Sian Davis

Paramedic Science BSc (Hons)

View the course
  • Year of graduation: 2022
  • Current job title: Paramedic
  • Current employer: East of England Ambulance Service
  • Industry sector: Healthcare

Your University Journey

Why did you choose your course at UON?

When looking through different universities, something that was really important to me was course size. I felt that a smaller cohort would suit me better and I was finding many universities had cohorts of 100+, whereas UON had only 25 places.

As well as this, at the open day I discovered all the lecturers were either current or previous practicing paramedics, in different sectors. All of them were so positive about the course and had a lot of knowledge, which made it really enticing. The University itself was modern and newly built, so felt like a good environment to learn.

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

Having a cohort of only 25 students was one of the best aspects for me. We all became close quickly, with both my course mates and the lecturers, so it felt like a little family, where we could all rely and lean on each other.

Also, the balance of placement and study time was spot on, and even out on placement we had the constant support of the staff.

Your Placement

Did you complete a placement?

Yes, I completed eight ambulance placements and six hospital placements over the three years. The ambulance placements were at a variety of ambulance stations in Northampton and the hospital I was allocated was Kettering General Hospital. I was able to work as a third manner on ambulance placements, with a mentor to guide me. By my third year I was working almost entirely autonomously with the guidance and support of mentors (who were all complete superstars).

Please describe how your placement benefitted you.

The support from my mentors was second to none. They were all the kindest, most supportive people and really boosted my confidence and made the journey much smoother than it would have been without them. I was able to practice patient-facing skills, especially communication in my first year. And then as my paramedic skills developed, I was able to learn decision making skills and put everything I had learned at university into practice.

What employability skills did you develop during your placement?

I was able to gain lots of knowledge about the different Ambulance Trusts and the application process for a newly qualified paramedic. I left university with a solid plan of how to apply, timings and good knowledge of the different Trusts.

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

I got to meet lots of the people who aid with employment in EMAS, as well as general knowledge for other Trusts.

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

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or admit you don’t know something. Most of the paramedic mentors have been in your shoes so they know what it’s like and how much there is to learn, so they never mind explaining things or showing you.

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

Get stuck in and try not to hide behind paperwork. Even if you feel unsure, give everything a go whilst you have the support of a mentor, because one day you’ll be doing it on your own. Drink plenty, sleep between shifts, and admit if you’re struggling. Mentors have been in your shoes so will be sympathetic to your worries.

Your Career Journey

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

I’m now about to begin my Newly Qualified Paramedic post for EEAST!

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

I was able to work as medic cover for Leeds Festival after university and I’m now about to start as an NQP. It’ll be a hurdle going into a new Trust, but I’ve been given all the advice and support I could ever need from UON, so as much as I feel nervous, I also feel prepared.

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

All the paramedic skills, and the social skills developed from placement.

Your advice

In one sentence, what advice would you give to undergraduates interested in this career path, or anything you wish you had known earlier?

If you want it, work hard enough to reflect that. Demonstrate why you’re going to be an amazing paramedic.

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

Like a green family!