"There is no such thing as a typical day in the ambulance service as every day is so different and varied."
Tyiba joined the ambulance service with the end goal of becoming a paramedic. She is now a qualified paramedic and studying a Master’s degree in emergency resilience, planning and response.
I have worked in care since I was 16 years old and over the years I have had a lot of experience in different care settings. I decided I wanted to specialise in emergency medicine and started working for the ambulance service in 2011 with a mindset that I will progress to paramedic level.
In 2012, I started working as a driver for the non-emergency Patient Transport Service. In 2014, I started working in the emergency operations centre taking 999 calls and in 2015, I was recruited onto the trust’s student paramedic programme. During the programme I completed the technician training and later went to university to undertake a degree in paramedic science.
I’ve been practising as a qualified paramedic since December 2017 and have since completed a mentor course which enables me to support other students. I have previous leadership and management qualifications as well as other care-related qualifications.
There is no such thing as a typical day in the ambulance service as every day is so different and varied. The paramedic role itself is becoming more of a social healthcare role as opposed to emergency care, although I prefer dealing with more life-threatening emergencies.
The biggest myth about my role is that every job you go to is a life-threatening case. This is not true, although some of the cases we deal with have the potential of becoming life threatening if they are not dealt with and treated promptly.
The best bit is job satisfaction when I actually treat patients’ conditions, especially when I can start their treatment before they arrive at hospital and make them feel better.
The challenges are that you need to make quick decisions and mentor staff at the same time. If I had the opportunity to change anything about my role, it would be to learn more clinical skills.
I enjoy socialising with my friends. I used to do Taekwondo which taught me some great self defence mechanisms. Luckily, I haven’t had to use the skills at work yet. My shift pattern is suitable for me as it works quite well with my home life.
Initially, when I first started, I was struggling because the shift pattern didn’t suit me. I try to eat and drink well when I am on shift, so I have the right energy levels to treat patients who are feeling poorly. This job can be quite physically and mentally draining, so I find it’s good to discuss cases with other colleagues and to do self-reflections for my personal and professional development.
I have recently started a Master’s degree in emergency resilience, planning and response at the University of Wolverhampton. I am constantly looking at ways to develop my role as a clinician as well as within leadership.
The advice I’d give to those who are keen on this role is: be prepared to put the work into studying and learning on the job, attend ambulance service or university open days and take opportunities to observe healthcare in action.