Monday 17th February 2020

Bethany Mawdsley

News from Alumni

What have you been doing since leaving the college?

Since leaving Archbishop Beck I have been lucky enough to complete further studies. First I attended Liverpool Hope University and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Music. Following my time at Liverpool Hope I applied to Liverpool John Moores to continue further study. Here I studied Paramedic Practice with the hopes of becoming a paramedic. I graduated in 2018 from LJMU and started my career as a paramedic with North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) in December 2018.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Being a paramedic no two days are the same, but a typical day for me at work looks a bit like this:

Depending on my shift start time which can vary anywhere between a 6am shift start and a 8am shift start. To get to work for my 6am start I usually have a 4.45am alarm or later for those shifts that start after 6am. I then will drive to whichever ambulance station I’ve been assigned to work from that day. From then I will usually relieve the night crew with my crew mate, and we’ll get the radios, vehicle keys and handover regarding any equipment or medications used and if theres anything that needs doing on the vehicle before we go out. We then will go out and check this vehicle which involves, checking the defibrillator - making sure the batteries are full, we have the equipment to be able to do ECG’s, cardiac arrests, and obtain observations for our patients. We also check all of the cupboards making sure we have immobilisation equipment should we need it, maternity packs, paediatric packs and dressings bags we will also check the medications bags and make sure our Basic Life Support bag (BLS) and Advanced Life Support bag (ALS) have all of the neccessary equipment in such as cannulas, bag valve masks, oxygen masks, medications and more equipment which we use to check patients observations.

When all these are checked we will then log on to our ambulance (a system in which we put a pin given to us by NWAS into a small computer and they are able to send us information of where our next patient is and with some small information about why we have been called to the patient. As there are two crew members in an ambulance, we usually take it in turns to be in the back with the patient. We work 12 hour shifts so usually one person will drive for the first 6 hours whilst one person is in the back with the patients and then after lunch we swap over so the person driving will then be in the back with patients.

Working in the ambulance service no two days are the same, no two hours are the same, you never know what will come up on the screen next. For me this is the best aspect of the job. During a 12 hour shift we will see up to about 8 patients maybe more depending on the type of job it is and what is going on with the patient. NWAS work on a rolling rota which means that I work two days and two nights a week. For example I will start Monday morning and work Monday and Tuesday day shifts and Wednesday Thursday night shifts - finish the block Friday morning and then usually I will be back in work after a few rest days for another block of shifts.

When you were younger what did you want to be?

When I was younger I actually wanted to be a music teacher, I love music and was fortunate enough to have had a lot of opportunities to learn music, play a variety of instruments and play in concert band and sing solos as well as in a choir. It is still a passion of mine and I still love to play and sing in my spare time when I'm not working.

What is the latest book you are reading?

I am currently reading a book called ‘Notes on a Nervous Planet’ by Matt Haig which looks at how the world we live in could be contributing to some anxieties and stresses that some members of the population suffer from. Mental health is something which is becoming increasingly talked about yet there is still so much that people are unaware of, of how certain things in the world we live in can affect our mental health and wellbeing.

What is your all-time favourite movie?

I have always been a big fan of the Harry Potter franchise so any of those films will be on my movie top ten list, but aside from the Harry Potter films another favourite movie of mine is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

What advice would you have given your teenage self?

Advice I would have given my teenage self would be, work as hard as possible in everything you do not just one subject, enjoy spending time with friends and family. Most importantly be happy with the way you are, whatever aspirations or goals you have - go for them! No goal is too big no achievement is too small and make the most of each day be it at school at home with family or friends and be grateful for every experience and opportunity you have, and try not too take anything for granted.

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