“I noticed the job advertised on NWAS Facebook page – I have always wanted to work for the ambulance service, so thought I would apply and see how I’d get on. I remember being so happy when I got through the first round, and nervous about the next rounds. I was so excited when I was offered the role and myself and my mum went shopping and bought me an ‘ambulance green’ bag to celebrate.
“I am so proud to work for such an amazing organisation – I’ve been call handling for five years and enjoy my role. It is rewarding to know you have made a positive impact on someone in what could be the worst time in their life.
“The role comes with a lot of challenges – you must be very emotionally resilient to handle the calls we can receive as well as having a wide scope of empathy and patience to deal with a variety of situations that present on the line.
“When coming into start my shift, I like to give myself time to put my lunch and food supplies for the day in the fridge – I then enter the call handling suite and greet my colleagues that are now nearing the end of their 12-hour shift. I check-in with how their shift has gone whilst logging onto my desk for the day. I check up on emails and any new procedure updates or changes, before getting my headset on and putting myself in ready – then I’m ready for the ‘beep’.
“The shift can bring any number of calls – varying from a minor injury to a major trauma – safe to say no shift is the same, we always expect the unexpected. We have a great support network that are on hand for any support after a difficult call and a wider range of additional support when we need it. The staff coming in to start their shift are a welcome sight after a long day and that always signals home time. I log out and pack my headset away ready for another day, say bye to my colleagues and thank them for their support. It’s then time to leave the day at the door and go home and enjoy a well-earned rest.”
If you think you have got what it takes to be an emergency call handler like Karen, we are recruiting emergency medical advisors now.