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Megan's story for National Apprenticeship Week

Date: 08 February 2023

Time: 10:00

Megan Brennan web

This National Apprenticeship Week, we’re talking to members of #TeamEEAST who started their career with us as an apprentice and hearing about their journeys.

Today we’re talking to Megan Brennan, a newly qualified emergency medical technician (EMT) from north Bedfordshire.

Introduce yourself!

My name is Megan Brennan, I have just qualified as an emergency medical technician, and I work out of Biggleswade station in north Bedfordshire.

What apprenticeship did you do? 

I chose to complete an apprentice emergency medical technician apprenticeship with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST).

Why did to choose to take the apprenticeship route? 

When I applied for the course, I was 22 years old, and going to university at that age wasn’t an option for me. I am a better learner with hands-on experience, which is what the apprenticeship route offers, so I thought this would be a great starting point and route into the ambulance service.

How does the application process work? 

When I applied, I had to provide a supporting statement to explain why I wanted to join the ambulance service. I also had to provide evidence of all my previous qualifications and any relevant experience and provide up-to-date references. The online application process was simple and easy to navigate. After I applied and heard I was successful for an interview, the interview process was really straightforward and I was able to complete my interview on Microsoft Teams due to being in the heat of COVID-19. The interviewing panel were extremely friendly and made me feel relaxed and at ease. I also had to provide a valid DBS check and hold a UK driving license with my C1 section complete so I can drive the ambulance and be put forward for the blue light driving course. 

What does the apprentice journey look like? 

My apprentice journey was set out by an initial 12-week clinical training course. This was completed at the training centre in Newmarket. The 12 weeks included a variety of subjects and activities to provide you with the basic knowledge in preparation to start your hours on the road.

You are taught via simulated exercises in cardiac arrests and maternal emergencies. After having weeks of practice, you are examined in a calm environment to ensure you can safely provide adequate CPR and recognise heart rhythms on the monitor. I also had three written exams, which included anatomy, pathophysiology and medicine.

After the 12 weeks in training school, you start your hours on the road as an apprentice! I had to complete 750 hours on the road as either a third person or working as a crew (depending on if you have your c1 license and blue light qualification!) You will then work on a frontline ambulance with a two person crew and attend a wide range of jobs on a 12-hour shift. You also are required to complete a portfolio which is signed by a qualified member of staff after supporting and witnessing you safely completing a clinical skill out on the road.

How did you find the apprenticeship experience? 

Overall, I am glad I chose the apprentice EMT pathway. The experience for me has had its ups and downs due to our training provider being changed midway through my apprenticeship, which unfortunately caused a delay in me qualifying. However, the support throughout from my management team at Bedford has been exceptional and the paramedics and EMTs I work alongside have supported me and helped me along my journey and I am very grateful for everyone’s help. 

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to other people?

I would recommend the apprenticeship to anyone who doesn’t feel university is the right route for them. The apprenticeship provides you with on the job, hands-on training and if you feel that’s how you best learn, then this is the route into the ambulance service for you. 

Talk us through your journey from starting as an apprentice to working your way up to EMT. 

After I had completed my portfolio and my hours, I was able to send it off to be marked. Once this was complete, I was put forward for my final assessment. This again was completed at the Newmarket training centre and included a brief exam regarding safeguarding. After this, you have a simulation for cardiac arrest and a patient assessment scenario. Providing you have passed the following exams on the final assessment day, you are able to work as a qualified EMT!

You receive your certificate in the post a few weeks later and continue to develop your skills on a frontline ambulance and then have the option to progress onto paramedic when you feel ready. 


  • Summary:

    This National Apprenticeship Week, we’re talking to members of #TeamEEAST who started their career with us as an apprentice and hearing about their journeys.