Lucy Allan

Paramedic Science BSc (Hons)

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  • Year of graduation: 2018
  • Current job title: Clinical Lecturer in Paramedic Science
  • Current employer: University of Cumbria & South Central Ambulance Service
  • Industry sector: Healthcare & Education

Your University Journey

Why did you choose your course at UON?

At the time BSc courses in Paramedic Science were very new. Through research of all the universities offering the course, I most felt drawn to the multitude of placements offered at Northampton. Throughout the three years, I completed placements both on ambulances and within several hospital wards and I feel this prepared me for the spectrum of patients I encounter now as a paramedic. Additionally, the smaller course size was a really attractive factor to me and meant that the support was great throughout my three years.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most and why?

I really enjoyed the final year elements surrounding leadership and professional working. This included practical skills for management of scenes and colleagues, but also interesting elements in which the psychology of human behaviour was considered. I found this topic so interesting and beneficial to my development as a clinician, that it’s the module I now deliver as a clinical lecturer. Additionally, and consistently throughout the three years, were practical revisits and scenarios to continue to enhance the clinical skills.

Your Placement

Did you complete a placement?

Yes, I had ambulance placements and spent time in hospital theatres, emergency departments and maternity, paediatric and cardiology wards. I also spent time in minor injury clinics. Throughout all of these placements, I was a student paramedic and conducted observation and clinical skills relevant to my scope of practice.

Please describe how your placement benefitted you?

It gave me an appreciation of other healthcare professionals’ roles and the scope of practice of many different departments. Additionally, it aided with skills development, both clinically and professionally.

What employability skills did you develop during your placement?

Both clinical and professional skills were enhanced. The main employability skill developed was my ability to work with different healthcare professionals. This has been incredibly important during my time as a clinician and having a good understanding of their roles has been of great benefit to myself and my patients.

How do you think the placement helped you to gain employment after graduating?

It meant I had well-rounded experience of the specialist areas and patient groups I am exposed to as a paramedic.

Do you have any tips on applying or getting the most benefit from your placement?

Be open-minded about what you may get from it. On some you may benefit from clinical skills practice, however on others you may gain valuable human interaction experience. If you’re from a background of low exposure to different groups and communities, then these placements will help you gain understanding of individuals’ experiences and how you can benefit them with your care.

What advice would you give a student about to begin a placement?

As above, be open-minded and get as much as you can out of what is being offered. Each area will enhance your learning in different ways.

Extra-curricular activities

Did you do any extra-curricular activities while at UON

Yes, I assisted with open days for the University.

How did these extra-curricular activities enhance your career prospects?

I felt that they gave me a better understanding of the course and the services available to us as students. Additionally, it helped prepare me for the future, as I now mentor student paramedics as part of my job.

Your Career Journey

How do you think your studies have helped your career or personal development?

My studies enhanced my clinical and professional skills as a paramedic clinician. From a personal development side, having an understanding of academic writing and research skills has aided my continuation of professional practice, as the job of a Paramedic is evidence-based and has continual elements of critical thinking and decision making. In recent career developments, this course has allowed me to advance into my current position as a lecturer.

Describe your career progression so far, and any plans you have for the future. Are there any particular hurdles you may face?

I’ve worked as a paramedic clinician for four years and in the last year have progressed into a seconded position as a clinical lecturer. The plans I have for the future involve the PGCert in Higher Education Teaching which I’m about to undertake, with further plans to complete a master’s degree. The main hurdles have been keeping up to date with clinical practice due to the ever-changing nature and requirement for continual professional development. However, this has been something that the University prepared me for with the academic portfolios throughout the three years.

Which, if any, skills and knowledge/understanding gained on your degree are most useful in your current role?

All the skills and knowledge I gained during my time at University have been imperative for me completing my current role.

Your advice

What advice would you give to undergraduates interested in this career path, or anything you wish you had known earlier?

This job, and the course really, is hard, tiring and sometimes stressful, but also so fulfilling and worth it at the same time. Time-management and organisation is going to be your best friend, so be sure to get good at creating a healthy work/life balance.

In ten words or less, how would you summarise your UON experience?

Fun, busy, exciting, fulfilling, sometimes stressful, enriching, unexpected.