David Shepherd - Paramedic David Shepherd - Paramedic

Please explain how your career has developed since graduating.

In February 2008 I achieved a DipHE Paramedic Science after 2 years education at the UEA. Since then I have worked as a paramedic locally in Norfolk for the EEAST.

In 2010 I achieved the K320 Mentorship in Health and Social Care Sciences with the OU, and from 2010 onwards I have been mentoring and assessing student ambulance paramedics (SAP's) in practice.

In 2011 I started a Bsc (Hons) in Acute, Critical and Emergency Practice of which I graduated with a first class honours in July 2013.

Furthermore I have worked as a Clinical Fields Operations Trainer (CFOT) for the EEAST since 2011 completing an internal instructional methods course and attending regular train-the-trainers update days. With this I deliver yearly CPD for the EEAST to colleagues and peers.  Following this I completed the Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Sector (PTTLS) qualification in December 2013. I also run informal training days for qualified student ambulance paramedics (QSAP's) who are about to attend their paramedic module of their certificate programme.

I am currently working as Station Supervisor at Attleborough Ambulance Station. Furthermore I have acted up as a Duty Operational Manager (DOM) over the last 2 years covering central Norfolk DOM shifts when required.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role or your greatest career achievement so far?

The most rewarding aspect of being a paramedic is having a positive influence on patient care whether that be providing emergency care for time critical patients i.e. patients who are having an MI, CVA or suffering major trauma or providing a more holistic approach to patients in need of more social support i.e. elderly patients who suffer falls and need a multidisciplinary approach i.e. OT, physiotherapy support.

The most rewarding aspect of being a CFOT and mentor is supporting students who are starting their paramedic career and being a positive influence on them becoming good paramedic clinicians.  Furthermore I enjoy engaging in CPD sessions with experienced clinicians as I like to think I can teach or deliver to them something innovative or new and in return I know I can lean much from their experience on the road.

Achieving my Bsc (Hons) in Acute, Critical and Emergency Practice is a great achievement in my career so far.

What steps did you take in finding employment?

After completing my DipHE Paramedic Science I was offered immediate employment with the EEAST post registration with the HCPC.

What are the key skills you learnt at UEA?

I learnt that it was important to be aware of and study all the sciences in order to have a positive impact on patient care. Not only did this include anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology but also sociology, psychology and pharmacology.

I also learnt that paramedics are part of a wider disciplinary team that often engage with patients at the beginning of an illness which can often last a long time. It is important that paramedics promote good care which reflects the wider NHS.

How these skills, or your course, made a difference in your career development?

I believe being university educated makes you a more rounded and informed practitioner. I feel my course allowed me to link theory to practice and consider an evidence based approach. Whilst it is important to consider protocols and guidelines it is also important to make patient focused decisions with often lateral thinking in order to provide them the best overall care.