11 December 2019
A Wilderness First Aid course was the beginning of a rewarding career for USC graduate, Amy Chilman. The former outdoor guide completed a Bachelor of Paramedic Science in 2018 and is now stationed in New South Wales after being selected by the state’s Ambulance Service in their first intake this year.
There is no average day at work for Amy as she works in many different environments and treats a variety patients.
USC Parent Lounge recently spoke with Amy about how her USC degree prepared her for the life on the road as a Paramedic.
What did you study at USC? I studied a Bachelor of Paramedic Science
Why did you decide to study this? I was working as an outdoor guide and wanted to do something more mentally challenging for a career, but still high intensity. One day I was completing my Wilderness First Aid course for my job and fell in love with it. I could picture myself working as a medic for a career and enrolled that week into the degree.
What was your favourite thing about your degree? How did it prepare you? I loved how hands on the degree was, we were always in the practice labs using the same equipment that Paramedics use in the field. We were taught by those with years of experience in the industry and those currently working in the field as Paramedics. By having a practical approach to the degree, it equipped us with essential skills and helped make us comfortable when we undertook placement and prepared us for the job.
What are you doing now? How would you describe your journey since graduating? What have been some of your proudest moments? I am proudly working as a Paramedic for NSW Ambulance and absolutely loving it! I was fortunate to be selected by NSW Ambulance in their first intake of 2019 after finishing uni. This has taken me on an incredible journey working in Northern NSW and I am about to commence a stint of working in remote NSW.
What does an ‘average’ day in your job look like? When working as a Paramedic there is no ‘average’ day, with each day being different to the next (which is what I love about it). We are based at an ambulance station and from there we work out of the ambulance which is stocked with everything we need. We work in teams of two Paramedics and take it in turns to treat or drive. We get to work in so many different environments from people’s homes, sports fields and hospitals, to helping with aeromedical retrievals. The best consistency in the day is a good cup of coffee!
How is your industry changing? The exciting thing about Paramedicine is that it is a component of medicine, which means that as research continues to develop, the way we treat patients will continue to change. And also that there is always going to be something new to learn.
What is something about your career/industry that many people don’t know? Once you are a Paramedic there are some further career opportunities available, such as working in education or furthering your studies to become a Critical Care Paramedic, Intensive Care Paramedic or Aeromedical officer.
What is your favourite thing about your job/career? I love that every day is different to the next. I get to have some great conversations with patients and my colleagues, I get to work in different locations every day and there is always going to be something new to learn. Also, I love having a uniform and not having to think about what I’m going to wear every day.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about a career in your area? It is a fun and an incredibly rewarding career but you also need to put some hard work in and study hard. Throw yourself into every opportunity that comes your way and it will open many doors.