Nearly qualified but learning is for life

02 April 2020
Volume 12 · Issue 4


In her final column as a student paramedic, third year Ellie Daubney shares how COVID-19 is affecting her final year of her paramedic science degree and her plans to fill in any gaps in experience before embarking on her official career as a newly qualified paramedic

After 3 years, I have finally almost reached the end of my paramedic science degree at Oxford Brookes University. Last week, I submitted my dissertation which evaluated the use of screening tools for geriatric depression by paramedics in the prehospital environment. Now, I have just two more written pieces of work and the remainder of my placement to go before I complete my journey for a career that I've been looking forward to for a long time!

Due to COVID-19, there has been a lot of uncertainty about whether students will remain on placement on frontline ambulances. For non-healthcare courses, the decision to cancel or postpone assessments has clearly been the safest option; however, any delay for the qualification of healthcare students can affect the continuity of service in the future and has had to be considered carefully. The first and second years have had their placements cancelled but for now at least, the third year placements are continuing so that we can reach the requirements to potentially go on the temporary register with the HCPC if we are able to do so. South Central Ambulance Service are not allowing student paramedics into the properties of suspected or potential COVID-19 patients so we aren't attending many jobs now unfortunately. However, I understand that it's not worth the risk of unnecessarily exposing a third manner when not even their colleague, either the emergency care assistant or non-attending paramedic, is allowed into the property unless help is needed with a stretcher for extrication.

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