First Welsh Paramedic Graduates Hit the Road
Swansea University student, Emma Whitby, 23 of Birchgrove in Swansea, is one of the first cohort to graduate in the Higher Education Diploma in Paramedic Science today, at a graduation ceremony held in Brangwyn Hall (Tuesday, 1st February 2011).
The unique partnership between Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Sciences and the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust has revolutionised the way Welsh paramedics are educated.
The collaboration has meant that paramedics now take part in a Higher Education programme to become paramedics, which meets the academic and professional requirements of Swansea University and the Health Professions Council (HPC).
Speaking about the programme, Professor Melanie Jasper, Head of the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University, said: “We recognise that the move to higher education is a significant development in the history of the ambulance service, and we are extremely proud to have been selected as its premier partner in providing training for paramedics across Wales.”
Before studying to become a paramedic at Swansea University, Emma Whitby (pictured) completed a BTEC national diploma in Health Studies at Swansea College and a HND in Health Studies ar Swansea Metropolitan University.
During this time she volunteered for the Wales Air Ambulance.
Her volunteering led on to full-time work as a receptionist and events organiser, but Emma chose to pursue her “dream job” of becoming a paramedic.
Emma said: “I have wanted to be a paramedic since a very young age, so I knew I had to study hard. After studying on the BTEC and HND course, I gained background knowledge of health, which I felt helped me greatly on the paramedic science course.
“It was a very intense and challenging course. The theory was taught at Swansea University and also in the National Ambulance Training College. The practical side of the course included working on emergency ambulances under the direct supervision of an experienced paramedic who was also trained to mentor us as student paramedics.
“I also completed placements in Theatre, A&E, Maternity and Coronary care units. My favorite aspect of the course was the placements, working on the ambulances and putting all the theory and pracital skills we had been taught into practise.”
Dr Pauline Griffiths, Director of Pre-qualifying Studies at the College of Human and Health Sciences, said: “Emma is one of 44 outstanding paramedic students to graduate from Swansea University this year. The programme is extermely demanding and the standard of our first intake of students has been very high.
“The graduation ceremony will be an exciting day for both the students and their families and it will also be a rewarding day for academic staff and for our Welsh Ambulance NHS Trust colleagues. We’re all extremely proud of our students and delighted to see them receive their awards.”
Emma now works as a paramedic with the Welsh Ambulance Service in the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg east area.
Speaking about her graduation, Emma said: “It feels very good to be graduating. After so many years of wanting to become a paramedic and six long years of studying, I have finally reached my goal as a paramedic. It does seem unreal sometimes that I have actually qualified and I am working as a paramedic with the many excellent paramedics and emergency medical technicians already working.
Emma added: “In the future I hope to continue working as a paramedic for many years and maybe progress on to other roles such as an aircrew paramedic.”
For further information on the DipHE Paramedic Science, please contact the College of Human and Health Sciences. Tel: +44 (0)1792 518531 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This news item has been posted to the website by Beth Lauder, Swansea University’s Public Relations Office Tel: 01792 513245. Email: email@example.com