Real-life story - Adam Randall
A spell working in a restaurant made Adam realise that life as a chef wasn’t for him. But he loved his apprenticeship at North East Ambulance Service, is now an ambulance care assistant and aspires to be a manager one day.
How I got into the role
I started working in a restaurant at the age of 15 and this led to an apprenticeship as a chef. Working in a restaurant was fun but the long hours and split shifts took it out of me. We had a few customers who were paramedics and I enjoyed talking to them about their jobs.
At 19 I started to think about a long-term career and decided to go to a careers adviser. We spoke about the ambulance service and she told me about an apprenticeship scheme they run. I was successful with my application and started a couple of months after that.
After completing the one-year apprenticeship, I was successful in gaining a full-time position. I’ve been here three years now and love it!
What I do
My role is to safely transport patients to and from care settings such as hospitals and day centres. I work with a wide range of people of different ages and backgrounds which is very interesting.
The best bits and challenges
I love that every day is different; I meet lots of people who are usually in poor health and get a lot of enjoyment from being able to have a positive impact on what can be a daunting experience for many of them.
The patients can be quite poorly, so it’s sometimes upsetting. But we have a very good team and we’re able to talk any about issues we may have.
Life outside work
I’m a committed Christian, and I am involved with some voluntary organisations, such as Street Angels which provides a caring presence in the town between 10pm and 3am at the weekends. The project provides assistance for those who’ve had a bit too much to drink and a safe place for people who are vulnerable. I also volunteer for a community radio station where I have my own show.
My faith plays a huge part in my life and I believe having a strong anchor helps me deal with any problems I may have.
Career plans and top tips for others
After my apprenticeship, I gained a level two qualification in customer care, which enabled me to understand the role more. In the ambulance service we have professional development in the form of e-learning and annual training which refreshes our knowledge and keeps us up to date with changes in policy.
When I was an apprentice, I was put forward by my team manager for apprentice of the year with Health Education England and came runner up, which I’m very proud of. The following year, I won apprentice of the year award at Gateshead College.
I aspire to be a team manager and have done from the outset. I am currently working towards an NVQ 3 in management which I am enjoying very much.
If you’d like a career in the ambulance service this is a great starting point, gaining experience in the role and working towards a qualification at the same time. It was sometimes a struggle with the apprentice wage but well worth it in the end as you get the C1 licence and the chance of a full-time job.