Guest blog: 'definitely the job for me'

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Ben Law

Waveney-based paramedic Ben Law was part of the first cohort to be recruited as a student paramedic in 2014.

What were your expectations of the ambulance service before you joined and what was it like in reality working on the front-line?

Before joining I thought you would work with the same crew mate and attend a few more trauma/ medical emergency jobs.

I knew that the ambulance service attended a lot of elderly patients, but didn't realise how many primary care or non emergency jobs we go to.

That said, becoming a paramedic is a lifelong dream job, and now I'm qualified, I love it!

It's definitely the job for me.

How did you find the training provided by EEAST?

Being on the first cohort, the training via EEAST was quite sporadic in places as it was a brand new course and pathway.

However, the tutors we had in our first year helped us achieve our goal. I was lucky enough to work in a great area operationally and learnt so much from some great members of staff in Waveney.

Every day is a learning day which has helped me develop to the paramedic I am now.

 What was the university aspect of the programme like?

The UEA as experience really helped with my development and confidence. It was definitely the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but it's meant to be hard as at the end of the day, people rely on us to deliver excellent care. Again, it was sporadic in places being the first DipHe group, but with hard work and determination, I made it! 

The best part of the uni journey was getting to spend lots of time on the road with my mentor, who was fantastic. Chris Calver is an experienced senior paramedic who definitely played a massive role in my success and I will always remain truly grateful for his help, support and guidance.

What have been your highlights / most memorable jobs since joining?

Since joining the ambulance service I have attended some horrendous jobs and seen things some people will never see,  but I have also seen some truly amazing things from getting a ROSC on a cardiac arrest patient, delivering a baby and having a cup of tea with an elderly gentleman whilst listening to his war stories. I came to realise quickly that our job isn't just about the interventions we can perform, but how just simply listening and talking to someone is where a large part of our workload lies. For me this is great as I love a good natter! But equally, sometimes that is all that is needed and can make such a difference in someone's life.

What have been the biggest challenges since joining?

My biggest challenge since joining is learning all you need to know to be an effective paramedic. There is so much to learn and you learn every day, but I thought it would just be accidents and emergencies rather than the amount of primary care jobs we go to. Because of this I self study new conditions or presentations when I come across them.

Also trying to fit in family time whilst studying has been extremely hard. I have a young family who want to spend time with me and I with them, but you have to discipline yourself in the university year and that means sacrificing family time, but it’s worth it when you pass!

What advice would you give to someone wanting to become a paramedic?

It’s going to be hard, but it’s meant to be hard. There are lots of ups and downs, lots of good days and bad days but remember, teamwork makes the dream work!

And if you want it bad enough, you’ll become a paramedic!

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