A former Stratford-upon-Avon College student is now pursuing her long-held career ambitions by training as a paramedic.
Deborah Calverley, from Stratford, studied a Health & Social Care course between 2017 and 2018 and has now progressed to a BSc Honours Degree in Paramedic Science at the University of Worcester where she is on track to graduate in 2021.
Discussing her inspiration for pursuing a career as a paramedic, Deborah commented: “I really wanted a rewarding career with different experiences and challenges which didn’t keep me confined to one place.”
As a Paramedic Science student, Deborah regularly finds herself far from the lecture theatre. Throughout her studies, she has been on placements with ambulance crews and responding to emergency calls.
Despite the challenges of juggling university assignments, paramedic crew placements and her family life with two teenage children, Deborah is certain that her new role is the right one for her. “I feel I’m doing something useful and purposeful. It’s so satisfying and rewarding to go home at the end of a shift knowing that you’ve perhaps made a difference to someone’s day or protected the vulnerable.”
This spring, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Deborah was asked to take on additional responsibility and alleviate the mounting pressure on NHS workers by temporarily joining the Ambulance Trust. Following an intensive week-long training course, Deborah took on the role of Ambulance Care Assistant, working as part of a double-crewed ambulance and responding to 999 calls alongside a paramedic.
Deborah feels her college course was instrumental in preparing her for university life. She explained “Being out of education for 23 years, my course prepared me hugely for university. The way education is delivered has changed enormously since I left school, and the college taught me about academic writing, referencing, and the subjects relevant to my university course such as human biology and psychology.”
Equally impressed by the way the College assisted her with university applications, she continued “We had speakers come in from universities to talk about the application process, student finance and how university life works to help to prepare us. I also had guidance with my personal statement which was one of the hardest pieces to write – especially when you’re a mature student and have lots of relevant information to include in a limited word count!”