I feel it’s high time I sing the praises of the Ambulance Service as a career choice. It’s all too easy to moan about this and that but all jobs have their down points. Here are some of my favourite things about working for the Ambulance Service.
- No matter what sort of day you’ve had, at the end of a shift you can always look back and think that you’ve helped at least one person. Just turning up in your ambulance with your kit makes people really happy, because when you arrive, the pressure’s off them. I’m not sure of any job outside the emergency services where simply arriving makes such an impact.
- You get to use cool pieces of equipment. As a child I watched ‘Casualty’ (the English equivalent of ER in the USA) and see the Paramedics using spinal boards, stretchers and defibrillators. I NOW USE THESE!!…..ME!!……AS MY JOB!!! Cool!
- You get to drive with blue lights and sirens. I don’t care what anyone says, even after almost three years doing the job, I still get a buzz from response driving. Sometimes I catch a reflection of my Ambulance in a shop window while on blue lights and can scarcely believe that it’s me driving it! I love the sight of cues of traffic parting like the Red Sea for ME!
- You get to ease people’s worry. It’s a wonderful feeling being able to tell someone that they, or their loved one will be OK. The relief on their faces would warm even the coldest of souls.
- You learn so much about such an interesting subject. There’s no doubt that most medical professions are vocational. I don’t think you could just turn around and say “right, today I’m going to become a Nurse/Doctor/Paramedic”, you have to really want it and want it for the right reasons. They say every day is a school day, in this job it is. There are so many unusual medical conditions and clever ways to treat them that in a whole career you won’t see everything. To learn something (almost) every day that truly amazes is magical.
- You get to work outside. Not so good when it’s -3 and raining sideways, but lovely in the summer. Sat on the grass in the summer waiting for your next shout – it aint a bad life.
- Once in a while, you actually save someone’s life. Not very often – the job isn’t as glamorous as the media would have you believe – but occasionally, you’ll come across a patient that without your treatment, would surely die. I don’t just mean driving them really fast to a hospital so the A&E Nurses and Doctors can work their magic, I mean the time when you have to give an injection of Adrenaline and Hydrocortisone to the Asthma patient who will stop breathing if you don’t. When you apply a tourniquet to someone with a catastrophic bleed, because they’ll haemorrhage to death if you don’t. When you give CPR and shocks to the patient in Cardiac Arrest because, well, because they’re technically dead and you want to bring them back to life.
- We’re mostly respected by the public. “You guys do such a good job”, “you’re angels in green”, “I don’t know where we’d be without you” are some of the lovely things people say to us. You need to be modest to do this job 🙂
This isn’t the full list, just a highlight of the best bits of the Ambulance Service.
As I say to most people, “good days and bad days, but it’s the best job in the world”.