The first cohort of students to complete a unique paramedic degree at Teesside University are now all working in practice.
The BSc (Hons) Paramedic Practice was created to meet the diverse needs of the changing NHS workforce, with the first students starting the course in January 2014.
During the three-year degree, students spent time on placement with GP surgeries, hospitals and ambulances to learn core skills in how to assess, manage, treat and refer patients. Now all nine students who have completed the degree have secured jobs as paramedics within the NHS.
Among them is Caroline Wright, 37, of Hartlepool, who is about to start work as a paramedic with North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. She said: “The degree was a really well planned, robust course which balanced practical and academic learning.
“The placements were fantastic and provided valuable experience across a broad spectrum. Paramedics now work in walk-in centres, A&E units, prisons, police custody suites, as well as with an ambulance. There is a whole host of career options and this degree provides the perfect building block.”
Programme Leader Mark Nevins, in the University’s School of Health & Social Care, said: “We worked closely with the regulatory body and wider professional partners to develop this degree to prepare multi-skilled paramedics who are fit for the future needs of the profession and able to work in roles across the NHS.
“Skills training is very important and trauma training still plays a key role, but with more care being required to be delivered at home and the increased demands on hospital emergency departments, our students get the broadest based experience to meet those challenges ahead.
“We also wanted to look at the theory of being a paramedic and explore professional issues such as care and compassion and putting the service users first.”
The degree was developed with NHS employers, current practitioners and their professional body, the College of Paramedics, to provide a professional qualification for undergraduates who can meet the changing needs of the NHS workforce and pursue their career as paramedics in organisations across the NHS.
The University’s School of Health & Social Care has equipped classrooms with state-of-the-art equipment including a fully equipped ambulance to ensure students have the skills and knowledge necessary to begin a career as a paramedic.