You may remember Matt from our Your Call magazine article last year in which he talked about being diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome.
At the time of the article Matt had not long started his career journey as a newly qualified paramedic (NQP). Now 18 months into his role, he talks about how he is getting on in his role and why World Autism Day is important to him.
Hi Matt, where are you up to in your NQP role?
I am 18 months in with hopes of progressing to band 6 by the end of the year. I feel that I am settling in well and have recently moved from South Lancashire to Merseyside. I have started to mentor students which is great to be able to pass on my knowledge as well as learn new skills and techniques from the students.
I am currently stationed at Buckley Hill (Maghull) ambulance station, and I work with a very friendly and welcoming team. They have helped me ease into the transfer, my current Senior Paramedic Team Leader Jamie, whom I know from when I was a student, is extremely accommodating with my conditions and he will always provide me with help and support should I need anything.
What have been your highlights so far?
Completing my Special Operations Response Team training alongside our hazardous Area Response Team (HART), as well as taking part in some of the different major incident exercises training sessions. Another would be my driving course; I thoroughly enjoyed my time learning to drive under emergency response conditions.
I think being able to work with a progressive and inclusive team has been great for my self-confidence and has allowed me to talk about and spread awareness of autism and ADHD.
Have you faced any challenges?
Yes, I have had a fair few difficult incidents such as highly emotive paediatric emergencies and end-of-life (EoL) jobs. However, I have a keen interest in EoL care and giving the highest quality care to patients and their families who are often going through one of the worst times in their lives.
In addition, settling onto a new team at a new station was initially challenging as I had to get to know new people and try to integrate with staff in the sector. I would like to thank the Buckley Hill Blue Team for making it so easy for me and enjoyable.
What does World Autism Day mean to you?
It is an important day when we can spread awareness for the many variations of autism spectrum disorder. Not only does this day allow us to prove that autism is not necessarily a disability but can also bring with it many talents and skills. Often there can be a negative stigma associated with autism but with the ability to spread awareness, this stigma is starting to diminish. I am seeing people starting to talk about their diagnosis more openly which is great. People are now feeling able to talk about the challenges and difficulties that they have faced, and how far they’ve progressed to overcome these challenges. It’s one step closer to a fully inclusive society.