My role as an emergency care assistant (ECA) involves supporting clinicians such as associate ambulance practitioners and registered allied health professionals (AHPs) such as paramedics, in the delivery of high quality, pre-hospital emergency health care. This includes assisting in various invasive procedures, delivery of medicines, basic life support, holistic patient care, manual handling, and driving under emergency conditions on blue lights to ensure safe and rapid transport to definitive care at a hospital.
When it comes to patient care, I believe my role to be highly important as it allows the paramedic to be able to concentrate on performing life-saving interventions while being assured that the support role is well trained and confident enough to be able to get on with other aspects of the job and patient care, like performing observations and otherwise assisting, allowing them to properly focus on the important tasks at hand. We also are able to provide patient reassurance in a scary time for them, allowing the paramedic to be able to continue their job whilst making the patient feel as relaxed and assured as possible.
I initially started my health care journey volunteering to provide First Aid at events when I was at university. After graduating, I spent three years employed as an ambulance care assistant on a non-emergency Patient Transport Service on behalf of a private sector provider. I had ambitions to become a paramedic since starting PTS as I really enjoyed helping patients with their problems and being a reassuring and supporting face when people are unwell and would love to do that in the emergency situation when to that person. it feels like the world is ending. When I found out about the emergency care assistant role and apprenticeships within Yorkshire Ambulance Service and how it streamlines the process of becoming a paramedic, whilst awarding you with several nationally recognised qualification along the way. I took the huge step to apply as I knew this process would be hugely supportive in helping me achieve my ambitions to deliver emergency pre-hospital care, to the best of my ability.
I found the apprenticeship programme to be hugely supportive in both training delivery and subsequent development. Given that the ECA apprenticeship allows easy and swift progression to associate ambulance paramedic (AAP) given an appropriate time frame of on-road experience, it has given me something to aim for, as such, I've spent the last two years trying to develop my CPD to allow me to progress and achieve my ambitions. The on-road aspect of the logbooks getting signed off by paramedics I found helpful too as it kept me on top of my skills during my development phase and I was constantly searching for ways to apply my learning to real world scenarios.
Since being active as a support worker, am I most proud of being able to use the skills and abilities that the apprenticeship process taught me, to be a reliable and effective member of an ambulance crew and support my clinician in delivering high-quality pre-hospital care to deliver the best and most effective patient experience
I would say that making the jump to becoming an AHP support worker is one of the best and most rewarding things I have ever done. It has allowed me to meet excellent and caring colleagues who support each other, I have been an important part in saving lives and reducing distress in a person's hardest medical moments, I have been an effective member in one of the nation's most amazing institutions, I have been exposed to such varied, wonderful and challenging experiences that keep me thinking and let me go home after shift thinking I did something worthwhile every day. It is not always easy, but the challenge is part of the reward and the fact that no two days are similar is incredible and keeps things interesting, so definitely think of applying to be AHP support, it'll change your and other's lives. Plus, it allows excellent chances of progression to potentially be an AHP yourself one day.
I believe with a little bit of enthusiasm and effort, anyone can make a difference, and being an AHP support worker is an amazing opportunity. I'm incredibly thankful to Yorkshire Ambulance Service for giving me my shot at being an AHP support worker.