Our Critical Care Practitioner Fellowship is a 12 month programme which provides an opportunity to work alongside the EMRTS duty crew gaining valuable exposure and experience of critical care medicine in the pre-hospital and transfer environments.
This is what some of those who have taken part make of it.
Jo Thomas - Welshpool.
Jo is a paramedic based out of Machynlleth Ambulance station. She has been qualified for five years and work for the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust.
She said: "Throughout my career I have always been motivated to improve my knowledge and gain new experiences and exposure to the various elements of pre hospital care. Since practicing, I felt like my experience of high acuity, pre hospital trauma, anaesthesia and inter hospital transfer were lacking and I wanted to gain more experience in this field. Due to this, I applied for the CCPF scheme with EMRTS to enhance my knowledge and to gain more confidence and competence in the realms of critical care and trauma.
"Throughout the fellowship I have been fortunate to attend a variety of medical and trauma incidents and inter hospital transfers and have had the pleasure of working along side experienced pilots, CCP’s and Doctors. I have been fully included and integrated as part of the team in Welshpool airbase, providing life sustaining and life saving treatment across Wales and it has been a real eye opener for me as a clinician. This experience has allowed me to truly understand how EMRTS can benefit certain patient groups and it’s encouraged me to share this knowledge with my peers on the road. I have had an insight to the emergency drugs and critical care equipment that EMRTS carry, including neonatal and paediatric aspects of care and management prehospitally. I have become much more familiar with EMRTS SOP’s and frequent interventions such as procedural sedation, RSI and Prehospital blood delivery to name a few.
"I feel overall the CCPF scheme have massively benefited me as a paramedic, not only from a clinical perspective, but also from an aviation point of view. Every day is different, posing frequent challenges that I’ve not only found highly exciting but also rewarding. The unpredictability of the Job is something I have enjoyed the most alongside, stepping out of my comfort zone and building positive working relationships with staff from the service. I would highly recommend this 12 month programme to anyone who wants to expand their knowledge in the multifaceted elements of pre hospital emergency care."
Will Palmer – Dafen/ Cardiff
Will is a paramedic based in the Swansea area and worked on the Cymru High Acuity Response unit as a solo paramedic attending mainly red calls and high acuity amber calls. Will has recently become a senior paramedic with the WelshAmbulance Service which has a focus on frontline clinical leadership.
He said: "From the very beginning of my career I found I was highly motivated to attend high acuity patients. I believe that’s where I performed my best and would always strive to further my knowledge in this area. I would frequently attend EMRTS CPD, clinical governance sessions amongst other courses to improve my technical and non-technical skills.
"When the opportunity arose to be a part of the first ever CCPF scheme I jumped at this chance and was fortunate enough to be picked. During the fellowship, I was privileged to be part of the team and worked alongside Doctors, CCP’s and pilots where I gained a huge amount of knowledge in treating patients of all ages. We were tasked day and night to incidents across Wales including medical and trauma in a variety of areas from urban areas of Cardiff, mountainous areas of Brecon and coastal areas like Tenby. I’ve been in involved with many incidents that required Pre-hospital emergency anaesthesia, emergency blood transfusion and other time critical interventions. Each incident pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me grow as clinician.
"Since completing the programme I’ve been able to join the Advanced Hems practice MSc with Bangor University. I feel the CCPF programme compliments the MSc and has equipped me with the knowledge and experience required to undertake the MSc. Fortunately, this has allowed me to continue my shifts with EMRTS and continue building on the knowledge I’ve already gained. I would highly recommend this CCPF scheme to anyone that has an interest in critical care and wants to expand their knowledge in this exciting unpredictable area of pre-hospital care."
Rebecca Chalk, Caernarfon
Becca is a paramedic working in Colwyn Bay. She has worked with WAST for seven years, for the last 18 months as an Advanced Paramedic Practitioner.
She said: "Working solo I often found myself being tasked to red calls and enjoy the challenge of dealing with acutely unwell patients in a pre-hospital environment. Although plenty of pre-hospital experience my exposure to critical care and treatments you might find in ITU was very little. I wanted to enrol on the fellowship to gain exposure to these high acuity incidents and improve my clinical and non-technical skills.
"I have been lucky enough to attend a range of jobs across Wales in both very rural and mountainous environments as well as in urban areas. It’s great to work with a mix of critical care paramedics as well as doctors from different specialties.
"I feel it has made me more aware of the type of incidents EMRTS can add a lot of value to. Once on scene, being able to assist in using their equipment, interpret point of care testing and having an awareness of drugs used for RSI for example as well as blood delivery has all benefited my role and will continue to do so in the future. I’ve really enjoyed the fellowship and feel part of the team, I love the excitement that comes not only with being able to provide life-saving treatments in different surroundings but learning about weather and aviation. Also, being based in Caernarfon, often working alongside the Coastguard and Mountain Rescue and the spectacular views of Snowdonia is a real highlight. I would recommend this to anyone that wants pre-hospital critical care exposure and is happy to step out their comfort zone."