In this episode I chat with my good friend Sharon McFall on what life is like as a paramedic. So if that's a career you would consider doing then this is the episode for you.
We discuss various topics such as:
What qualifications do you need?
What is the training like?
What does career progression look like?
What does a bad, average and good day look like?
We also discuss what attributes make a successful paramedic and the advice that Sharon has for aspiring paramedics.
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Hello everyone. And welcome to the curious Ulsterman podcast. The podcast designed to give you the tools you need to thrive as an adult. And my question for you today is are you interested in becoming a paramedic? Well, I've got just a guest for you. My friend, Sharon McFall . She is a paramedic with the Northern Ireland ambulance service. And today we discuss the ins and outs of being a paramedic. The day-to-day , what the training involves the career progression and some other aspects of the job that you perhaps haven't followed off. So yeah, this is a career that potentially interests you. Uh, Sharon is very good at explaining what, what it really means to be a paramedic. And you can make a , an informed decision , uh , by whether this career is something that you would like to try. So without further delay, here's my chat with Sharon. Hi Sharon. Thank you very much for coming on the podcast today.Speaker 3:
Hi , Johnny . Nice to chat to you.Speaker 2:
I'm looking forward to this one because paramedics, we've seen loads of like , uh , new shows come on TV, like the day in the life of a paramedic, 24 hours in AME. And this is all really interesting. So I've always looked at the ambulance service with all in deep respect, and it's great to actually have a chat with someone who does this on a day to day basis. And I'm sure the audience will love to hear what your perspective is on what life is like as a paramedic, especially the aspiring paramedics people who've gone. Do you know what I actually, I found I really fancy a career in this, but I just don't know anything about it. And , uh, I imagine they're going to look very much forward to what you have to say on the subject. So for the audience who don't know, you tell us a little bit about yourself before we dive into the questions.Speaker 3:
Yeah. Um, I , uh, moved to England in 2013 to go to university to study primary science. Um, that was a three year [inaudible] and then all intents to come on home. That didn't happen. I stayed where I was , um, and worked , eh , with [inaudible] and Kent and South of England or three years almost today, and then applied to bike homes due to family reasons and elderly, elderly family. Um, but yeah, and there , thankfully not aren't going to have what I'm missed service, so wherever I wanted and on it , and thankfully actually got into my, one of the local stations. Those people actually already knew soSpeaker 2:
Well , that's fantastic to hear. That's very good. Um, so something I wanted to dive into , uh, rather than just the day-to-day first is I want to know, why did you want to become a, because that is quite an intense job by the looks of things, it looks like a very rewarding job, but it also looks like quite high adrenaline and there's a lot to it. So what's, what was the moment you decided I want to become a paramedic?Speaker 3:
Um, weirdly enough, I initially thought, cause I shut down my parents. I don't know what to do. You know, what are you good at? And skill, which builds a lot. Trust me, I was good . I was good at math. So like, okay . Like Mars and DNA. So I thought, Oh, maybe we could try like acquaintance stuff. Um, so I did work experience there. I had a week , um, with a work experience four days in that was not, my job is in sitting at an office all day. That's not me. It's not a , um, um , so really I definitely don't want to do that. Um, I thought it would be in a programmatic . I initially applied to work with , um, there are done this service years, years ago. Um, then get in which in fairness was a good thing because I probably wasn't really ready to do the job. So I thought I'll go away work full time for a bit. I worked with tablets with learns building and then thought, no, actually I really, really want to do this. So I thought, right, I'm going to have to go to England because it's the only way at the time to call them problematic . Well, you could in Scotland, but it didn't know enough, but I knew in [inaudible] . So I thought I'll just go that's if that's what I want to do, I'm just going to go. So , um, the end day levels, because I didn't like skills, so had to go back to tech to do a course. So I did one day a week, which was fine , work drive a full-time job , um, by the university and leave England. So thanks. I go on there's different types of courses. So in England, you can, they in house and she can work with the service and study issue as you work. Uh, I didn't know a lot about that at the time as to I didn't do it. Um, but you can do foundation degrees. Thankfully I got into BSA . So that meant that all the Gracie topped up by some point next few years. So thankfully I don't have to remind. I kind of did all go . Um, but yeah, so I think the best bet is you can't really get bored. I do get bored quite easily as a person and not a sit still kind of person. I like to be on the goatee and things , um , on that's definitely not my job as health on the go doing things. You never know what one day will bring what it makes our old brain when it's two hours of ring . Um, so yeah, it's, it's not like any normal office job, which I know she thought I would like. SoSpeaker 2:
Yeah, we're very similar in when I was in school. I knew for a fact before I'd even even experienced it, I just couldn't do an office job, which , uh, for those of you who have no , I followed the podcast for the two or three episodes. Well , no , I've probably mentioned I'm in the maritime industry. Life at sea is good and bad in a lot of ways , like a lot of jobs , but it's usually never boring. Um, you know, I, you know , uh , when you go into an office and the biggest drama is that the, the printers run out of paper. I just know I need, you need some , I need something that's a little bit more stimulating. So we're very similar in that regard, but something you mentioned, I just want to talk, touch on , um, for perhaps people wanting to get into a career in power medic and from Northern Ireland. Is that something that they have to bear in mind that they may potentially have to move like your , or was that just a unique circumstanceSpeaker 3:
Actually, as of, well, September 21, they've actually just started a great course and the gay , um, which is actually a long time coming , but it's really positive news, their word in, in host Shannon for the last couple of years. Um, but that's no content and that was funded by the service. Uh, whereas now you have to do your own funding for , um , thankfully I had got fondant space and university sounds quite blessed in that respect, but yeah. Um, but it's in the university is high at school and I host most courses, all university they're kind of phasing in high stuff, which there's positives and necklace of all aspects of it, I guess.Speaker 2:
Yeah. A hundred percent. So, okay. You've now decided that you want to become a paramedic and frankly, Northern Ireland, you probably won't have to move, but if you did move regardless, you're still going to achieve your dream like you did for you arrive. And what training did you have to do to go through, to become a paramedic? Like what is the standard training that everyone can expect to receiveSpeaker 3:
And annoyingly, some courses are all slightly different initially before I can even get into university, I had the fitness test. Um, I had to build a certain way. It's hard to be able to run certain distances , um , certain strength tests, so they can grip test and strengthen your hands just to grab stuff. And , um, CSE had to have a good amount of fitness on the belt to make sure you're able to, cause we do left. A lot of people have varying weights and sizes , um, and not everybody lives in or falls over. And , and I swiped up with space, it's generally down the side of a toilet or nice little enclosed spaces. So you have to be quite flexible and strong to , um, build a lot . So that was initially, and then you do, thankfully my course again was 50% on the road, that 2% theory. So we weren't in the classroom too much. Uh , most of what we were in was practical lessons as well. So learning David a textbook, but then actually let's go into the simulation room and practice it and see what it would be like. Um, we had quite an interesting instructor who liked to throw really random scenarios that year. That really got you thinking. So, you know, it was good and fights . I did do a lot of, a lot of practice on the road. Um, so every year was different, but the first year you did $600 and road second was like hundred and 3,800 RS node, which is quite a lot, you know, your fill time, six weeks notice times that you did feel like a member of the group, which was quite nice. Um , so yeah ,Speaker 2:
Yeah. So that's the fitness test. One caught me off guard. I didn't expect you would have to do that, but it makes sense now that you say that and the 50 P I really liked that 50% split between doing the job and doing the classroom work. But when you say you're on the road as a, as a trainee, you're interacting with real people you're in , in the ambulance, you know, dealing with whatever scenario comes your way.Speaker 3:
Yeah . So I think, I think I'm assuming my first I'll always remember my first ever patient as a student was a stroke patient. And obviously with stroke patients, do you have to move faster every, every second counts . So it was very odd for a student to rock up to a job where everybody's rushing around, but with calmness and there's no time for questions you , if we get the patient on board and you get them to the hospital, you know, so for a first job, it wasn't a nice little ease then like let's have a chat for this patient. Is there, I was literally thrown in the deep end. I'm saying a couple of shares , Sapper first cardiac arrest and was doing chest compressions, next person, which again, you kind of think golden star code to death call . I'll just let you know, as a student, I can watch a bit and learn a bit, but no , you're right in the middle of it , which is , is the best way to learn, especially for me, I guess. So,Speaker 2:
Yeah. So it must be a very surreal experience dealing with real people. You know, these, these people have families and stuff and you know, next minute they're in the back of your ambulance and you're having to give them CPR and various things, I suppose. That's , yeah , it's good that we discuss this because I think that, you know, for me, certainly when I got to see there was a lot of things that I'd heard about. There was some things that caught me off guard, and I imagine that no matter how well your tree and you're never quite ready for that first patient, you know, that first real individual, you know, I've, I've done the CPR on the, is it the Arnie dummy , you know ? Yeah. And like, thankfully touch wood. I'll hopefully never have to do it. But you know, I imagine dealing with a real person is a whole other, a whole other thing. So people should bear that in mind. You know that, yes, it seems obvious that you're going to be a paramedic. You're going to be working with people, but it's this , like you said, they're the first, the very first case was a stroke patient. And within your second shift, you were working with someone, but in cardiac arrest. So it, you know, I think people maybe for lack of a better way, describe it, maybe look out , we have about a Rose tinted glasses and maybe don't see the reality sometimes of what it is, but it's even better than that. They're fully prepared and not caught off guard for that kind of thing.Speaker 3:
Yeah, definitely. As in , I've always said that the patients and the family to make my job was that a diet , it's the stories. You hear the people you eat in there, you know, you don't know who you're going to eat that day. And that person doesn't think that they're going to wake up for TNR bills or see a problematic or say they don't know how the day's going to go. And you meet some people in the best days of their life. For example, like, you know, when we do childbirth, that's the best day of their life and you're there, but you're also people on the worst day of their life when they lose a family member. So you do witness every aspect of people's lives. You know, I've been at weddings, I've done jobs as funerals. I've been to every scenario and you know, there's not many jobs. You can say, you rock up into people's life for every round and point of it. SoSpeaker 2:
Yeah, that must be amazing in some way to , to deal with the whole spectrum of the human experience, you know, and again, it comes back to what you said is that your job is never boring, but coming back to your job, this is something that I've always wondered. Do you, when you qualify, you've done your, your, your complete training. You're not a qualified paramedic. Do you specialize, like, are you specific specializing in heart attacks, strokes, or are you a Jack of all trades? You can turn up and do a hundred different things. How does that work?Speaker 3:
So initially, well, initially when you first qualify, you get like , protected are so high for many hours working with other colleagues so that you're not just throwing into the deep end . Um, but initially you start off, I have a Jack of all trades. Um, you do have to kind of start there cause you have to know the basics of everything before you can specialize. You can specialize , um , in other aren't that the minute you can specialize in certain things like working in the control rooms as a paramedic, so you can felt the physicals to see what will lead an audience . What might not, what could be seen by the GP , um, in my old , um , job in England, and there was critical care paramedics, so critical care, they worked more with regards to cardiac arrest and trauma and more life-threatening immediately. So they had some more drugs on board that had some more kit on board to help that, for example, a strokes , they had , um, sort of license, which can help with strokes and reducing blood clot. Um, but also that as well as that there's part of it , practitioners, which are almost like they worked a lot in GP surgeries . So they could, they sit during . So for example, you went to somebody. If I had went to somebody with them, like a skin tear on their knee, or, you know , cut head, I can bring these guys and they would come wait a few hours and steps to lock at home. So they wouldn't even need to go to hospital for stitches. Like we had at home in uncomfort and own home. Um , we at , or they could prescribe or not prescribe, they could , um, give a couple of days course of antibiotics until the person was able to see their GP. For example, like at a weekend, they could see get a couple of days, I'd be RX to get over a chest infection , um, or they could do, they could glee , um, uh, cuts as well. There's numerous skills that they have. They can do ear infections , um , ear examinations , eye examinations. They can do a lot more detail , but it's more , um, primary care should like GP kind of area. But at the minute that are , obviously we can go onto hams onto that ambulance if you want to specialize in that aspect. Um, as well. So yeah ,Speaker 2:
If you don't mind, that would be something I'd like to discuss the, the air ambulance, because is that like, what do you sound to become a paramedic? Is it, you are just a paramedic and an, is air ambulance a specialty or is that no, I'm going to be air paramedic or am I going to be , um, paramedic in the back of a , of , um, for lack of a better description.Speaker 3:
So everybody that's on an , uh, they're on , Vince's initially a paramedic. Um, they may decide to remaster shouldn't quit care and not, therefore we'll get them on to their knowledge. They'll need to get them into their own bills . Um , but generally they are just paramedics from on the road as such. Um, but not, I don't know if you're aware, not every person on non-violence is paramedic. And so there's different grades . Yeah. So there's different grades. So , um, over here we have technicians who are, have slightly less scope of drugs that they're able to give. They're not able to kindly or incubate , um, but parents can deal with those. Um, and England, there's another rule called [inaudible] , um, or an ACA. So it's almost like a support worker, emergency support worker , um, are , they have even limited skills key in there more or less than what drugs they can give them . They can't give that many, they can give oxygen. Um , I think in three knocks and I think that's about it. Um, but they, as in their knowledge is incredible. Is it just because they can't give as much, their knowledge is very, very good , um , to high standard. So yeah, so not everybody on an ambulance is permanent . You may get, you might get an office , actually, that's two technicians on board. There's not always a paramedic on board over and nine times out of 10 agenda is department come forward though. So yeah .Speaker 2:
Yeah. Thus , that's very interesting. Like this is all brand new to me. Um, but even, even if there's not a paramedic on board, there's no dying the knowledge and skill set that that provides. I know, certainly the , um, for the audience, you don't know I was hit by a car when I was 12 and you know, I wasn't thinking a 12 or even if I, you know , touch wood, I won't need an ambulance anytime soon if I see people jumping out of an ambulance, I don't care if you're you call yourself a technician or a paramedic, I just knew I'm in CF Hobbs , you know? Um, so something , um, I do want the us staying with the career side of things in this is that granted you all arrive as paramedics and, and depending on your career ambitions, you, you split it into your various specializations and granted that's different between Northern Ireland and England and Scotland and undoubtedly Wales. But what does career progression look like in this role? So you've, you've arrived, you've got some time under your belt. You've perhaps, where do you go from there? What does it look like in the ambulance service?Speaker 3:
So you can do , um, he can't go to the managerial, right? So you can become a session supervisor assistant officer. You can become, what's called over here at CSO. So clinical support, clinical support officers should, they are more like , um, they deal with students a lot more on the deal with the training side of , uh , people. Um, so more so Evers in how you see it . They helped a lot with the students who were in host gen , and they would have to keep them an eye on them on the road and make sure if they needed any assistance that they were there. Uh, cause there's students come from in-house and Marshall Neu from the university there's mentoring , uh, paramedics. So a year after I qualified in England, I did a mentoring Porsche in England and they are just recently have done by Northern Irish one too , so that I can mentor students when they come late . And obviously having your not set knowledge is good, but being able to help a student get some knowledge and keep up their skills and , um, knowing when to stop back with the student and no one to help, you know, to jump in and help is in, as in, you might get the job done faster , if you do your shelf , but you're not teaching, you're not helping that person. If you don't let them learn. So,Speaker 2:
All right . That's interesting then. So there's, there's plenty of opportunities and avenues for career progression in the role. That's great. So this is where I'd like to get into the nitty gritty of the job and perhaps, maybe the last, the last , um, how would you put it the less ideal aspects of it? So what does about an average and a good day look like in this jobSpeaker 3:
About day is the day really off , um , you , you've no protection over whether you could be laid off that day or whatever, but it's anyone it's a 12 hour day and you're two, three hours laid off. It's a Friday alone day, especially if you have three or four shifts in a row it's, it's tiring. Um, a bad day for me is it's January where I come home and feel like I haven't helped anybody. Um, to that person. I may have felt like, I felt like they may have said, Oh yeah, you know, you're helpful, but listen , I don't feel like I have done so help for somebody. So obviously we get a lot of people who ran our bills because they generally play the need phone , but unfortunately they could've maybe seen a GP or something like that. So yeah, that rang and GPS and you know, doing phone calls and sometimes she comes a little bit saddened that you haven't actually helped anybody. Not that that's what the job is all about. But , um , a good day for me is this one where I come home and I feel like, you know what? I helped somebody today. And an extremely good day is where I may have saved her life is in that . There's nothing quite like that. Um, as in an average day for me , um, I not especially artists such, but I think to get two types of calls, I think to get a lot of falls , right . Sort of elderly fallen over. And I seem to get a lot of cardiac arrest or end of life kind of stuff. I quite like my cardiac arrest and my end of life stuff is, and I feel like you really can make a horrible situation, like a cardiac arrest for a family into not just start a situation. You can't be there for them. You can support them. You can do your utmost to save that patient's life, you may succeed. You may not succeed, but you can make that the best possible experience that that could ever be for that person. Um , and if I've cares and to me, there's nothing quite like sitting with a family of without person on dinner , almost to make sure they are as comfortable and peaceful as they can possibly be. Um, equally the false patients is in there generally the elderly generation aren't they have some amazing stories. There shows that they're some of the nicest and unfortunately some of them are quite lonely. So you do spend a lot of time talking and there are days I could just spend hours talking to them because they have so much interesting stories to tale from all the years combined. SoSpeaker 2:
A hundred percent you said a couple of things there that I just want to touch upon. And this is where my M apart from COVID right. My immense gratitude to the ambulance service. So unfortunately my granddad did pass a couple of years ago. Um, very sudden heart attack didn't know what hit him. Uh , thankfully he didn't suffer, but like he was 75 and this was at like four o'clock in the morning. And two ambulances showed up, not one, two . And on top of that, they did everything. Like I wasn't there, but based on what I've been told, they, it wasn't like, you know, not that I, not that I would ever suggest that they would do half a job, but like, they, from what I got told, they tried everything in the book and like, granted, unfortunately we couldn't see them, but that was such a nice feeling to know that they data everything physically possible. And it did it didn't, it was still hurtful, but it took a little bit of the sting out of it that we knew that nothing else could be done. And I know certainly I , my eternal gratitude to the, the ambulance service. Uh, but the other thing that you mentioned there that I just want to have a quick shot by that . I originally , wasn't going to ask you a question about, because I didn't even think about it was shifts. We act so hard as hard as shifts work. Are you free days on four days off, four days on free days off ? How does shifts work?Speaker 3:
Um, and since then ever since always, so generally generally on the whole, it's three on occasionally you'll get four off , but they'll generally be two days and two nights. And those kind of do that way. Um, but chefs are all over the place. Um, you can be in numerous different stations . I am based in an association, but I can work in other stations so they can send me to stations , um, either because I have no cremate , so they need to be crazy with somebody else who's single somewhere else. Um, or they just need more covered in different sessions some days. Um, but yeah, it's an on the whole, I like my 12 hour shifts it's long and it's tiring. But as in, you'd get on your shift and you spend your entire 12 hours with one person, is it , if you get a regular premium, you'll spend more time with your private , they're know , as bad as your husband or wife or family members. So you did call them your work husband and your work wife , because you will spend a lot of your time. And then I spent Christmas day spent my birthdays as my cremates, you know, when I'm not spending with my family, you know , so she yester the loan , but they're , you know, they go on quickly enough.Speaker 2:
Yeah. So, I mean, that's mostly view at the end of the day, which hopefully is a lot of good days, a very satisfying. And then knowing that, you know , you spent 12 hours and you've made a real difference in the world when that is when people are in colon ambulances, when they could have gone to a GP. But , um , and I imagine as well, the camaraderie that you very unique camaraderie you have between crew mates as well is another great aspect of the job.Speaker 3:
Oh yeah. I said, creaminess are very, they are very close as a kind of career. We are very dark black humor. That's how we cope with what we say . So yeah, for what you say , you have to be, as in, we may be doing CPR on somebody and having a conversation about what you had for one set day, because you have to, you have to distance yourself from what you're doing at that present time. You're fully aware of what you're doing. You're fully aware , you're breaking some regions . You can feel that, you know, you're doing that, but to cope with the job, you have to have a way of dealing with it. And humor is our way of dealing with it. So we've all been picked on. We've all been paid on, paid on blood, on us. We've all had it. So is it, you have to just have a good laugh and joke and it gets into humor .Speaker 2:
Yeah. Oh, I can totally relate to that as well. You know, being at sea and you know, there's been a few times, I've had a couple of very close calls at sea and you've just got a joke about it. You've just got to like, you know, not take it so seriously. And there's obviously the deepest respect for patients and the deepest respect for families. But at the same time, you know, if you're doing that day in and day out, you can't be taking yourself so seriously all the time. You've got to have that release in that humor, which is great to see. Um, I mean, every paramedic I've always, well, thankfully I've only probably had a chat with one from my own personal case , but, you know, I fall , I had turned up the, a comedy show in the back of an ambulance. There were obviously superb. I forgot I had a broken ankle. That was great . Um , so the next thing I want to ask , um, in fact, so I do have another question, but I think you , you said so many interesting things there. Um, and you said that one of the best aspects, well , I say the best it's one of the something that you particularly enjoy is the end of life care. And being able to sit with families and being able to, you know, ease that passing if needs be, but like ho , ho what , what's your advice to aspiring paramedics for situations like that? Like, you're obviously not a bit of an experienced paramedic and I mean, there's no easy way to do it the first time. There's no E I imagine it doesn't get easier, but what's your advice to aspiring paramedics when that situation does inevitably come along?Speaker 3:
My personally, from my experience, I find following my gut , um, and just, just listen to the family, listened to what they want, listen to what the patient wants or would have wanted if they're all able to speak to themselves and try and advocate for them. Um, I have had arguments with end-of-life people going over to basic why , and I'm telling you, you need, you need to come out. You need to see this patient. And then I get a letter from the farm member a couple of weeks later, Shannon , actually, they died within a few yards. Thank you for making a peaceful . She can. Um, I said , I have met people who I've been with criminals who have not been in the job for a long. And , um, they were, you know, it was there , they were attending the patient and they said, what do you think? And I suppose , I think the patient's dying and this , how do you know? And actually I just arrived . If , if I got, I know from my gut feeling, that's what was happening. And she was, but high day , no , for future holiday, I know that that's what's happening and I've experienced. So unfortunately it is just getting to be honest with the family . If you don't know what's wrong with the person, say, they don't want you to say, Oh, there's this, but they might put up . It's insane . Sometimes you have to say, Stan , sorry , I don't know what's wrong, but actually let me take you to hospital to find out what Israel, you know, or let me talk to a colleague that we talk to GP and bounce ideas off them. And then we might come this solution together. I think it was just honestly, and listened to farm members and listened to the patient.Speaker 2:
Yeah, that's fantastic. I mean, like, I know if I was in that incredibly high tempo and potentially emotionally distressing situation, that's exactly all I want is as awful as the answer, maybe just honesty and you know, that impeccable bedside manner to all man just seem to naturally have. Um, so this is a weird question, but bear with me. Are there any interesting stories that just sum up the job, but life is a paramedic.Speaker 3:
There's one story and it's it signs you probably know if, you know, if we were like, why is that your story? But I went to city and she had , um, I think she had fallen over. So the character Cola , sorry to pick her up from that was fine, but I was on the car on my own. So I picked her up and it turned, she'd been discharged from hospital the previous day, but been told , um , due to her deteriorating ability and stuff to not cook or anything for a shelf, it wasn't safe, but nothing had been put in place. So that I turned, I said, literally , you know, when was the last time she ate ? And he was well in hospital yesterday, so she hadn't had any breakfast. She hadn't had any lunch she had since she came home from hospital. Um , as in, I asked for an ambulance to come to bring a check about the hospital. Cause obviously she, you know, she couldn't look after herself , but then I just sat and me that woman, a cup, a cup of tea and some toast and some breakfast. And you know, it's little things like sitting beside something like that and go, what can I do for you as in , you know, I'm here as a paramedic, but you don't need my pirate skills. You need somebody to come here and make you some toast and tea,Speaker 2:
You know, listen to you. And, andSpeaker 3:
That's, that's sometimes the best thing about it . And I went and picked her up and yes, she needed also soar , but actually more so she just needed somebody to listen to her and, you know, be there for her . And I think that's, yeah, I think that's my favorite aspect of the job is just being there for people whenever . And it might not be a part of the scale. It might be just sitting with them talking.Speaker 2:
Yeah, that is so wholesome. I love it. Um, Oh , tea and toast is just the fix-all for everything . Just prescriber. Um, so what attributes do you believe the , uh , paramedic should have? Like if you're not to put anybody off, if you don't believe you have these. Cause I think you, these can be scared. These are skills that can be acquired and honed, but what helps be you become a very competent paramedic and attributes.Speaker 3:
Probably no one when no one to laugh and joke with the patient, but also knowing when to go , uh she's you know, we need to be serious here . We need to be honest, they do it open. This is what the situation is, but you know, you have to be able to read , read the patient are they're there and they can, they take a laugh and joke or actually do they need you to just sit with them and be serious? Um, so probably honesty and humor are weirdly the , the two best things to have , um, um , random people , um , from my old job, [inaudible] , there is , uh , a good amount of violence that happened and she has the other raid them to know they can't for a , bless me when they're going to become potentially violent . So I have to be able to read them. So I became, where did that job was quite good for? What I do now is I can read people and I can chat . I go, what do you need right now ? And you need to laugh and joke or do you need to sit somebody sit beside you and hold your hand. You, as in I've had people neighbor, and sometimes they just need you to sit there and they can squeeze your hand off naked screaming. That's what they need. And sometimes they actually need you to laugh and joke with them and take their mind off what they're .Speaker 2:
Yeah. So there you have it folks, the two batches honesty and humor. So although I think that all could be summed up as emotional intelligence as well. Couldn't that just to, Yeah. Yeah . Just, just have the empathy, the emotional intelligence, your honesty and your humor, and you're all set to be a paramedic then. So , um, my final question for you then would be, what advice do you have for , uh , aspiring paramedics? What would you do differently if you had to do it again?Speaker 3:
Annoyingly? I probably know if I can not, I would have done it in high street rather than the university degree rate . Um, I personally that's, that's personally for me , um, because I, like I said, I'm not a massive lover of skills and stuff that I would have loved in high street. The learning on the job. Um, I personally from, well , I think, I think it would make me a better all Orion paramedic. I would have got a lot more experienced onto my belt. Um, as I went through, rather than trying to cram it all in the three years, you could have done it takes a bit longer, but you , you know, you see a lot more stuff and you're on the road permanently. So , um , you kinda like author for a day here a day, there was going to university to get your degree. Um, but then I think for people who are aspiring and it's just perseverance, you just have to pressure for a year. And if it's what you really want, you just have to have to fight for it , I guess. SoSpeaker 2:
That's fantastic. Yeah. Thank you very much for that. And , um, before we do end this interview, I just want to give a massive shout out to all paramedics, doctors, nurses, anyone at all involved in healthcare with what you've done with COVID this year, because I mean like day to day , I imagine your job Sharon is tough enough, but then when you've got to deal with a potentially deadly virus and you know , the whole world lately been shut down with it and you know, the biggest risk I'll get catching COVID, it's possibly popping to the supermarket and not washing my hands enough. Whereas you are interacting with people daily and sometimes people calling with COVID symptoms. So, you know, I'm sure the audience, although they can't verbalize it would join me in saying a massive thank you to everyone in the NHS for everything you've done this year and keeping us all CF and looking after us as you always do. So that's my big, thank you to you all. Um, apart from that shower and it has been an absolute pleasure to have you on the podcast today, and we've only like we'll have you on again sometime soon.Speaker 3:
Thanks very much. Bye . Thank you. Bye .Speaker 2:
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there's plenty more to dive into this subject and all and like Madison and all. And I imagine the audience would love to hear more about you at some point on this particular field of medicine, but yeah. Uh, audience, thank you again for joining us and I'll see you soon, all the best bite. There you go. Folks. That was my discussion with Sharon on what it means to be a paramedic. I hope you got a lot of value out of that. And if you are considering a career in that field, the , by the , you know, decided, yep. That's definitely for me or perhaps not, but at least you'll make an informed. If you did enjoy this episode today, it would go a really long way in helping me. If you could leave a rating and review. And if you would like to hear more of the content on this podcast, please subscribe to all the social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and I also have pastry on if you feel inclined to doing it there so I can start investing in better equipment and the like , just to bring a superior product to you. And yeah, I'm really glad you're here and looking forward to more conversations like these. So all the best folks. ByeSpeaker 1:
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