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The following blog is written by Katie Ball, who is a third year student studying BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science. She reflects on her achievements and challenges on this course and whilst on placement. 

I’m Katie and I am currently a third year at BU studying BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science.

I started my student paramedic journey at BU in 2019 and can’t believe how much time has flown – especially now it’s the year of qualifying! With COVID hitting part way through my first year, I don’t think anyone anticipated how challenging these past few years were going to be. Especially with placements being cancelled and university going online.

Our university time is split into blocks, we do a set number of weeks at university and then weeks of placement, these then alternate throughout the year. The variety (but not limited to) of assessments consist of practical exams (OSCEs), essays, written exams, interprofessional learning and placement. I found it gives an all-round learning experience as we’re not only focusing on one specific type. We also have access to some brilliant facilities, such as the ambulance simulation suite which is housed in the newly built Bournemouth Gateway Building, which helps us develop our skills before applying them in during our placements.

The taught sessions in uni really help in building a foundation of knowledge to then use when out on placement. The lecturers of the course are all so knowledgeable and always create a good learning environment, which I think is so important. They’re quick in aiding any queries or concerns and are usually only an email away!

Although university has mostly been online, it also heavily relied on independent learning and I found myself more motivated in preparing for future placements when back out on the road.

Katie with some of the other student paramedics

But out of it all being out on the ambulance is probably my favourite place to be. The journey however hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Having only worked part-time in hospital as a Health Care Assistant (HCA), I felt nervous going into a new environment with only minimal experience in patient facing jobs. But I didn’t need to be so concerned, I soon found my feet and love every minute of it!

I really enjoy being able to make a difference during someone’s probably worst and scariest time and to also be a friendly face for both patients but their friends and family. It really is a worthwhile career.

You really do meet friends for a lifetime at university and also nothing beats going to a university that is less than 10 minutes to the beach!

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