How To Become A Paramedic: A Guide By Beth Franks
Beth Franks talks about how to become a paramedic on the 30th episode of The Homework Help Show Student Influencers Podcast. Beth shares her student paramedic journey, how she got into paramedic school in the first place, and shares tips for paramedic students.
Beth Franks On Becoming A Paramedic
Born and raised in the British countryside, Beth Franks was the first of her family to go to university. She was also the first amongst family and friends to go into paramedic training. She is a student at the University of Brighton and studying a BS in Paramedic Science.
She shares that the paramedical science degree being taught has changed over the years. The colleges and universities that offer paramedic training courses not only focus on on-the-road training but also focus on the higher education side of it. When Beth was younger, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do in life. She definitely didn’t envision herself taking up paramedic studies because she was quite squeamish around blood and sickly things. She was actually doing odd jobs that weren’t fulfilling and was a make up artist on the side. What Beth realized while working as a makeup artist was that she wanted to help people feel better. She worked on cancer patients and helped make them feel beautiful again which made her feel good as well.
In 2017, Beth took a first-aid course and was able to help someone with an injury. The person she helped initially thought of her as a nurse because she seemed like a natural at the moment. This moment must have lit a lightbulb in her mind because three months later, she decided to pursue paramedic studies. Her family and friends were quite shocked given her squeamishness to illnesses but something about being able to help others lit an unknown passion in her.
Beth’s Journey To Becoming A Critical Care Paramedic
Beth was able to slowly get over her fear of blood because she was still working as a makeup artist. She was able to work at a casualty training simulation where she had to create fake wounds on people. The more she worked around fake blood, the more she became comfortable with real blood. She says she would often think to herself that the real blood was fake so she could work around it. Her passion for being a creative and a make up artist was really what got her started and made her question how to become a paramedic.
Beth knew a paramedic in her town who got her the job at casualty training simulations that made her get a course on first-aid. She remembers one of the first things she learned was chest compressions. Now as a paramedic student, she’s done countless chest compressions and is so comfortable with it that it feels like muscle memory. Because of her training as a paramedic, she has even become better at doing trauma makeup because she’s been up close and personal with the real thing.
Beth Creating Paramedic Student Tips
Paramedic student tips aren’t something Beth learned from anyone else but herself. Since Beth was the first in her family to go to college and take up a paramedic sciences course, she decided to compile paramedic student tips. The reason she created this guide was because she wanted to offer support in a way she never got. Beth did all her research on her own and actually crafted the original guide just for herself. She created such a useful guide that she was able to get an offer on all the universities she applied to. She decided to create a video on the guide she made and a lot of people were curious about it and some even wanted to pay for it. A lot of people following her on social media were probably considering EMS careers and so she consolidated a 10-page guide for those considering how to become an EMT. It basically highlights the paramedic requirements, skills, and tips students need to become a registered paramedic.
Her 10-page consolidated guide is available to her followers on social media because it was so in-demand. She always shares some of the tips on The Homework Help Show.
How To Become A Paramedic From Beth Franks
Here are some of the tips Beth Franks shared on how to become a paramedic.
1. Ask Questions
As a student, one thing Beth wishes she had done more during lessons is ask questions. She advises not to be afraid to clarify certain things because there is no such thing as silly questions. This is definitely something she highlighted students to practice. Because she didn’t speak up more, whenever she had a question she would just end up doing the research herself. This is definitely doable, but the reason you are in school is to learn directly from professionals. So Beth advises to take the opportunity you have and not be embarrassed or afraid to ask questions.
2. Learn The Application Process
The first step to how to become a paramedic is to send in your application. Making a decision regarding your career is really important. For something as big as becoming a paramedic or EMT, you have to be really sure about it. Beth tells students who are looking to become paramedics to ask professionals or practicing paramedics and EMTs.
For more information on the college application process, read the checklist Big Future created for incoming college students.
3. Realize What The Industry Entails
If you’re wondering how to become a paramedic, the first thing you need to realize is that it’s probably not what you think it is. Beth says to students thinking about pursuing this career is that it’s not like what you see in movies or TV shows. You need to have realistic expectations about this profession. You need to ask yourself, “is being a paramedic worth it?” because it’s a profession that entails caring for the lives of others and you need to be precise and learn how to think and act quickly.
4. Read Over Your Personal Statements
Personal statements are a big requirement for incoming university students. One thing Beth shares on the podcast is other students’ tendency to lie on their personal statements which she definitely doesn’t recommend. Personal statements are a great way to set yourself apart from hundreds of other applicants so it’s important to find a way to be unique.
A big part of the interview process is feeling your best when you look your best. Homework Help Show host Lesley shares that college interviews can sometimes feel like a job interview. To show up as your best self and impress your panel, read our past blog on How To Dress For An Interview.
5. Do Your Research
Whether it’s for your interviews or getting started on classes, doing your own research is super important. Besides understanding what becoming an EMT or paramedic entails, you can make an impact and a good impression on interviewers when you’ve done research on what a paramedic does and what qualities schools look for in their potential recruits. Being prepared through research will help calm your nerves during the interview process. Having some prior knowledge before your classes start can also set you up for success and increase your chances of doing better when training actually begins.
6. Be Confident
If you want to know how to become a paramedic, something you need to have is confidence. From the start of your application process, to interviews, training and everything in between, confidence is key. When your job is to literally care for other people, you’ve got to be confident in your decision making and there’s no better way to practice this than being confident from the jump.
7. Know What To Take With You For Interviews
Another important tidbit that Beth included in her 10-page guide on how to be a paramedic is to know what to take with you during interviews. Students might bring all their big requirements but forget about small stuff like a pen or a water bottle. She adds this as a reminder for students who might be letting their nerves get the best of them. Don’t forget even the smallest necessities like a pen and a water bottle.
Entering college can be very stressful and you can easily be a nervous wreck. To further prepare you for the process, try listening to another episode of The Homework Help Show where guest Aurthi Muthu teaches the steps to Applying To College.
8. Try Not To Overwhelm Yourself
In order not to stress yourself out more than necessary, Beth shares on the podcast that you shouldn’t guilt yourself for needing breaks. She often has some guilt in the back of her mind for putting off studying in order to do leisurely activities. If you want to know how to become a paramedic, you need to make your training and learning time sustainable. You will risk burning yourself out if you don’t allow yourself some time for well-deserved rest.
To know more about the importance of downtime in order not to be stressed over school, read our Guide For Exhausted Students.
Listen In To Beth Frank’s Full Interview On The Homework Help Show Student Influencers Podcast
Hear from Beth Franks herself how to become a paramedic through our platforms Anchor FM, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify. If you want to watch the episode, the video version is also available on YouTube.
Whether it’s becoming a paramedic, an EMT, or any course of your choice, Homework Help Global is always willing to assist along the way. We understand that such a course as paramedic sciences can be very challenging and balancing school work and managing stress levels is difficult. If you need a little help with custom essays, PowerPoints, or research papers, you can always seek help from our amazing writers. Just place an order on our website and you can focus on your training to save lives!
FULL TRANSCRIPT FROM OUR PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH BETH FRANKS BELOW
Beth [00:00:36] Hey. Hello.
Lesley [00:00:38] Sorry if you were waiting for me. I was having to. It was taking my computer a while to turn that to connect.
Beth [00:00:47] So.
Lesley [00:00:49] How are you doing?
Beth [00:00:50] I’m all right. Thank you. How are you?
Lesley [00:00:52] Good. I’m Lesley, by the way.
Beth [00:00:54] Hello. I’m Beth.
Lesley [00:00:57] So I usually do a quick little, like, intro kind of thing, and then it just kind of goes into the questions. Yep. Do you have any questions before we start? Are you ready to go?
Beth [00:01:09] I think I’m ready to go.
Lesley [00:01:10] Perfect. Perfect. Okay. Hi, everyone, and welcome to The Homework Help Show Student Influencers podcast. Today I’m here with Beth Franks. Hi, Beth. How are you doing today?
Beth [00:01:23] I’m really good. Thank you. How are you? Good.
Lesley [00:01:26] Usually we start with a couple. Kind of get to know you questions. So, first of all, where are you born and raised? And then where are you right now?
Beth [00:01:37] So I live just outside of town hall Eastbourne, so I’m right on the south east coast of England. I’m about 60 miles outside London just for a geographical location. I live in the same town that I was born in. I live not far away from the house I grew up in. My parents have been in the same house my whole life, so I kind of stayed within that radius. And I go to university in Brighton, which is kind of my local city, but I’m quite a way out from there, about 30 miles from there. So I’m really near the beach. We’re only about eight miles from the beach in the countryside.
Lesley [00:02:13] So that sounds nice.
Beth [00:02:19] It is a really lovely place, actually. It’s quite quiet where because we’re quite a far away from the city and the busy city life, it’s it’s nice and rural, so there’s not much going on, but it’s not a peaceful.
Lesley [00:02:32] Yeah, I always see like pictures of.
Beth [00:02:34] Where.
Lesley [00:02:35] I’d like to be of like the British countryside. And it always just looks so peaceful like.
Beth [00:02:43] Yeah. It is what you see on the on the TV programs and stuff. There’s just like sheep everywhere and cows and fields, little country lanes, that sort of thing. That’s literally where I live.
Lesley [00:02:55] Yeah, that’s. That’s nice. What what college or university do you go to? And what are you studying?
Beth [00:03:03] So I’m at the University of Brighton, which is kind of my local university, and I’m doing a Bachelor of Science degree in Paramedic Science, and I’m in my second year. It’s a three year course. I’m roughly halfway through your study.
Lesley [00:03:18] So you’re going to be a paramedic when you’re graduating?
Beth [00:03:22] Yes. So it’s a bit different now to how it was in the past. I used to learn to be a paramedic by kind of doing the job on the road and you’d you’d do the courses and build your way up. And that’s kind of how you got there. But now they’re kind of focusing more on the higher education side of it, because there’s so much behind it, there’s so much medicine behind it that now.
Lesley [00:03:44] They.
Beth [00:03:45] They’re bringing in these paramedic courses. I mean, there’s some universities more up north that I’ve only just started. Like this is their first year of paramedic science. So. Yeah. When we graduate, we’ll become registered healthcare professionals. I’m paramedics.
Lesley [00:03:59] Awesome. What kind of made you get into, like, what made you want to be a paramedic? Was that kind of something that you always wanted, or was it kind of a pivot later?
Beth [00:04:09] Definitely wasn’t something I was wanting to do. I was the sort of person that would pass out if someone would bleed in front of me, if someone was going to be sick or something, I would run in the opposite direction and I used to be a bit of a joke. People would have like cuts of the hands, really minor things and I would cringe at them. I just couldn’t even couldn’t deal with it. So it definitely wasn’t something I always wanted to do. I was really into history and B.S. And when I was at school, kind of didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I was really good at things like nail art. So that’s what I did when I left school and I went and did a beauty course and was really good at it, to be honest. I loved it, but. It kind of wasn’t ever enough. I never felt completely fulfilled. And so I was just kind of doing jobs because I needed the money and being a makeup artist on the side. And and I kind of always knew that I wanted to work with people. I quite enjoyed helping people, but obviously in a different way. I was helping them feel better about themselves and with makeup. I wanted to work with people that had cancer, showing them how they can still put, make a pot and feel pretty, even though a lot of them didn’t feel like they could feel pretty. So I always enjoyed that sort of stuff. So I suppose in a way I’ve always been on the same track, but I suppose it was about 2017. I just did a first aid course just for the job I was at and really enjoyed it. I just found it really interesting and I remembered everything. I was just really taking it in on the course and I suppose it was a couple of weeks after that I helped out someone that had quite a nasty injury to their foot. It was bleeding quite nicely and after that I kind of just thought about it for a little while and I had an amulet that came out to that person and they thought I was a nurse. They actually asked me what I did and I said I was a makeup artist and I was like, Oh, and I was like, Why? And he was like, You just dealt with it perfectly. And I was like, Did I? And so I thought about that for ages. I think I must have been thinking about it for about three months before I mentioned to anyone that I’d been having these thoughts. And I told my best friend first and she was like, What the hell? Where does that come from? Also, I don’t know. I just keep thinking about it. I can’t stop thinking about it. And I eventually told my parents, my family, and they were like, Really? They just didn’t expect it from me. But I thought about it for a long time. I went and did some volunteer work with that support staff and made sure it was really for me and I wasn’t going to be scared as soon as someone passing in front of me, I just enjoyed it more and more as it’s as it’s gone on the last couple of years. Is expected.
Lesley [00:06:43] Did the dealing with blood and stuff get easier along the way?
Beth [00:06:48] Yeah. I think to be honest, the makeup artistry stuff helped because I did a lot of like casualties simulation, like trauma makeup. So there was a lot of fake blood. So I think something in my mind was registering the real blood is just makeup. So then I kind of got over it. So I just it just stop bothering me. I mean, I wasn’t completely okay with it. And that’s kind of happened more as I’ve been exposed to it. But now, yeah, I just go with it. Doesn’t even faze me anymore.
Lesley [00:07:18] So pro-tip for anyone else who is squeamish with blood, pretend it’s makeup.
Beth [00:07:24] Yeah. Literally. Go buy yourself like a Halloween makeup kit. Play with it at home. And then eventually you’re just be like, Oh, it’s all makeup.
Lesley [00:07:33] I mean, that’s a maybe. I’ll try that. I’m not good with blood right now. So you kind of do the makeup artist stuff as like you kind of tide that in a little bit to the paramedic field, right?
Beth [00:07:48] Yeah. So that’s kind of again, how it all started. So I was being a makeup artist and I knew a paramedic that worked in my local town and he knew I was my partner. So I went to school with him, so he kind of knew where I was going and he asked me to come and do some make up for a big rescue simulation. So a lot of other paramedics and firefighters and policemen and loads of agencies, I think it was about nine different agencies that we’re going to do this huge simulation and it was going to be multi casualty. So it was going to be, I think until there’s 24 casualties, the only did makeup and I knew I could do it. So I went and helped out. And again, that was one of the things that helped me kind of get into it, because they’re not to stand on the side and I’d watch them all do what they were doing and I was just fascinated by it. And so yeah, originally I started off doing things like Bridal Make Up and proms and all that sort of stuff. But eventually the, the trauma makeup was more interesting to me and it was more fun because you can’t really go wrong with it. You don’t have to get it perfect because if it’s a mess, it’s better. So yeah, I did a simulation with them. I’ve done a couple in Spain, a student paramedic, but now I’d rather do the paramedic stuff, so rather than be the makeup artist. So I’m kind of on that fine line of enjoying it and being a bit jealous.
Lesley [00:09:09] Now that makes sense. I mean, that sounds super fun now because you probably get to be like pretty creative with that too, because, you know, not every injury is different, so you probably get to like do something different each time maybe.
Beth [00:09:24] Yeah. I think if I look back at the pictures of injuries that I created when I was a makeup student and some of the ones I’ve done more recently, that definitely more realistic now, I think because I kind of know what what they look like and I know how different things bleed and all that sort of stuff. So I think they’ve got better definitely. And, and yeah, it’s helped help me grow as a student power as well.
Lesley [00:09:47] Yeah that makes sense. That’s, that sounds super fun and interesting.
Beth [00:09:53] It’s a lot of people when they find out about you. I’ve got so many questions and they want to see pictures and all that sort of stuff. A lot of them then kind of a bit squeamish after, but they’re always interested in it and it’s quite a cool skill to have when you’re kind of in this industry. Before and before. I would say I got into it, I had it, but now that I’m in it, it’s quite nice to have because if I need to create something I can do, and I’ve worked with people that are doing things like exams and assessments and that sort of stuff that I’ve done make up for. And it just helps, helps you pass exams if you’re actually looking at something that’s real. So it has.
Lesley [00:10:29] That would be cool, especially if you’re studying like a certain type of st like thing and then being able to kind of like maybe it might help. Have you kind of made that? So what like while you’re studying a certain like for example, a certain type of injury or something if you like, okay, I’m studying this thing like maybe I’ll try to make it like on my arm or something to learn more about like the anatomy of that injury. I feel like that would be really helpful for study.
Beth [00:10:58] Yeah. So I’ve done a couple with like open fractures, so bones coming through the skin, but they’re quite good ones because the management of them obviously has to be quite careful. So if you’re if you’re practicing on someone that looks like they’ve actually got that injury, it just works better practicing. You can just kind of visualize it more than you would if you would, just pretending there was something there. So yeah, my friends enjoy it sometimes as well.
Lesley [00:11:22] Yeah, I’m sure they do. I mean, that hands on practice is I feel it’s very important for like first aid care and like emergency care.
Beth [00:11:34] Yeah, I’ve done it with some the some younger accord cadets. We have a big charity in this county called Saint John that kind of run a lot of event first aid. So they cover some of the big events and they have a youth division that has cadets in it. They’re all, I think, 12 to 18. I think they just are. And they do a lot of assessments every year to kind of move up the levels. And I do a lot for them when they have the assessments. So I’ll go in and, and they’ll get presented with this injury and the like, oh my God. But it’s much easier because they’re quite young, some of them, and they know they’ve had the training. So I know what they’re doing, but then they enjoy it more because it’s it’s kind of fun then as well.
Lesley [00:12:15] So yeah.
Beth [00:12:16] Yeah.
Lesley [00:12:17] Is that the St John ambulance because we have we actually have that here in Canada too.
Beth [00:12:22] Oh yeah. That’s it.
Lesley [00:12:24] Yeah. Yeah. They’re at, I like all of the local events and stuff.
Beth [00:12:28] Yeah. Same here. All of them. They, they try and do everything.
Lesley [00:12:31] Yeah. The, they run the first aid courses to like I’ve had to take a couple of their first aid courses and actually that’s kind of why I mentioned like how the hands on in that type of field the hands arm is more important because like I’ve taken so many CPR courses or like first aid courses and then like walked away and could not tell you how to wrap something because like I didn’t like I did it once in the course and then like, never did it again.
Beth [00:13:02] Yeah.
Lesley [00:13:03] And it just was like, Oh, here’s how to do it, but like, we’re not going to practice this. So I’m like, I can. I would be so unhelpful in an emergency.
Beth [00:13:13] Yeah. St John’s a first aid course is the one I did that very first one when I was doing a were St John run that and the guy that was running it was telling me about the volunteering he did. So eventually when I decided however many months later I think this was probably in May and then in the December I joined myself and started doing the event stuff, which is how I got involved with the youth division as well. But yeah, I know what you mean. You do it once and you think, Oh, I don’t remember any.
Lesley [00:13:42] Yeah, you’re like, get put on the spot later and you’re like, I don’t know if I’m doing this right, but I think.
Beth [00:13:48] Yeah, I remember like thinking about now when I did that first course, they made us do chest compressions as like a mini assessment at the end, so we could then get signed off on it. And I remember like massively overthinking a chest compression was now I just kind of do it and I don’t even have to think about it. It’s just like an autopilot thing.
Lesley [00:14:06] Yeah, you’ve probably done that a million times by now.
Beth [00:14:10] A few times just to help that house. It’s real life. You have to really have some stamina.
Lesley [00:14:16] Yeah, definitely. I. It’s hard like doing like that, however many I see, I don’t even remember how that even works.
Beth [00:14:24] But 30.
Lesley [00:14:25] To 30 compressions, like that’s a lot of.
Beth [00:14:28] Work. Yeah, yeah.
Lesley [00:14:30] Your arms. But I mean, I guess it’s worth it because you’re saving someone’s life and all that.
Beth [00:14:34] But yeah. And in real life, you know, even thinking about feeling tired because your adrenaline takes over so much, and especially now, probably not so much a couple of years back, but now that I know so much more because I’ve learned at university, my head’s thinking about all the things. So I’m thinking right next. We need to do this. We need to. Obviously this needs to be given or whatever. So I’m not even thinking about little things like that anymore. I’m thinking about the bigger things. So my body just does it. It’s just like a muscle movement now. But I excited for next day so much. Yeah.
Lesley [00:15:08] I’ve never said it’s like in that moment you’re like, you don’t really care about how much it hurts until the next day.
Beth [00:15:15] Yeah, it’s. You don’t think goodbye until a couple of hours. Like, I actually did it yesterday. So this morning when I woke up have really aching and the back of my shoulders are really aching. And yesterday my hands like I just had really achy fingers. But it was like 4 hours later when I actually thought, Oh, my hands are aching. But yeah, in the moment you don’t think about it. So.
Lesley [00:15:37] Yeah, that makes sense. Do you have any kind of like I know you share a lot of advice on your social media and stuff for other other paramedic students as well as maybe other like other students who are taking other type of health care programs. So do you have any kind of tips and advice you could share for students who might be listening, who maybe are in their first year as a paramedic or are thinking about that career path?
Beth [00:16:07] So first, I’d say definitely ask questions. I feel like I didn’t ask enough questions, I suppose. I mean, I was asking things when I was out of placement and and with different health care professionals. But I always come home and think, Oh, I wish I’d asked about that or I wish I’d asked about this and and then I’d have to kind of research it myself as if I could just ask someone and have been explained to me. So obviously with our students they know where there to learn and there’s no such thing as a silly question really, because if you’re asking something about the job and to help you learn, then that’s going to help you develop. So I would say if you’re thinking about something, even if it’s like the name of a piece of equipment, just saying to someone, Oh, what’s this called? And and they just tell you. And then you’ll probably remember that forever. You won’t ever have to think, Oh, what’s this code again? And was I like, I didn’t do that in my first, maybe three or four months. I was quite reserved. I’d ask bigger questions, but I felt silly if I would ask little things. So I was kind of getting to a point where I was like, I don’t even know what that’s called. So then I’d have to research it because I do want to ask people. So the first is I’d say, just if you’ve got a question, just ask it, because someone would tell you and it would just make your life easier in the long term. But I suppose for new starters. And if you like, going through application process, I’d say make sure that you understand the role because a lot of people think, especially with paramedics, I’m not sure how it works with other health care professionals, but people think you just do things like big car accidents and big resuscitation jobs every single day. But you don’t. I mean, it’s been months and I’ve only had one thing like that and it’s a lot more things like mental health and caring for elderly people and that sort of stuff. And the universities really look for that. When you go in for your interviews, they don’t want you to just say, Oh, I watched a cool program and I want to be a paramedic. They want to really understand what you’re getting yourself in for. So it is a lot of kind of community based care, social care now just because that’s where the role is going. So I think if you’re applying and you’re about to go for an interview, I think if you have a real understanding of what that role that you’re going into actually is, they’ll see it and they’ll understand that you know what you’re talking about. So I think, yeah, do a bit of research. If you know people that are in the profession, talk to them and just Yeah. Know what you let yourself in for basically.
Lesley [00:18:32] Yeah, definitely with the field like that, like you have to, you know, I feel like you have to kind of know what you’re in for and a lot of like and this is kind of I’ve said in the past, I’ve said the same thing about like nursing and stuff like that too. Like anything that involves. Immediate like care of someone in the health industry. I feel like you kind of have to understand that it’s not going to be like that glamorous image that you see, like in movies and on TV. Like it’s not just going to be all we’re rushing to the scene of this major accident. We’re going to save this person’s life and it’s going to be this big, like, whole ordeal. It’s very it’s much different when you actually do it.
Beth [00:19:18] Yeah, I totally agree. I think. Yes. Same with nurses. A lot of people see like things like Gray’s Anatomy. And I think that’s what a nurse is going to be. But it’s not it’s it’s kind of caring for people and sitting there listening to people talk. And I mean, a lot of patients we’re seeing, especially at the moment with like GP’s being closed and that sort of stuff, people are getting almost to their wit’s end and have nowhere else to go, so they’ll call an ambulance. So we can’t really do anything for them because we’re emergency trained. But sometimes just listening to them and then trying to put them in the right direction is, is the biggest thing that helps them. So yeah, just not always thinking you’re going to go into Yeah. Running into big car accidents or something like that because I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen.
Lesley [00:20:04] I had actually a couple of my close friends are nurses and a couple of them are paramedics like that. And yeah, like sometimes they’ll, they’ll say some kind of story about whatever they did that day. And I’m just like you.
Beth [00:20:22] You have to do.
Lesley [00:20:23] You have to deal with that?
Beth [00:20:25] Yeah, definitely. Some of the most memorable ones are not the ones that you think like a lot of people are like, Oh, how many people have you seen die? And you’re like, I don’t even know. But you can tell them an interesting story that they they would think is probably quite boring. But to you, it’s probably the more interesting thing or the more memorable thing. But yeah, I think there’s a real with a lot of health care professionals, there’s a real like. The wrong attitude towards life saving, people saying you’re just going to save lives every day. But if I’m totally honest, I think I’ve been on the road for like a year and a half and I would say I’ve probably only saved two lives, like actually saved them everything. And it’s kind of been a care type thing. So I’ve done something to help them or I’ve got them to where they need to be or pointed them in the right direction. But as far as actually I saved a life, I think probably only two or three out hundreds of patients.
Lesley [00:21:19] Yeah, yeah. And I think like that that is something that to kind of like keep that in mind because and I mean, like my friend that’s my my one paramedic friend. Like he I remember it was like a couple of years ago and he’s been a paramedic for maybe eight years now. And I remember a couple of years ago, he was he I guess he delivered a baby on the side of the road or something like that, or he delivered a baby and he was like really, really excited about it. And and we were like, Don’t you do that? Stuff like that all the time. He’s like, No. Like this was a huge deal and he was so excited about it.
Beth [00:21:57] Yeah, it is really rare, actually, and I think a lot of a lot of healthcare professionals that I’ve spoken to about childbirth because I would love to do something like that. And a lot of people I’ve spoken to have been like, Oh no, I can’t stand maternity jobs. And I’m not really. And that they always say, no, they’re so messy, so much is going on. You have one patient and then suddenly you have two. And I know there’s still stuff. And I think especially for paramedics, normally when you arrive on the scene, something has already happened and your that to fix it was with childbirth is happening and it’s all on you. So yeah, they’re they’re big jobs. But no, thankfully they don’t happen a lot. People usually get to a maternity ward just in time or obviously they’re at home. So it’s a quite a rare job. But yeah, it’s very exciting when babies are born.
Lesley [00:22:44] Yeah, that must be kind of like I mean, I know obviously you don’t want that to happen because it’s not you know, it means there’s an emergency. But I’m sure that it’s kind of one of those like, oh, like if it does happen. It’s always like a highlight. Are you guys not for the not for the patient?
Beth [00:23:02] Yeah, definitely. I know a lot of paramedics that have done it maybe only once or twice in their whole career. But I think it’s the same as the parents. Once it’s all over and the baby is here, everyone just chills out and it’s a much nicer environment. I do know one paramedic that said that delivered a baby and said to mom, oh, I think you should name baby after me. And they actually did. Ready? Really go. He’s got the same name as the paramedic because I think it’s just horrible. And if I have to deliver a baby, I hope some of that.
Lesley [00:23:33] Is so sweet that they did that.
Beth [00:23:35] Yeah, that’s probably one of the highlights of her career. So she’s done two or three Childbirths, but she’ll always remember that, which is lovely.
Lesley [00:23:42] Yeah, definitely. So you also you published a book or not really a book more like a pamphlet on interview, like university interviews.
Beth [00:23:55] Yeah, right.
Lesley [00:23:58] What kind of me do you like? Was it something that you kind of just did? Because a lot of people were kind of asking you for tips and stuff, so just kind of put that together. It’s like a guide, right?
Beth [00:24:08] Yeah. So it kind of came about because a lot of people were messaging me and asking questions about interviews and asking for advice on the interviews. And I kind of was just saying the same thing every time. And to be honest, the whole my whole Instagram I started was I kind of started it to help people that are going through it and give them the support that I kind of didn’t get. I was the first person in my family to go into a role like this. I was the first person in my family to go to university. So I kind of was I wouldn’t say a disadvantage, but I didn’t really have much help in that sense because no one knew what was going on. So I spent hours and hours and hours researching before my university interviews, finding out what they would ask me and the sort of things I needed to say. And I kept it all in a folder. Like I had a really thick folder that I’d take with me because I always stayed in a hotel the night before because some of the universities were quite a distance away and I’d read through, Oh, so it was all in my head. So when I got there, I knew the right things to say so that I’d get offered a a place and I still had it. I found it not that long ago, so I was kind of flicking through it and I did a video on it so people could see the sort of things I researched. And so many people messaged me like, Can I buying this stuff? You know, I really want you to buy this. And so I sat down and I found all the I found a USB stick with the documents on and I went through it all and kind of compressed it into a guide. Obviously, I had a lot of stuff that was specific to the universities I was applying for, which wasn’t relevant to every right I’m. So I took all that out and I just kind of kept things like the key qualities a paramedic, paramedic skills and some practice questions that I found. I kind of did a brief description of like the role of a paramedic since the whole thing that I know the university’s look for, put that all in a document I think is about ten pages. And I’ve had quite a few people that have really loved it and have said, thank you so much. And a few people are a bit like, Is this really going to help me? And I was like, Well. It helped me. So it might help you, but it’s not so much. Telling them what to say is telling them how it’s teaching them how to prepare and what to research before, and just so that they can answer the questions confidently. Really. And of course, I’ve got a copy next to me here. Yeah. So I just basically put things in there, like reading over your personal statement. So we do all of our university applications through Newcastle. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard.
Lesley [00:26:34] Yeah, we have a similar thing in Canada. It’s like, Oh, I forget what it’s called. It’s been a while since I used it, but yeah, I know what you mean.
Beth [00:26:42] Yeah. So the universities all put out their courses on a new course and you apply through them and you upload a personal statement, which is, I think it’s 4000 characters or something like that. It’s been a while since I did mine and quite often they will pull up on that in in your interview. Now, obviously, most people know what’s in it. And I think there’s a real small number of cases where people are not truthful in their personal statement and that’s how they get caught up. So I’ve just put in there things like read your personal statement, know what’s in there, because then if they say to you, Tell me about this, then you can answer confidently. I had it at one of my interviews. He asked me about an experience I had abroad and said, Can you just tell me a bit more about it? And I literally said to him, How long have we got? Because I to talk about this for 5 hours. And he was like, Oh, we’ve only got 10 minutes. But I was really confident in that answer and he could see that I was really passionate about it. So that’s the sort of thing they’re looking for. If you put something in the person statement they’ve obviously been attracted to based on the application. So just go through it and talk about it as much as you can in your interview. So I put that in there and I put in there about researching the university because although we’re paramedic students or nursing students or something like that, we are also university students and they want the best students. And and I think I read somewhere before my interview that they were an all round student, not just someone that is going to do the bare minimum. So I would look at things like and the course specifics. So how many placement hours they offer me? The local ambulance service thought I’d work with employment rights at the end of the course and I would look at like the extra module we should get. So we although we do ambulance placements, we also do hospital placement. So we get to do things like A&E or the emergency room we get to do. West Virginia Pediatrics one in next year, all get to do maternity one, that sort of thing. So they’re all different. Different universities offer different things. So I was kind of looking at what that specific university would offer me. And then when they say to me, why this uni or What attracted you to our course or something like that? I had a solid answer to give them and they knew I’d done my research and also looking at things like what societies they’ve got. So I think one of the universities I went to, I looked at the societies that they have there, and one of them was a British sign language one. And I said, Oh, I’m quite interested in that. And it was a, Oh really? How did you find out about that? And I said, Oh, I was looking at a website and I saw that you have a sign language society and it was a Oh, that’s really interesting. So he was engaging with me because he could tell I’d done my research. So I put in things like that into my guide just so that people can really prepare themselves. I mean, they might not use all of it, but at least they can go in a bit more confident. And yeah, because I felt before I was going into it, I felt like I was really lost and I was going into this massive thing and I had no idea what to say, but I would go through all of this information and it was all in my head. So I think I was quite confident and all of the universities I went to offered me a place. So I obviously did something wrong. Yeah.
Lesley [00:29:50] Exactly. I think that’s that’s actually kind of something that when students are I think that when people are going and it’s kind of similar for job interviews, too. But I think that a lot of the times people kind of get caught up in trying to memorize their answers to questions. So the like, okay, here’s what I’m going to say for this. Here’s what I’m going to say for this. And they and I feel like everyone kind of focuses on that type of preparation instead of the being mentally prepared approach. And I think that I think that’s a big factor when people like it. Sometimes if you leave an interview and you don’t feel like it went very well, but you’re like, But I had all these answers and I feel like it’s because of that. There does need to be that level of mental preparation for any type of interview.
Beth [00:30:41] Yeah. And I think as well we all forget because obviously the university interviews a massive thing for us, but they are probably saying 400 applicants. So unless you’re kind of standing out, they would probably forget about you. And obviously that’s not what you want when you’re trying to get a place. So my attitude towards it was just like overly prepare for it but not prepare for it in a way that I was going to forget. Like you say, really kind of take it all in and know I was going in there for and hope that they engage with that and they definitely did. So I mean, I’ve also put things in there like what to take with you because so many people ask me, what do I take on my interview? And I was just kind of listing all these different things. I mean, it’s so many things, a bottle of water and a snack and a pad and that sort of stuff. But if you that under pressure, you forget to take a pen and say.
Lesley [00:31:34] Yeah, and like you should always I personally, I’m one of those people that thinks that everybody should always have a pen in their purse or wherever you go.
Beth [00:31:43] Yeah. I’ve always got loads of me.
Lesley [00:31:45] Yeah. Like I have one in my in every, I have like a couple of different purses and I have them in there, I have one in my car, I have one in like my work. I like everything you ever know when you need a pen. But yeah, no, I know what you mean. There’s been even a few times myself where I’ve, I’ve been preparing for an interview and I sat there and be like, what can I like? Is it okay if I bring a bottle of water? Like, what am I allowed to write? Should I bring my purse? And I just like, overthink all these.
Beth [00:32:13] Things. Yeah.
Lesley [00:32:14] You never know. Really.
Beth [00:32:16] Yeah. I mean, a lot of universities are quite good. They send you, like, a list of the things you need to bring. So, like, copy of your I.D. certificates from school and that sort of stuff. So obviously everyone thinks, Oh, I really need to take this certificate, but they’ll quite often forget about little things like pens and a bottle of water. And quite often if you’re sat outside an interview room for 20 minutes, you probably need a drink because you’re probably panicking a little bit. So yeah, I’ve put all of that sort of stuff in there, as well as things like just how to make a good impression, just kind of more basic stuff. But yeah, I just felt like a lot of people would be Googling practice questions and then learning the answers to the practice question was actually, if they then threw something different at you, an interview you’d be really stuck with. If you’ve done your research and you know what you’re going into, it doesn’t really matter what they throw at you because you can answer it confidently.
Lesley [00:33:06] Yeah, and you’re kind of ready for it. And you’re, you could, you’re interested in a more calm like you’re not getting overwhelmed with that anxiety of. Just being put on the spot.
Beth [00:33:18] Yeah, exactly.
Lesley [00:33:19] I think the water polo thing, too. I read somewhere that it was like a little trick. I read where if you if you have water and if you kind of get into a little bit where you put on the spa, you’re not entirely sure what to say. Just. Just stop and, like, take a sip of water to calm yourself.
Beth [00:33:37] Yeah. And you can be totally honest about things like that as well. I mean, they know that you’re just a person. They’re not going to expect you to be some kind of robot. You could just say, oh, me nervous, my mouth is really dry. Can I just have a drink of water? They’re not going to be like, no. They’re going to be like, you have to have a drink. Yeah. So I’m just kind of included things like that. I just wanted to give people the stuff that I felt like I needed when I was doing it. And because I didn’t come from like an academic background or anything like that, it was so new to me. I was throwing myself into. I was really outside my comfort zone and obviously I know terrified how terrifying it is and I just wanted people to feel a bit more supported. So that’s kind of my thinking behind the guide.
Lesley [00:34:19] Yeah, that’s I think that’s a really helpful I mean, you obviously put a lot of effort into that and whether you intentionally did the effort for it to for other people or yourself, I think that’s still like it’s it’s very worthwhile that you put that much effort into it. Now you can actually all of that effort can keep it helped you, obviously, but now you can just keep doing that and keep sharing it over and over again after you put in all that effort and now other people all get to benefit from it.
Beth [00:34:49] Yeah, definitely. I mean, like I said, it was all for me. It was a this is a compressed version of what I did for myself. And I think I left all five interviews feeling pretty good about it. I think by the fourth one I was a bit like, Yeah, I’ve done this loads times. It’s just another one. And I think that’s because I’ve prepared so well. So it’s basically just this is what you need to do in order to feel confident when you get there. So I’m hoping. Well, so far I’ve heard a lot of feedback and a lot of people have done quite well in interviews and have thanked me for it. And people have said, How great is I? I’m glad that’s helping people.
Lesley [00:35:26] Yeah, it definitely sounds like it is. And I mean, it sounds like it’s it sounds like a more kind of multi dimensional approach. So instead of just, you know, the quick here’s what to say, it’s just how to prepare. And I think, again, like I said, I think that is just as important.
Beth [00:35:43] Yeah, I think it’s just. And even if you were to stumble on the question, if you were to talk about something very similar that is also relevant, that can I can see that you’ve done your preparation that don’t want someone that’s just turned up on the day thinking, I hope, I hope I get it. They can see that you’re really passionate about it and you’re really engaged and, and you want it. And that’s what they want for their students.
Lesley [00:36:06] So yeah, that makes total sense. Obviously in that in that with a with a science or health based program, especially with something so important, like being like the paramedic program. I’m assuming that that is a lot of work and a lot of time you have to spend how much.
Beth [00:36:28] How.
Lesley [00:36:29] Off, how much time do you spend studying typically.
Beth [00:36:33] So we all university runs on a kind of program that works every day. So most universities that do courses like this have block placements and block university, so they’ll do eight weeks at uni and do the academic stuff and then they’ll do eight weeks placement and they’ll carry on like that was we run placement and university at the same time. So I do roughly 24 hours a week on placements, set up two shifts normally and a totally random, sometimes a day, sometimes a night, sometimes a half and half, and then normally one day at university at least, obviously at the moment that’s mostly online, but we’re doing a lot of skill stuff as well. So we’re kind of sometimes there, sometimes we’re at home. So I do at least a day of uni a week, sometimes three or four and I suppose self studying. I don’t know as much as I probably should. And I’d say at least 6 hours a week, sometimes quite a bit more. So if I’ve got an exam coming up, I’ll probably be at my desk every day. But on a normal week, I kind of do. I’d say about 6 to 8 hours. At home on my own, just out there going through things or learning things or something like that. So it’s probably not as much as I should be doing, but I feel like I’m doing alright and so I’m going to carry on.
Lesley [00:37:54] It sounds like it’s still a lot of studying. Like I don’t remember myself studying that much. I didn’t take care, obviously didn’t take a heavy science based or healthcare based program, but it does sound like a lot of time and effort you spent studying. Did you how did you end up having kind of like a routine or like a study? Yeah. Like a steady routine that you kind of develop to help yourself. Just stay focused and not want to go crazy from all of that.
Beth [00:38:28] Staying well, I definitely didn’t study this much last year. This year has been a massive step up, so I’m definitely doing more now. But I also think partly because I’m interested in it more this year, it’s more skills based, some kind of learning, the theory behind the skills. And I wouldn’t say I had a plan as such. I’m kind of one of those people that does it when I feel like it almost. If I wake up in the morning and size myself, right, I’m going to study all day today. Normally I’m not in the right mindset for it, so I kind of don’t really anything. And then I’ve wasted like 8 hours computer and I’m not actually taking anything in. Whereas now I’m kind of working on a basis of if I get, if I’m interested in something and I want to know about it, then I’ll go and do it. So despite what I’ve got plans that day, I’ll just go and research something. It might be 20 minutes and then I’ll come back the next day and do a couple of hours. So I’m kind of more trying not to stress myself out. I don’t want to be trying to stick to this strict routine of you have to study this march along this day, because I think I just it’s a waste of time for me that because my brain just doesn’t like that. But yeah. So I’ll go out on placement and I’ll say a couple of things. I think, Oh, that’s really interesting. And then when I get home the next day, I’ll go and sit and I’ll read about them, or I’ll do a bit of work about something like that. And quite often after a lecture, so we’ll do an online lecture usually finishes. So at lunchtime I’ll pick up on something that I’m really interested in and then I’ll, I’ll go read about that. And I think it just helps with the coping because obviously there’s so much work I don’t want to do. I want to get to a point where I’m resenting it a little bit because I’m quite enjoying it at the moment, so I’m just kind of taking it at my own pace. And that being said, I had an exam a couple of weeks ago and I hardly left my desk for about two weeks. I was like sitting up all night, I think night I went to bed at about 3 a.m. and that’s only because I had to be up in the morning. I was immediately going and sitting at my desk in my pajamas and I was listening to podcasts that were the same sort of thing, is what my exam was in the car, in the shower. Like I did not stop because I was obsessing over it and but that was only two weeks. And I did the exam and now I’ve chilled out a bit after. So I suppose I think everyone’s like that they get before they just start stressing and thinking, I don’t know anything, but I didn’t know. I was just getting stressed.
Lesley [00:40:48] Yeah, I think everyone kind of goes through every once in a while you get that one. Maybe it’s that one exam that’s like, here, it’s worth like half your grade or there’s another, you know, maybe you need to get a certain mark on that exam because of whatever reason. And people just like really stressed themselves out and really just put themselves like and I’m not saying like it’s bad thing because it’s just a natural thing, but I think when you’re really, really stressed out, like that’s all that you can think about is just, okay, I need to do this. Did I do enough? Did I study enough?
Beth [00:41:22] Yeah. No, that’s how I was. I mean, it wasn’t just me. I know all of my friends at university with the same. It was probably the biggest exam of the year, if not of the course. And to kind of put it into perspective, it was a it was a patient assessment exam, but it’s very, very similar to the exam that the medical students do. And obviously, they’re going to be doctors. We’re not going to be doctors. But we were doing this exam that’s very similar. And the pressure came from we had to learn these five different systems of the body and we have to know them all and know the background of it all. But we actually didn’t know which one we would be tested on. So we would turn up to the exam room and literally roll the dice and whatever number we go is is what we have to do. So we were learning five things, but we only needed one. So I think that was why we were stressing ourself out so much, because we had such a huge amount of stuff to learn, but actually we didn’t need to know all of it because we weren’t going to need it all for the exam. But I mean, it’s definitely paid off now. I’m like coming up to three weeks, I think since I’ve done it and I definitely remember most of it, I feel a lot more confident since I’ve done that and I feel like I sound like I know what I’m talking about more than yeah, I can’t believe occasions where I’ve been in hospital given a handover and I’ve said things and I’ve kind of come out of it and think, Who was that? I was like, Well, I sound too small.
Lesley [00:42:42] I’ve done that too. Like, there have been a few times where I’ve been just had a conversation with someone and I and I kind of walk away and I’m like, Wow, I sounded really smart when I was talking just now.
Beth [00:42:53] That’s literally how it did. I mean, it definitely happened. I did a shift a couple of days after the exam. And I think if I hadn’t done that exam, I wouldn’t have been as confident as I was at this job. And yeah, I got to the hospital and I tend to turn around and the paramedic that I was working with had just left. He’d just gone outside because he said, Oh, you had it. And I’ll.
Lesley [00:43:14] You’ve got this.
Beth [00:43:15] Yeah. Yeah. For the whole day, I was thinking, wow, you know, I’m talking about now. It’s going to.
Lesley [00:43:21] Make you feel good, though.
Beth [00:43:23] Yeah. I got home and I was in a really good mood because I just. I just understood things a lot more. I’d stopped stressing and actually realized that I did know near it. All of it still. And but that pressure had gone. So I was just kind of enjoying being smarter than I was a couple of weeks before.
Lesley [00:43:39] Right. Yeah. It’s like, almost like that preparation, being prepared and, and just. I’m trying to figure out the word I was looking for. Just kind of that being prepared is a really good way to kind of defeat that like imposter syndrome. I mean, I’ve talked to a lot of students who have kind of brought that up and been like, yeah, like I really struggled with imposter syndrome and I feel like that’s one of those keys to helping yourself kind of overcome that is just take more time to study, like slow yourself down a bit and just kind of do anything you can to absorb that material more. And the more you do that, the more you feel that you’re confident enough to do it.
Beth [00:44:26] Yeah, definitely. I mean, I remember my very first shift on an ambulance. I went into a patient’s home and I remember his wife saying, Oh, don’t worry, the paramedics are here. And I walked in and I thought, I literally know nothing. Like, What am I doing? Whereas now I’ll happily walk in and out. I can just do things on my own now, which is kind of mad when I think how I was like it was about a year ago probably. I was so scared and feel a lot such a fraud because people are asking me questions and I was I was now quite often I can answer things confidently. And even if I’m not 100%, I can usually convince them that I 100%. And then I’ve always got the paramedic to fall back on all that. Now put something into their conversation as well. But yeah, I kind of sometimes think, Oh, why was I stressing so much before the exam? Because I obviously know it because I still know it now, and I know that material since the day before. But yeah, the stress, the stress, if things like that really get on top of you. But now I can just enjoy knowing that stuff and being able to put that into practice, which is much better than the stress.
Lesley [00:45:35] Yeah, and sorry. And speaking of that kind of stress, I mean, I know that that that type of job and even just knowing this from my friends that are paramedics, just it is a very stressful position because you have a lot of responsibility. There’s a lot one, there’s a lot of stuff you have to know with. You have to know how to properly care for different types of things or treat different things. But also like you have a lot of responsibility just knowing that people are relying on you, not even just like to save their life in those dramatic situations, but even like they’re relying on you to help them feel better. And so that can be really stressful. Or even if you have like maybe you have like a rough shift and something doesn’t go as planned or something just doesn’t like you just did everything you could and like, something just didn’t work. And so how do you kind of keep yourself balanced so that you don’t get into that place where you’re just overwhelmed with all of that stress?
Beth [00:46:39] So I think especially with the studying side of it, like I said, I don’t put any pressure on myself to to study. I just do it when I feel like I’m doing it. And I think that helps with the university side of it. But mostly I’d say just kind of removing yourself from that situation and just doing what you want to do will just help you kind of recover from it. So quite often I’ve had not a bad day. I suppose it’s more of a just a stressful, busy day. And then I’ve come back and I felt exhausted. And then the next day I’ve been off and I’ve just thought I should, you know, I am just going to sit in front of the telly today and watch a binge, watch a series or go shopping. Obviously that’s not possible at the moment. Or go for a walk or something like that. So I think, to be honest, the worst thing that we experience as students and probably as paramedics as well is more guilt. So if you are having a bad day and you do something or just want to sit in front of the telly today, it’s then the guilt of you not doing what you should be doing. So not reading that book or not doing that piece of work that makes you feel worse than than anything. So I think just kind of accepting that sometimes you do just need a break. So if you do wake up and genuinely think to yourself, I really can’t do this today. I really don’t want to do that bit of work today. As long as obviously you’re not just about to hit a deadline, it’s okay to just sit and watch TV or go for a run or go shopping or go and see your family. And there’s nothing wrong with doing that if that’s what you need. So I think, yeah, especially for student paramedics. Student nurses as well. If you if you wake up one morning and think you need a break, have one. Don’t beat yourself up because you’re thinking, oh, I need a really need to do some work. Just have that time off because actually it’s going to benefit you more later on. When you come back to doing that work, you’re going to be more refreshed and you’re going to feel so better about it. And if you if you stress and you really don’t want to do something, especially studying, you’re not going to retain anything. You’re going to waste your own time. So yeah, just being able to unwind however however you do or mind, I mean for me is normally staying in bed or staying in my pajamas or watching TV or going for a walk in the woods or something. It just I just forget about everything for a little while and then you feel more refreshed after. So yeah, just removing yourself from that situation and doing something that you enjoy will help you recover, I suppose. Yeah.
Lesley [00:48:57] I think that’s a really important point about a lot of people kind of like it is really important to do like those kind of date. Like, you know, if you need to have a day where you just do nothing all day, then you need to do it. And that helps you kind of reset. But I think that’s a really good point about feeling guilty about doing that because even to sometimes like I’ll, I’ll catch myself like I’m like I’m going to give myself, you know, today’s going to just be a do nothing, sit on the couch day. But then I’ll get like five hour or even 5 hours, maybe like a couple of hours in. And I’m like, I shouldn’t feel like I’m wasting my entire day. Like, shouldn’t I be doing something a little more important? And it just like then I get so conflicted and like, I feel like that is kind of interrupts the whole point of giving yourself that day off.
Beth [00:49:47] Yeah, that guilt is the biggest problem, I think. Just thinking, Oh, I’ve got so much stuff that I should be, should be doing, but I’m not doing. I’m wasting my time. But I think we all need it. We all need to waste a bit of our own time, because otherwise you’re just going to become overwhelmed. I mean, after I did that exam a couple of weeks ago, I spent well, I’d spent all of my Christmas holidays really revising. And then obviously once I came back after Christmas, I was solidly revising. So then my exam was a Friday afternoon. I then took the whole weekend off. So I’m not even going to think about the fact that I want to be a paramedic for at least two days. I had a new module coming up on the Monday that was about to start and I just didn’t want to do anything I wasn’t going to prepare for. I just thought I have the weekend off and I spent the whole weekend in the garden. I’d had some new pets, so I was building them a new little house to live in. And I was just outside all weekend. I mean, it’s freezing cold, but I just didn’t even think about it. And then when I came back Monday morning for the new lecture, I just felt quite refreshed, although I hadn’t. Also, there was that tiny bit of guilt in the back of my head. You know, I feel a lot better. I’ve had a really stressful couple of weeks and now I just feel more relaxed and ready to start something new. And I think, to be honest, that was the best thing for me, although someone might have said, Oh, why not in any any work? You’re a unique student. Actually, I needed that time because I’d had sort of an intense couple of weeks and I felt better for it now.
Lesley [00:51:04] And I think that is just as important to get yourself in that right zone and refresh yourself so that you can just go into that exam cool, calm and collected. And that’s honestly, in my opinion, that’s that’s almost if not equally as important as preparing the material itself. Like obviously, I know the material is what’s on the actual exam, but your mindset is like a make or break kind of thing for that.
Beth [00:51:30] Yeah, I think if I do all weekend reading books and preparing myself, I would have been in a worse position that I was because I had some time off. Because I was just. My mind was cleared and I was able to take in what I was being taught rather than over thinking, Oh, I wish I had write about this or I wish I had done that. I was just able to chew and I enjoyed it a bit more. I think I was I was really engaging at what we were being taught because of my mind. I was just enjoying it. And then afterwards I was thinking, Oh, I really want to read up on this. So then it kind of started the whole study thing again and I was still interested in it. Whereas I think if I have not had that time to myself, I ought to be getting to the point where I was resenting uni because I was so stressed. It was so much to do or don’t want to do any of it. I just wanted to and but because I’ve done that, I’ve made myself had some time off and, and see my partner because I hadn’t seen him for a good couple of weeks. His have been sad, but I just I just felt better for it. People just need to. Realize that you’re not a bad person because you need some time off. Everyone needs a break. Whether you only need an hour or you need 10 hours. You do you. And actually, you’ll be better for it in the long term.
Lesley [00:52:38] Absolutely. I completely agree. I think it’s so important to do that and which is to do like if that’s that’s the thing that’s going to help you redo that kind of reset, because everyone does need to do that. Kind of clear your mind for a bit and do, like I said, reset. But I think I meant to say like a refresh.
Beth [00:52:58] Refresh. Yeah.
Lesley [00:52:59] Yeah. Just just say your work focus and and yeah. Like you may end up liking. Or being more interested in what you’re learning. Then if you didn’t because you’re just clear.
Beth [00:53:12] Yeah, I think for me, it makes me a better student because I take that time to just chill out. I don’t overwhelm myself with it and, like, stay interested in it. I don’t I don’t want to ever get to a point where I really don’t want to be a paramedic anymore because I can’t deal with with the workload, I suppose. So I kind of take time out and then I come back to it and I’m still enjoying it. And I think that’s quite important. I don’t I don’t ever want to overwhelm myself too much.
Lesley [00:53:37] Yeah, that makes sense. Are there any other kind of, like, struggles or challenges that you kind of had to overcome as a student? Or were those kind of like, I know we covered a bit of that, but.
Beth [00:53:51] I think, yeah, the work life balance is definitely one of them. So like we said, knowing when to take some time out. And I think keeping on top of things has been probably the biggest challenge now. I’ve obviously done education for most of my life, but it’s a big step up university. And rather than being taught things in a classroom five days a week, you’re now being told to go away and almost teach yourself and then come back and and then teach yourself a bit further. So I think just. Try to cope with that workload has been has been a struggle. I mean, some people are really academic thrive on things like that. They love all of that pressure. But for some of us that are not as academic, suddenly being given all these higher education stuff to take, it is is like, well, this is massively of a comfort. So I think just keeping yourself quite organized and, and knowing what you need to do, but not putting too much on yourself, planning your time quite well is, is a massive thing and just keep it on top of it all. I am writing essays, not leaving them until the last two weeks. If you get given five months, do it in the first month because then in four months time you’re saying, oh, what do you do that? Or you can come back to it and reread it and you can change it if you want to or make it better or whatever it just using your time well and not putting extra pressure on yourself I suppose because there is a lot of work and things, so keeping on top of it is probably the best thing you can do to help yourself.
Lesley [00:55:24] Yeah, like that is probably one of the biggest things I hear from a lot of people is that whole.
Beth [00:55:31] Just the.
Lesley [00:55:31] Transition to university where all of a sudden you have to do everything for yourself and you’re your own advocate. Whereas in high school and this like any level of school before that, everyone kind of is there to kind of like push you along and guide you along. Yeah. And now all of a sudden you’re like, well, now I’m. And for a lot of people, it’s I’m in a new city, I’m in and not everyone, but typically a lot of people are different cities. So it’s now you’re now you’re on your own in a new city, in a new place, and the workload just basically quadrupled. And now you’re just you have to be on top of that yourself.
Beth [00:56:13] Yeah. And not only the workload getting more, it’s also a higher level than you’ve ever done before. I’ve done a couple of level three and qualifications, which are kind of the college. So A-level and then universities and massive step up. So I think it’s going to be harder but I don’t know quite anticipated how much harder and even the difference between my first year and now I’m obviously in my second year even that was such a huge jump. So yeah, I mean, I can’t imagine being 18 years old and and being in a new city with people I don’t know anything about that would just be so hard. So yeah, just try to keep on top of it and plan your time. Well just because it stops necessary stress which we all get.
Lesley [00:56:57] Mhm. Yeah. Like even just little things like start like for example starting that essay earlier than two weeks before the deadline. Even just something as simple as that can make you feel so much less stressed.
Beth [00:57:09] And just.
Lesley [00:57:11] I think it goes back to some of that preparation to just, you know what, like we I started this early, now I’m done early and I’m not rushing and you just don’t have that. Same like you’re pushing the deadlines to the last minute writing the paper at 11:59 p.m. the night before kind of thing.
Beth [00:57:29] Yeah, we did have a double essay for a couple of weeks now, I think to be honest, the last one went into in October, just gone. But I had finished it and it was all done and I was perfectly happy with it nearly two weeks before I actually needed to hand in. So I uploaded it onto the system and a couple of weeks later, when the deadline came around, I kind of forgot about it because I’d already had the ID and I remember looking at the group chat that we’ve got for our cohort and people were stressed that they weren’t being able to upload it. And also stuff that I’ve done that I’m cool, I could just enjoy myself.
Lesley [00:58:02] Yeah, it makes. Sorry. Go ahead.
Beth [00:58:06] We had one last year. The deadline was actually my birthday. And I was thinking, I do not want to be stressing about it on my birthday. So I did it as early as I possibly could so that I didn’t have to think about it on my birthday. So when it came out again, people were stressing about loading it and stuff because I wasn’t. I was enjoying my birthday because I’d uploaded it two weeks before.
Lesley [00:58:26] Yeah. And like, that’s why you were proactive and.
Lesley [00:58:29] You took…
Lesley [00:58:30] Care of that. And then you got to not you got to have a birthday where you didn’t have to worry about your schoolwork. So, I mean, that pays off.
Lesley [00:58:39] I was was thinking, I want to go out for lunch and I wanted to do this and I wanted to do that. I didn’t want to think about it. So so I was getting it done just because I wanted to go out and have a last laugh.
Lesley [00:58:48] Yeah. I mean, but if that’s what’s motivating you, then that’s all the power to you.
Lesley [00:58:53] Yeah, I mean, some and some things as well can clash. You can have a couple of deadlines are really close together. And I think just trying to separate them all out and get them all done would just help. Because otherwise that week or two weeks when you’ve got all these things do are going to be really stressful. So yeah, just yeah, I get my way because both of done. You never have to think about them again. Yes, but at least you don’t have to just do it and then it’s done. You have.
Lesley [00:59:17] To get it over with and you don’t have to worry about thinking about.
Lesley [00:59:20] It. Exactly. I can even tell you I forgot them.
Lesley [00:59:26] I mean. Yep, that’s that happens. Do kind of on the flipside of that, what is one of your favorite memories so far in school?
Lesley [00:59:36] And I think it’s probably just the people I’ve met. Like we there’s a couple of us that are really good friends. It’s about eight of us. I knew two of them before I started, but the others I met at university and we just get on so well and we’re kind of because we’re all in it together. We’re a really good support system and we don’t get to see each other a lot at the moment because university is closed for lectures. We only go in for skills days, which are really small groups. So I suppose just being able to go to university and sit and have lunch with all these people that understand what you’re going through and we just get on so well. I mean, last Christmas we did a Zoom call and all of us were on their opening, our presence, because we’d done like a secret Santa for each other. We were like present, so open and it’s just so nice. You meet some really amazing people. I mean, same with patients. I’ve met some really incredible patients. And so I suppose just yeah, the people you meet.
Lesley [01:00:35] And I think that’s the funny thing about kind of asking that question right now, like, like right in this time right now asking like I find that I’ve asked like people the same thing, like what’s one of your favorite memories? And a lot of people are just like, well, just hanging out with my friends because like obviously we haven’t really been able to do that for a while. So a lot of people are just like, just just my friends. Like, Yep, yeah.
Lesley [01:01:03] Honestly, we miss each other so much. We are in communication all the time that we see every single day, and quite a few of us work at the same ambulance station, so we see each other on shifts, only ever for a couple of minutes. But we, we see each other. So when, when we’re allowed to finally get together and just sit at university and have lunch together, it just it’s just going to be so nice and we’re all really looking forward to it. Um, just to have a support system like that and then suddenly not have one that you can see whenever you want to. Even for things like we have practical assistance all the time. We used to get together and practice with each other. We can’t do that now because we’re not allowed in and we missed out. All of us missed out. I think so. Yeah. I can’t wait for us to get together again.
Lesley [01:01:50] Yeah, definitely. I’m I’m I think that a lot of people are kind of feeling that right now, too, and like, even just like, I mean, I can’t wait to see my friends and, you know, it’s what happens. So another kind of question that we often ask people because we get really interesting answers from it, is if you could go back and talk to your 15 year old self, what would you say or what kind of advice would you give yourself?
Lesley [01:02:23] Oh, God. 15 years old. I just wanted to paint people’s nails. I would probably. Say to myself like, don’t beat yourself up over the things that I was. I wouldn’t say I was shy at school, but I was quite reserved, I suppose. And if I did something wrong, any kind of criticism I would really take to heart and I would really kind of beat myself up over it. And I’d kind of go home and I’d get into bed at night and think, Oh, I wish I’d done this or I wish I’d done that. And it play on my mind all the time was now I if someone says, Oh, if I was you, I’d have done it this way or whatever, I’ll take that on and I’d learn from it. Was my 15 year old self. Wouldn’t have thought it just so, oh my god, you failed and you’re rubbish or all this sort of stuff. So I suppose if I was to talk to myself at that age, I’d just say, just learn from things, don’t so or retain things and beat yourself up or just use them as a guide and learn from them and just, yes, don’t be so hard on yourself. Basically, I was I was always thinking that I wasn’t good enough. So that was actually I was I was absolutely fine. But I tried my best at most things, which is good enough. I’ve done what I could have done. And yes, I suppose. No, not beating myself up over things.
Lesley [01:03:46] Yeah. I think that’s, you know, at that age I think that’s important because like, they’re. I think that. People at that age, when you’re 15 or 16 even, there’s a lot of you feel a lot of pressure, kind of for not no reason. Like you feel like because you have to make these decisions, like you have to decide if you want to go to university, you have to decide if you what you want to do. And it feels at that age that feels like so much pressure and just so much stress. And it’s like it’s not that much pressure in the grand scheme of things. But you don’t know you don’t realize that until later.
Lesley [01:04:28] Yeah. I mean, I was I remember feeling a little bit. I suppose a bit guilty because a lot of my friends that I was at. My high school with were planning on going to university and that was that was their goal was I didn’t I didn’t want to go to university. I mean, I was 22 when I started university and I would quite often think, oh, maybe I should, because I was obviously going to, to college to do my beach therapy stuff, my make makeup stuff. And I would sometimes think, oh, maybe I should just just do it because everyone else is doing it. And it was almost what not. Not so much my family, my friends, but what the school expected you to do. Like they all expected me to go on to bigger and better things. And I would sometimes feel guilty about the fact that I was choosing to do something that I enjoyed rather than something that was more intelligent, I suppose. But actually I really enjoyed all of the beauty therapy stuff and I was really good at it, and because I was good at it, I really thrived on it and I would do better because I enjoyed it so much and I’ve always got those skills. Now, no matter what happens in my life, I will always have those qualifications. And even if one day I wake up and decided I don’t want to be a paramedic anymore, I’ve got a whole other industry that I can go into because I’m qualified for it. So it wasn’t a waste of time. I wasn’t doing anything wrong by choosing to do that. I didn’t know where I was going and I did something that I enjoyed and I absolutely loved it. It was probably one of the best things I’ve done because it wasn’t as stressful as this, but I was good at it. So I was, I was doing quite well and and yeah, now I’ve got those make up skills which are helping me now and yeah. So I just shouldn’t have felt so guilty about other people going to university. I should have just gone with my heart and thought that’s, you know, I’m going to do this because I want to do it and stop trying to explain myself to people because I didn’t need to. That was what I chose to do.
Lesley [01:06:27] Honestly, I don’t think that any any type of education, I never think is a waste of time. Even if it’s a program you take that you’re maybe never even going to apply to anything. I don’t think any of that is ever a waste of time.
Lesley [01:06:40] Yeah. I mean, now, if I had gone to university when I was 60, when I was 18, I don’t know what I’ve done, but I certainly probably will be working in it now. I would have gone back and done this. So I think I think in a way as well, everything I’ve done since I left school as a whole kind of been. A pathway to this. I think everything was always leading to this. And obviously now everything I’ve done has helped me and all the experience I’ve got is probably the reason that I did quite well getting into universities because I had was it very much, but I had some life experience and yeah, is making is better for me now because because I’ve done things like that and like I say, I’ve always got something to fall back on if I ever do have a really bad day and I and I don’t want to do it anymore, I can take some time out and I’m not an I’m qualified to do something. So.
Lesley [01:07:29] Absolutely.
Lesley [01:07:33] That’s right. So loved it as well. It’s so much fun. Well, that’s the.
Lesley [01:07:38] Thing, too, is like taking stuff that you are interested in. You find it’s fun. It’s not even going. I really feel like it’s too much work.
Lesley [01:07:45] Yeah, I mean, I never planned on on getting to 20, 21, 22 and then thinking, oh, I’m going to go to university now. That was never, ever in my plan, but I don’t think I’d have been as confident. And I think as well I wouldn’t have understood some of the things I’ve done now if I hadn’t done that, because especially the level three beauty was really science based. It was really and is to do with things like skin and bones and muscles. And when it came to that in my first year of university, that wasn’t so alien to me because I’ve done that before and I really enjoyed it and I found it really interesting. So everything I’ve done is helped me now. So yeah, I don’t regret it, but I remember just feeling guilty a couple of times when I was leaving school and people were saying, Do you really want to do that? And and I should I should have just said to them, No, I’m going to be doing it.
Lesley [01:08:38] Yeah, just like own it and just be, you know, I’m here.
Lesley [01:08:44] Yeah.
Lesley [01:08:46] Definitely. So I just have two more questions. One is this is another kind of fun one that we ask everyone, and that is, what is your favorite social media platform and why? Definitely Instagram.
Lesley [01:09:03] Honest. A person that takes photos of like literally everything. So if I’m doing something, I’m normally take a picture of it. So even if I’m like out for a walk in the woods, I usually come home with like 200 pictures on my phone. So I like it because you can just kind of share it with people and. Yeah. You can. You meet a lot of people on Instagram. I’ve met so many people since I started my account back in May. They’re all doing the same sort of job as me, but they live all over the country and we just go network on it. And I think it’s great because I’d never, never done that if it wasn’t for Instagram. So I think it’s I think it’s probably the best one. So what I use the most anyway.
Lesley [01:09:41] Yeah, it’s definitely the most common answer. It’s just the most versatile and I think most used as well. You want to drop your handle here and we can link it to that. Our audience can follow you.
Lesley [01:09:58] Yes. And my Instagram is at student para under school B So student and then para PR. P I can’t spell and an underscore and just a B and that’s where I kind of document my like university, my placement, my studying people, message me tips and I kind of share them. And obviously the guide is on there and that sort of stuff as well. So it’s kind of a platform for not just healthcare students. I have loads of followers that are not anything to do with it and they just are interested. They would never be able to do it themselves for whatever reason, but they just like watching what’s going on.
Lesley [01:10:35] Yeah, I mean like a lot of it is just from what I’ve seen too, like a lot of it is kind of just advice that would help anybody, any kind of student.
Lesley [01:10:46] Yeah, anyone that’s trying to get into university that feels a little bit like they’re out of their depth. I think there’s probably something on there that that would help them. I kind of the whole thing I use it for is just to give people what I didn’t have when I was applying because obviously I didn’t have any family members that had done it or were in the role. I was kind of on my own almost. They would support me as much as they could, but they couldn’t support me entirely because they didn’t know themselves. So now I’m using what I’ve done to help the next couple of cohorts. I suppose so, yeah. Giving people what I didn’t have when I was in that position.
Lesley [01:11:23] Right. Yeah. And that’s that’s definitely a pretty amazing thing. And I’m sure a lot of people really appreciate all that information and help that you share, too.
Lesley [01:11:34] Yeah, I’ve had some really lovely messages and and a lot of people always thank me because whatever I’ve said or told them is has helped them in whatever way, and that makes me feel good as well. I always get nice feelings from the nice messages.
Lesley [01:11:47] Yeah, that.
Lesley [01:11:48] Is.
Lesley [01:11:49] Always like rewarding and fulfilling to do that for sure.
Lesley [01:11:52] Yes.
Lesley [01:11:53] Knowing you’re helping someone.
Lesley [01:11:55] And have a confidence as well, like people asking me things and me giving an also which helps them is just makes me feel a bit more confident, which is.
Lesley [01:12:03] Yeah, always a good confidence boost and just kind of like, you know, people are I’m the expert here and like just knowing that is is can be a huge confidence booster for sure.
Lesley [01:12:14] Yeah, it’s great for reflection as well. Like when I think about like my university interviews for example, that were so long ago now like that was, must have been so or the end of 2018, 2019, something like that. And I think, oh my God, where’s this time? Gone. And people ask me questions. I think, oh my God, I, I remember being in that position and it’s quite nice to reflect on it and how quickly it’s gone because I have literally blinked and suddenly I’m entering my last full year and then I’ll be down, you know, ask to be finished. And I can’t believe it’s it’s gone so quickly. But yeah, it’s nice to kind of reflect and and think back and use what I’ve learned as well to help other people.
Lesley [01:12:57] Yeah, I catch myself doing that sometimes too. Like, I’ll go like just scroll through my Instagram feed my own Instagram feed every once in a while just to kind of like, remember those memories or to kind of just like, Oh yeah, I remember this or remember that. And like every once in a while it’s just kind of fun to do that. But yeah.
Lesley [01:13:15] I had a photo pop up like on the memories thing just before Christmas, and it was my first ever shift on the road, which was November 2019. And I looked at it and I don’t think I’ve changed, but I looked at that photo and I just look younger, so much younger than I am now. And although it’s actually not been that long as a person, I’ve grown so much and I think I can see that in myself. So that’s quite nice as well. I like it for that sort of thing.
Lesley [01:13:40] Yeah, pictures always show you that kind of stuff.
Lesley [01:13:42] Yeah.
Lesley [01:13:44] So the last question, another one we usually ask people is if you have any a favorite motivational quote that you would like to share.
Lesley [01:13:56] I do. And I actually heard it because someone bought me a keyring with it written on it, and I have that keyring on my bag, but I take to university still and it says she believes she could. So she did. And I love that because I think if I hadn’t believed in myself, I would not have got to where I am now. But I think self-belief is a massive, massive thing. When you’re doing something like this. You if you if you don’t believe in yourself, then you’re not going to get very far. I don’t think so. I love that. And I love that little keyring as well.
Lesley [01:14:27] I love that quote, too. I’ve heard that a few times. Like, I hear it every once in a while. I’m like, Yeah, that is a very powerful thing.
Lesley [01:14:34] I see everyone now. Like before I got back hearing, I swear I’d never seen it before, but now I see it all the time. I think, Oh, I love that. But it’s still in my bags when I’m back for about three is.
Lesley [01:14:44] Obviously definitely one of the best gifts.
Lesley [01:14:47] Then. Yeah, definitely. It’s, it’s gone through about three bags now actually. So it’s doing well. It’s awesome. It’s not shiny as it was, but it’s still there.
Lesley [01:14:58] But it’s a constant reminder, right?
Lesley [01:15:01] Yeah. And it’s, it kind of just reflects the whole thing as well and I love that. Yeah.
Lesley [01:15:06] Amazing. Well, just before we wrap up, is there anything else that you maybe wanted to share? I know we covered a lot. So you don’t feel obligated to kind of make something up or think something, but if there is any other last minute things you want to share.
Lesley [01:15:23] I suppose just kind of back to the caring thing. If you if you want to do something and if a job like this really interests you, then just go for it. There’s there’s nothing stopping you, really. I mean, a lot of people worry about their age and that sort of stuff. But if you if you really want to do something, just do it. It’s I mean, I gave up my full time job. I gave up my well-paid jobs, all that sort of stuff to do this. And I wouldn’t change any of it. I’m so much happier now and I feel like I have a bit of a purpose as before. I kind of felt like I was just setting money. So I think if you have a genuine interest in it, go, go away, do a bit of research and and just do it because you’ve got nothing to lose, really. If it doesn’t work out, then you’ll be in the same position that you were in before. And so yeah, just going for it. And health care is a wonderful industry as well. It’s so rewarding. And I mean, I’m not quite sure how how paramedics work across the pond, but over here it’s an incredible career and it’s going to be the sort of thing where most days you’re going to go home and think, Wow, I did something really cool today and it’s great. It’s I think it’s the best job in the world, but I’m a bit biased. Okay.
Lesley [01:16:33] Yeah, but I mean, like, I. How lucky are you to actually say that, like, my job is the best job in the world? And just to love your job so much like that is something that a lot of people don’t have and.
Lesley [01:16:47] For.
Lesley [01:16:48] Whatever reason. And so that’s so amazing that you can actually say that.
Lesley [01:16:52] Yeah, even with things like night shifts and getting up at 4 a.m. and all that sort of stuff, it’s it’s hard on the body, but I love it. I absolutely love it. And it’s it’s not just, like, enjoyable, it’s exciting and it’s interesting and there’s so much to it as well. Even if I don’t stay in this role that I am now being a paramedic or being a health care professional, open so many doors for you and and you can go anywhere with it. So I think it’s really great.
Lesley [01:17:22] Amazing. So I do want to thank you because you’ve shared some really, really amazing insights and some really helpful advice. And I know it is going to be really, really helpful for people listening. So I want to thank you for so much for taking time out of your day to talk to me today. And I know it’s late where you are, so I appreciate that too.
Lesley [01:17:44] So it’s getting a bit dark, but the sun’s still I think it’s still up a little bit. Perfect.
Lesley [01:17:51] Yeah. So thank you. And we will definitely be following you and keeping up with you to see how your career goes.
Lesley [01:17:58] Oh, thank you so much. Thanks for having me.
Lesley [01:18:01] No problem. And I also I will this will be cut out of the actual interview. But I am just going to send you a follow up email.
Lesley [01:18:11] Shortly.
Lesley [01:18:12] As well. So I’ll be in touch with you soon. Okay.
Lesley [01:18:15] Thank you so much.
Lesley [01:18:16] No problem. Have a good rest of your night.
Lesley [01:18:19] Thank you. Have a good day. Thanks. Bye.Share: