Monday, 15 December 2014

Diary: Week 12

Week 12 brought my first week out on the Ambulance. This meant meeting my Mentor for the first time, getting to know those I'd be working with on my Station, and getting into the swing of things out on the road.

This week I was on a double crewed ambulance (DCA), this meant working with a Technician and my Paramedic mentor. On my first shift, I learned what equipment and consumables should be on the back of the vehicle and where to get anything that we were short of - by the end of my 4th shift I was comfortable doing this without prompting after seeing what we seem to use alot of and not alot of during out shift.

Read on to find out how the rest of my week went.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Focus On: Left Ventricular Failure (LVF)

Well my blog is filled with tips on becoming a Student Paramedic and ramblings in my Diary. So I thought I'd try and add some more information for those currently studying or about to begin studying. Prompted by a recent job I attended, I thought we would take a look at Left Ventricular Failure (LVF). Read on to find out more!

Diary: Week 11

So the second week of my Hospital placement has been and gone. Week 2 went pretty much as week 1 did really, lots of fundamental care with some lovely patients. I'm writing this a week late due to starting my Ambulance shifts pretty much as soon as I finished my second week in the Hospital so expect two updates quite close together.

Read on to see what else I got upto.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Diary: Week 10

Week 10 brought my first week of Placement. Switching from predictable days in University to back to back 12 hour shifts was 'interesting' - especially when my housemates insisted in screaming the house down when they came back drunk at 2am in the middle of those shifts... twice. So for anyone reading who is due to start Uni - try and get housed with other Health Care Students!

Read on to find out how I got on...

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Diary: Week 9

Well my final week at Uni before Placement has now passed and I'm looking forward to getting out on the road and putting into practice what I've learned so far over the Christmas period.

Read on to see what my final week consisted of!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Diary: Week 8

Week 8 flew by and I found it really enjoyable. Moving and Handling came to an end with a more practical application of skills orientated session, so getting people out of beds and chairs in a hurry (ie about to perform chest compressions on them because they were in Cardiac Arrest) and out of tight areas like toilet cubicles

Read on to find out what else I've been upto this week including attending Court!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Memorising the Glasgow Coma Scale

So this one is for my fellow Student Paramedics out there.

I remember being introduced to the Glasgow Coma Scale years ago by the Army and was told I would have to memorise it. At first I had a little laminated card I made with it on that was with my Aide Memoire that I'd made and carried around to remember those obscure things you don't use very often.

However as always, it catches up with you and on one particular course there was a chance that it would come up on an exam so I had to memorise it. I tried loads of different ways of doing it but stumbled across this blog post on a US EMTs site that actually made it pretty manageable - have a read through the main article and check out some of the comments at the bottom for other ideas on memorising this particular beast.

Hope this helps someone!

The EMT Spot - Memorising GCS

Diary: Week 7

Well Week 7 has been and gone.

As Placement approaches the course content is stepping up a notch. I've had my Home Station given to me and my shifts (lots of lates!). This week we've been learning how to take baseline observations including BP, Blood Sugar (BM), Pulse, Resp Rate, Glasgow Coma Scale etc. and more moving and handling (manhandling eachother up and downstairs on different sorts of equipment was fun and knee destroying all at once!).

There has been of course A&P where we've moved onto the Lymphatic system and the obligatory Study Skills where we learnt how to look after ourselves with regards to the stress and pressure that Uni can sometimes bring with it.

Personally I've been using my free time to further develop my understanding of ECGs and I also found out that the back page of JRCALC has guidelines on how to treat people that have been Tasered and hit with a Baton Gun further leading to my belief that this book seems to have everything in it. With placement looming in just over a weeks time I'm now just really excited to getting out into practice and wondering what Week 8 will hold (a courtroom actually! - more next week on that one...).

Thursday, 6 November 2014

My Student Paramedic Reading List

So you've got an offer, or you've just began your studies and you're wondering what books should be filling that space on your shelves/drawers/floor (depending on the organisation of the Student...). Most Uni's will give you a reading list, some won't, but some of the ones that do will have a list as long as your arm that will lead you to think they get royalties from some of the Publishers.

So, what I thought I'd share with you is the books that I'VE found useful, you can make your own minds up from there! Read on for a breakdown of what I've got on my shelf and what I use them for.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Great ECG Resource: Acadoodle

Just a quick one for those Student Paramedics out there that happen across this blog, I thought I'd point you towards this site 'Acadoodle' if you haven't seen it already. It's got some great videos on there for ECG Interpretation and for the fundamental Physiology for the elctroconductivity of the heart, very easy to understand if you're struggling to get it to sink in from text books you may be reading - link is below!!

Diary: Week 5 & 6

It's been a busy two weeks so I missed last weeks update.

So, as alluded to I've been very busy, if you regularly read this you'll see I had my first OSCE a week ago and on the build up to it my nerves got the better of me. Despite practicing day and night for Adult and Child BLS/AED (not lay-person BLS, it's the Healthcare Professional one which includes BVM, Suction and Airway Adjuncts), on the day my brain went to mush, the morning of the OSCE I did another practice run through of both OSCEs I'd need to complete and I was making mistakes that I'd never made before. Suffice to say walking into the room with that mannequin staring up at the ceiling, the anxiety was crushing, read on to find out what happened next...

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Diary: Week 4

Well Week 4 has been and gone, they seem to be going by alot quicker now I've settled into a routine.

In Uni this week has been all about more A&P (shock!), History of the Paramedic Profession, 4 & 12 Lead ECGs and Infection Control. Read on to find out more!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Diary: Week 3

Well week 3 came and went rather quickly. I've spent a large part of my week preparing for my BLS OSCE which is coming along well I feel - I'm rehearsing adult and pediatric BLS with AED before bed every night (which the person who lives under me must love listening too...). Even this early on in the course this is a pass or fail exam, a failure will get you a resit, a second failure will see you removed from the course - this may seem a little harsh but if you can't grab the basics at this early stage then it unfortunately looks like the profession may not be for you! Read on for what else I've been upto...

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The Health Care Professions Council... And You!

Well it's that time of year where those aspiring Paramedics out there start to look at preparing your Personal Statements and battling through UCAS to get your University applications in.

With that in mind I thought I'd dedicate a little bit of cyber-space to the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC), why? Well you'll need to learn about them at some point and in all of my Interviews last year I was asked how the HCPC relates to the Paramedic, if you're really clever you'll also look at the HCPC Paramedic Standards of Proficiency and the Student Ethics guide and try to use those key values and standards and reflect on them in your Personal Statement, so read on...

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Diary: Week 2

The first 'proper' week of my Course this week - and don't I know it.

We've been bombarded with Anatomy and Physiology, professionalism, and Basic Life Support for both Children and Adults this

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Diary: Week 1

Well it came around quick, the first week of Uni has been and gone.

What can you expect? Well that will vary from Uni to Uni as you'd expect but a common theme throughout will be death by PowerPoint, various inductions and health and safety briefings - but also an overview of the course.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Almost time!

Just a quick one for anyone that happens across my Blog.

You will see the first of my weekly updates from my Paramedic Training as of next Friday (26th of Sept) or there abouts with my Week 1 diary. As a consequence of starting my course I will have more articles aimed at helping those starting out on the path to becoming a Student Paramedic too.

Remember (as it's that time of year) to look through the aspiring Paramedics advice area at the top of the page for help with personal statements and understanding the role and experience.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

DIARY: Getting close now!

September is on the horizon and so the start date for my first year at University is  getting closer and closer. In the past few months I've finished my College Access Course and come out quite well with  enough distinctions to satisfy my admissions criteria which is a huge load off of my mind.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Combat Medical Technicians

So I came across a very good article this morning where a CMT (Combat Medical Technician) has answered some questions and provided photos of the typical amount of equipment both personal and medical by a Dismounted Patrol Medic on Operations (Afghanistan in this case).

It's worth a read I believe for Student Paramedics or infact Registered Paramedics that stumble across this, from experience I can tell you that disciplining yourself to take only the essentials and in the right quantity is difficult - it's very easy to load up on all the Med Kit you've ever been given so you can deal with even the most inconceivable incidents and injuries, but you realise quickly you've got to carry all of this stuff and be able to move and fight with it for hours or even days at a time - that's when the difficult decisions come in and you really have to work off of the most likely casualty scenarios and equip yourself accordingly.

Anyway! Here's the Article:

Typical Equipment Carried by British Combat Medic on Ops

I hope someone finds it an interesting read! With regards to this  Blog, I'll be starting Uni in September and at that point there will be an atleast once per week update from myself about what I've been upto so that prospective Student Paramedics can read about the journey they will take too!

Friday, 13 June 2014

Life & Death On The Streets - Stuart Gray

So I was recently doing some work abroad and I stocked up on a few books before I left, with my Paramedic Course looming ever closer I thought I'd look around for any books that could give me a good insight into what I'm getting myself into. I ended up picking up "A Paramedics Diary - Life and Death On The Streets" by Stuart Gray.

Read on for how I found it!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

I'm back

Just a quick non-Paramedic post to let readers know I've returned from my work overseas and I'll be writing again very soon. I managed to read an excellent Paramedic book whilst I was away so expect a review on it shortly - it gave a real good insight into what I and others in my position are letting ourselves in for!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

RESOURCE: In-Depth Bag-Valve Mask (BVM) Analysis

Good afternoon readers,

I'll be quiet for 3 weeks as I'm off out to do some Medical work out in Germany, but before I leave I thought I'd share with you what I thought is an excellent in-depth analysis of best practice use of the BVM - it might be basics to some but it never hurts to refresh something that's so simple to use, but can be devastating if you get wrong.

American College of Emergency Physicians - BVM

Hope someone finds this useful!

Monday, 28 April 2014

RESOURCE: Atrial Fibrillation + Flutter

So amongst my own musings and original content on this blog I like to try and post bits and bobs I come across online that current students might find useful - This time it's an excellent video revision of recognising Atrial Fibrillation and Flutters on an ECG and also the Anatomy & Physiology behind it:

Original source: Acadoodle

Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Student Paramedic Shopping List

So with my University start date looming, I'm obviously putting some money into the equipment I need for when I begin my journey as a Student Paramedic.

Now before you start parting with cash, get in contact with either Students currently on your course or a member of staff that lectures for your course. I opted to email one of the course leads and asked them for an essentials and nice to have list of things for their students, here's what I'm buying:

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Paramedic Career Development

Hello readers,

I thought I'd devote some cyber-space to something all aspiring Student Paramedics should know about for Interviews - Career pathways and specialisations once you are qualified. I was asked this on two of my Interviews which made me glad that I had done my research, one interview I was even asked how I would like to specialise later on down the line if I was successful and why I chose that particular career path.

So here we go with some of the options available to a Paramedic with a few years under your belt:

Thursday, 10 April 2014

REFLECTION: To me a Paramedic is...

So I attended a Cardiac Arrest last night, not my first but it was the first where I was the first person on scene, working alone for some time and the only one with any sort of medical training.

To arrive at a scene of mayhem where emotions are running high, to enter a room when all eyes suddenly drop on you to have the cure for what is happening to this persons loved one, to teach someone with no experience how to carry out CPR when it is their loved one they're about to do it to, and to co-ordinate and motivate this group effort in the soul purpose of giving life back to the person laying before you.

Monday, 7 April 2014

DIARY: The road so far

It's been twelve months now, twelve months since my FianceƩ convinced me (and it took alot of convincing...) that despite what I thought, I could make it into University even with my rough road with Education in life so far. I was convinced that me and Education were never meant to be - if you told the 16, 18, even 25 year old me that I would one day study at University I would have laughed and walked away! However with a shove from my better half I enrolled on a College Access course with a view of taking my Medical Career to the next level and making the jump from Combat Medic to a fully qualified State Registered Paramedic.

RESOURCE: Easy 4 H's & T's revision (ACLS)

Hello Readers,

Pretty good video below on the 4 H's and T's otherwise known as the reversible causes of a Cardiac Arrest. Pretty good for revision, whilst there's plenty of material out there for ACLS - I think this is one of the better revision videos going.

Hope this helps!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Paramedics and the Military

So I thought I'd start April off with something I know a little about. If you've come across this blog it's likely that you would like to become a Paramedic sometime in the future, there are a few Career options open to you once you have successfully attained State Registration - Ambulance Trusts are the obvious ones but there's scope to work Privately, in remote/hostile environments abroad or at sea, or as another option: Within the Military. Now we're specifically looking at the Army and the RAF here as the Navy don't have Paramedics within the service (they have Medical Assistants instead). So let's look at how these two Services use Paramedics.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

One to Watch: Junior Paramedics

Just a quick one really for prospective Student Paramedics out there, it's worth a watch of BBCs latest documentary "Junior Paramedics" JUNIOR PARAMEDICS EP 1 - all the episodes are on iPlayer at the moment but if you're reading this a few months from now and this link no longer works then just search the program title in YouTube and catch them there.

The series provides a decent look at what to expect on your first ever placement, it's a little cheesy and it doesn't really show you much of the Uni side of the course but nevertheless it's not a bad insight really!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

My Personal Statement

I mentioned in a previous post (PERSONAL STATEMENT TIPS) that I'd put a copy of my own Personal Statement up that successfully got me several offers for University Paramedic Courses. Interestingly I haven't looked at this for a few months, re-reading it now there's small refinements I'd make to it - which goes to show you really need to write this up a good few weeks/months before you intend to submit it so you can proof read it again and again!


Saturday, 15 March 2014

My Golden Rules for Success

I've wrote quite a few lengthy articles about specific things you can do to prepare yourself to be successful at getting onto a Paramedic course at Uni - I thought I'd now summarise quickly some key thoughts on what really helped me at the Personal Statement stage and then Interviews.

1. The Health Care Professions Council (HCPC)
L/H - 1000051CStandards_of_Proficiency_Paramedics.pdf - This is your bible for the next few years. If you read through this it states exactly what is expected in a Paramedics Professional Conduct and the Qualities of a Paramedic - you can put money on your University of choice using alot of these standards as the framework for their marking criteria at Interview - During Application and Interview stages you need to demonstrate you live up to these qualities, think of examples - lots of examples that show how you do. Also make sure you can state the role of the HCPC in the Governance of Paramedic Practice - you will get asked this at Interview I promise.

So you got an offer! What next?

Congratulations, you got that dreaded "Your application status has changed" e-mail and it was what you were hoping for. First of all breathe - all that pressure, stress, worry, sleepless nights is all over, enjoy your achievement - you were top of a very big pile of people wishing to become a Paramedic.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Personal Statements

Hello to any readers that stumble across this!

I want to have a quick post on Personal Statements. The feedback I got from all 4 of my University Interviews was that my Personal Statement (PS) was "excellent" so I thought I might talk about what sort of things I added in to it.

"Start off 'punchy' with a story and leave them wanting more" was the advice I was given - and so I did!

The beginning
My opening 4 lines was literally a story about a severe trauma incident I dealt with in the Army. I talked vaguely about the situation and then left it on a cliffhanger before moving right into my profile.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Let's talk about using your "previous experience"

Having been successful at Interviews and gained a few offers from University for Paramedic Practice I feel like I can comment on previous experience and how to use it.

When I was preparing for my Uni Interviews all of my friends, relatives and fellow Access students would happily tell me that several years as a Combat Medic in the Army will mean I would breeze my way into Uni... I wish I'd shared their confidence!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Gaining that relevent experience

Okay so you've decided to take the plunge and embark on the long road of becoming a Paramedic. But now you need some experience to talk about on your Personal Statement and at Interview.

My first article is going to look at ways that you can volunteer around your current role if it isn't relevant or around study to gain that valuable experience.

Community First Responder
So first on my list is the Community First Responder which aslong as you can drive and have access to a car is an excellent choice to gain experience (though bear in mind that alot of