What attracted you to the role?
I decided to become a CFR when I used to live in Suffolk, as it was a remote area, in a very small village and there was the need to support the community. As soon as I started the training and subsequently started responding as a CFR and working closely with the ambulance service, I realise my vocation was in helping people. I have never looked back since.
What does a day in the life of you and your job role look like?
The advanced paramedic role is a very varied one. One day we could be responding on rapid response vehicles, covering the complex incident bub, doing clinical contact shifts on a double crew ambulance or having an admin day, which is needed to tidy up all the paperwork which comes with the role.
No day is the same, and if responding on a rapid response vehicle we are sent to the highest acuity incidents as senior clinical support. These are often intense, emotional incidents which require the highest level of compassion, professionalism and compassionate leadership.
What are you favourite parts of your job?
Variety must be up there. I do enjoy the multifaceted side of my role and that often I have no idea what the day will bring. There are some very low days sometimes, but also some very happy moments, like a happy delivery in the community which I had a few days back.
What do you find challenging?
The emotional burden of the job is challenging. Breaking bad news to family or loved one of patients is what I find the hardest, and it is sometimes difficult to just ‘shrug it off’ and get on with the day.
What is the one thing you want people to know about your job that they might not know about?
It seems simple and maybe silly but we are human beings, we deal with difficult incidents and death on a daily basis and sometimes in the endeavour of doing our work with the highest professionalism it may seem that we are immune to the emotions which come with this job. All of us have different ways of dealing with this and I think it is important to highlight this fact.
We are the capable, professional, calm and friendly face who will come and support you in your most difficult situations when the darkest moments may hit you, your family, your loved one. We are always there and always will be.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue this as a career?
Make sure you do your research and possibly ask your local trust if it is possible to go and observe. It is the most rewarding career I can think of, but to be brutally honest, it is not for everyone. It is demanding, tyring and ‘relentless’. Working nights, weekends, bank holidays can take a toll with friends and family life. However, in my opinion, the benefits outweigh the burdens.
Thank you for sharing this with us Luca and Happy International Paramedics Day.