Paramedic, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Bachelor of Health Science in Paramedicine
Her job is a privilege, says health science alumna Zoe Farmer who now works as a paramedic for the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom.
“Being a paramedic gives you the skills that genuinely make a difference. As a paramedic, I’m trained to provide both emergency and primary medical care to the sick and injured, but it’s not all lights and sirens or a constant stream of adrenaline.
“We often act as the public’s first point of access to healthcare, providing emotional, as well as physical and medical support. The job often requires you to restore a patient’s dignity and self-worth as much as administer any life-saving treatment. You work long hours and make personal sacrifices to provide a service that responds 24/7, 365 days a year to those in need. But simple gestures like a smile, a thank you or a hug from those you help make it all worthwhile.”
A dream come true
She has long dreamt of a career in paramedicine, Zoe says.
“When I was asked at a young age what I wanted to be when I grew up, ‘an ambulance driver’ was often my answer, with a few deviations throughout my school-aged years, including thoughts of becoming an astronaut or a marine biologist.”
However, when it was time to apply for university, Zoe returned to her original goal of becoming a paramedic and when she found out more about AUT’s paramedicine degree her decision was confirmed.
“I made initial contact with AUT through my school’s careers evenings, and then attended an AUT open evening to visit the campus, meet the staff and join in a Q&A session about the degree.
“As the only New Zealand university offering the paramedicine degree, AUT provides some outstanding facilities dedicated to paramedic training while also placing emphasis on placements and on-the-job learning. The paramedicine degree is rated highly among employers around the world.”
The best possible learning environment
AUT provides a diverse and exciting environment that encourages students to actively learn and seek growth, Zoe says.
“The paramedicine staff went above and beyond to create the best possible learning environment. The lecturers all combined their roles at AUT with their roles as frontline paramedics. With their wealth of practical knowledge and industry experience, you’re taught by the paramedics of today to become the paramedics of tomorrow.
“Although I enjoyed all aspects of my time at AUT, my highlights would include frontline ambulance placements in Cape Town, South Africa, as part of the Team Australia EMS Professional Development Tour. In my final year I was also part of AUT’s winning team at the 2017 SPA Conference in Melbourne. Of course, the icing on the cake would have to be graduation day and being awarded the John Heberley Memorial Trophy for overall distinction and dedication.”
She constantly draws on the skills she developed throughout her time at AUT, says Zoe whose studies at AUT were supported by an AUT Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship.
“Every day I put on my uniform and every call-out I attend, I use the skills I developed at AUT. The sense of professional pride as well as the paramedicine and interpersonal skills I gained at at AUT are constantly called upon.”