BSc (Hons) Paramedic Practitioner - student insight - Joshua Guinane

"I chose to enrol on the BSc (Hons) Paramedic Practitioner course at University of Plymouth due to the close working relationship the University has with the local ambulance service; I figured this would give me ample opportunity to work and learn closely alongside some of the best ambulance staff in the country. Furthermore the University had a strong and appealing curriculum which seemed to cover a broad aspect of practical and theoretical topics, that largely could not be matched by other universities. 

Having just graduated from a previous degree in English language, reflection on possible career paths led me to the conclusion that I would prefer to seek employment in the ambulance service, for a career that would offer more excitement, challenges and public interaction. Now I want to take as much as I can from the course in order to become a highly competent and confident ambulance clinician.

The placement element of the course is one of its strongest aspects. Large blocks of placement really help to give you insight into what to expect from the career. The diversity of placement areas in which we are able to attend is also extremely beneficial. By working in acute trust placements like A&E, Paediatrics, MIU, CCU and Theatres, you are able to develop a much more holistic understanding of health and care provision.

As aforementioned, placement is a strong positive aspect and many students find that this is where most of their learning takes place. However this does not detract from the extremely dedicated and supportive programme team who are constantly at hand, either in person or by email, to give guidance on any problems. I would say the main negative aspect is the cost of completing the course, which has additional expenses for the likes of travel, on top of the original university tuition fees. I have overcome this through learning how to budget my finances more effectively, whilst also cutting down on unnecessary expenditure. Application for additional financial support from the University's retention fund has also been invaluable.

Currently I am halfway through my second year on the course and looking to be eligible for registration at the end of the year. This will not stop me from continuing with my third year study, in order to hone my existing skills whilst gaining additional knowledge and experience. I also currently hold a position as a student representative within my cohort and am enthusiastic about actively participating in the feedback and development process of the course."