My Journey into Becoming a Newly Qualified Paramedic (Part 2) - NQP Trust Induction Week 1
Here is my story documenting from my last submission of my degree into becoming a baby paramedic. This series will include getting my degree, trust and local area inductions, driver training and more! It has been covid-fied (as expected) but not too much has changed, as the ambulance service has had to keep running pretty much the same throughout the pandemic.
On the 18th September the trust contacted me to tell me they were happy to take me on the induction even though I did not have my ratified results. This gave me approximately four hours to sort accommodation before the already-hard-to-get-hold-of recruitment staff went home for the weekend. Fortunately I managed to find a couple of people who I knew who were also on the course (thank you group chats!) and we all agreed to stay in the same Premier Inn which was approx 10 mins drive from the training centre. We were given three options for accommodation and travel (this will vary trust to trust but will likely have a similar principle):
- Payment of a certain amount per mile for distances travelled past your base station (everyone gets this)
- If staying over an hour away, the trust would allow us either to book with a company they already have links with and payment would be sorted between the trust and the accommodation
- If staying over an hour away the trust would allow us to book our own accommodation and would reimburse up to £55 per night. This is an expensive move however the trust specific accommodation was lacking in that area and it was easier to book (nicer) accommodation online with little notice. As it was during covid the room prices were cheaper. I also booked on my credit card so I was actually reimbursed by the trust in my first payslip before the money was due to be paid on my credit card. This gave me the added bonus of Tesco Clubcard points too (silver lining and all that lol).
I was able to claim for mileage and I also booked my own hotel which was reimbursed. £55 a night does not sound like much, however if you speak to the hotel they may do you a discounted business rate especially as you are often staying for a week or longer. Always contact the hotel in this instance and see if they will give you a discount, and state your budget. Also try and get them to include breakfast for free as this will save you using up other expenses allowed. If they cannot cater to your budget (and often they will as most hotels are never full every weekday), contact the next hotel. Often smaller hotels may be able to cater better for discounts (and it is always best to try and support smaller businesses especially during covid).
We were also reimbursed for food if we had to book accommodation, up to £20 per day. This only includes food and soft drinks, they will not let you claim for other bits like bags for life, toiletries and alcoholic bevs. £20 seems like quite a lot but if eating out every night this actually does not give you much room for lunch or snacks. Consider buying bulk items for lunch (eg multipack of crisps, fruit, snack bars) and then buying a sandwich to try and keep these costs low. Then you can enjoy your dinner without going over your reimbursement budget!
I decided to drive up and stay the Sunday night before my course (not reimbursed) because the two hours of travelling was heading towards London and as I was previously placed nearby, I know how horrendous the traffic is! On the first day we arrived at the training school (with thankfully plenty of parking) and were shown to our classroom for the two weeks. We were told to avoid the other group of students there (an apprentice EMT group) to ensure that our bubbles did not overlap. Initially we were not required to wear facemasks except when being really close to people (ie CPR or conflict resolution training) however this changed as the week progressed. We did a temperature check every morning and sat in the same allocated seat every day to reduce the risk of cross infection.
On day one we did boring admin stuff and our corporate induction where one of the trust leadership team was meant to speak to us on a video call, but never did. We also did a SWOT analysis as a group, to identify what we wanted to work on and what we already felt comfortable with - it was interesting as everyone felt wobbly on similar areas and was happy to revise anything up there! On day two we discussed medicines management. This was not as in depth as I was expecting and made me realise that in the year that I had not used paramedic drugs, I had forgotten quite a lot and really needed to brush up on them. We used the rest of the day to look at trust specific equipment, including head blocks and pelvic binders. Day three and four involved adult, paediatric and neonate life support. We were shown what they expected from us, then we were allowed time to practice. On day four, when we felt ready, we did our paediatric and neonate formative assessments (which meant we could not fail but were given feedback on anything we could do better). Although being assessed is always nerve wracking, being a formative assessment definitely took the pressure off. All assessment criteria followed the resus council guidelines, so I would definitely recommend brushing up on this before coming on the trust induction.
On day five we discussed manual handling, refreshed ourselves with the carry chair and learnt how to use the tracks. We were then assessed on this with a partner, very similar to when we did this originally at university. Once that was completed we did prevent and safeguarding training, which was a very heavy (but interesting and thought provoking) way to end the week.
Thanks for reading! I thought I would stop here as this is a very long post so far, so the next post will include week two of the trust induction and more on the dynamic of the course.
My Journey into Becoming a Newly Qualified Paramedic: Read the whole series here: