Student insight - Amy Hayter - Paramedic Practitioner
"I chose University of Plymouth mainly due to its location and excellent reputation amongst my close family and friends who either are current students or have been. The University’s situated close to where I grew up and so being used to the familiar environment is comforting to me. The course is mainly delivered in the Peninsula Allied Health Centre which offers modern and fully equipped skills labs for clinical practice. The University of Plymouth is also a very ‘green’ University which I find very attractive in the modern world.

I chose the course to provide me with the tools to enable my strong ambition of becoming a Paramedic to become a reality. A degree in Paramedicine is highly regarded in the pre hospital arena and I believe that it will allow me to provide better care to my future patients through using advanced skills, which I will learn in the third year of the course. 

The incidents that Paramedics attend are incredibly broad and range from trauma incidents, mental health emergencies, and concern for welfare related incidents, to name a few. I find the unpredictable nature of the career very exciting as well as the constant challenges, learning, and professional development that comes with it. The role of the Paramedic is constantly evolving to improve patient care and outcomes. I believe that this course prepares me well for the contemporary Paramedic role. I am very much looking forward to the third year of the course, and look forward to a long term career as a practicing Paramedic.

I particularly admire the tutors for teaching their students the best clinical practice based on the latest research evidence. This allows me to provide more ethically and clinically justified care to the patients I have the privilege of treating. The fact that the course is delivered by lecturers that are either current or very experienced clinicians in the field of Paramedicine particularly appealed to me. Occasionally other specialists are invited to deliver lectures specific to their own discipline, such as midwives to deliver sessions on human birth. This aspect of the course is excellent as any questions I may have regarding a discipline specific area can be answered reliably.

The clinical placements on offer are highly relevant to the Paramedic role as they complement and build on the main Paramedic skills learnt at University well. Working with specialists in one area of healthcare on placement has allowed me to gain extra skills that I can apply to patient scenarios on the ambulance. This improves my care of patients, which fills me with a great sense of pride.

My favourite placement, other than front line ambulance so far, was in my first year where I was based at an emergency department for two weeks. This placement enabled me to gain the knowledge to inform patients of what investigations they may have once they arrive at the emergency department when they have a certain presenting condition on the ambulance. Working alongside different care teams on placements has also allowed me to develop good interpersonal communication skills and allowed me to recognise how each care team contributes towards the overall patient care and that this often starts with the Paramedics. This made me recognise the importance of providing the patient with the best start to their treatment pathway.

Working in different placement areas of the South West, I have experienced the different dynamics of both rural and urban pre hospital care delivery. This not only provides valuable experience and essential skills but also allows me to better gauge an idea for the area I’d most like to work as a Paramedic, post HCPC registration. 

I feel that Plymouth has the right ratio of theory learning to clinical practice learning. The best part of the course has been its ability to provide me with huge self-discovery and self- development experiences. I began the course very shy as I was aged 18 and had just finished college. Through working cohesively with medical teams and with my mentors support and guidance, I soon overcame this. The course has shaped me into a more confident and pro active individual who sees a problem as a challenge and a failure as a learning opportunity. My allocated Paramedic mentor has been incredibly welcoming, supportive and central to my clinical and personal progression. My mentor provides me with honest and regular feedback regarding my professional and clinical practice. We work together on Rapid Response Vehicles as well as the frontline ambulances alongside other ambulance crew members who respect my student status and encourage and aid in my learning. 

The course is highly intensive and time consuming which could at times be very stressful to the average individual. However, through adopting good time management, I have so far utilised my time well and will continue to do so. 
 
I managed to finish my first year with very good results both academically and personally. I am currently half way through my second year of the course, and still absolutely loving it! I intend to progress into the third year of the course to refine and engage in deeper and more comprehensive learning soon. The extra skills learnt will assist me in providing better care to my patients in the future. It is my hope that this will assist me to deliver a more appropriate care pathway for my future patients and ultimately a better patient outcome. I am very excited for my future in my chosen career as a Paramedic."