My public sector career began when I joined the South Australian Ambulance Service as an Emergency Medical Dispatch Support Officer. This role provided a fantastic insight into the health system and the broader public sector.
After working in the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) for a year, I decided to study a Bachelor of Paramedic Science. Thanks to the flexible working arrangements, I was able to study while working in the Emergency Operations Centre. I then successfully completed an internship and am now employed as a full-time paramedic in metropolitan Adelaide.
Every day is different! I arrive at my home station approximately 15 minutes prior to the start of shift to receive a brief handover from the outgoing crew. On shift, my partner and I check the fleet and equipment, ensuring everything is operational and accounted for. It’s then a ‘waiting game’ as we remain on station until we receive a task. Once dispatched, we visit the patient, provide treatment and transport/refer as required. This is what makes every day so different.
To me, the unpredictable nature of this profession is exciting. We have the pleasure of interacting and treating patients across all walks of life ensuring that every patient is treated with respect and dignity, irrespective of their age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. This is challenging as your communication style needs to change multiple times during a shift. We could be treating a primary school child for anaphylaxis and then transporting an elderly patient to a hospice for end of life comfort care. These are all brilliant examples of the diversity this career offers and what I love about my job.
I work as a paramedic because it is highly rewarding. I can’t think of any other profession where it’s socially acceptable to let yourself into an elderly person’s home at 3am and render assistance. While these people have never met me before, there is an inherent trust associated with our profession. We can be privy to very personal information, which is not disclosed to many. It is a very unique relationship, which we respect.
Given the size of the sector, there is ample opportunity for professional development. I was given the opportunity to travel to a rural health clinic in Nepal for five weeks through an SA Health initiative. I have also been fortunate to receive various types of leadership training which have enabled me to progress my career.
South Australia is a beautiful state to live in. Working in the Emergency Operations Centre enabled me to appreciate the sheer size of the state (just shy of one million square kilometres) and the geographical challenges we can face.
South Australia is a vibrant city to live in - we have beautiful attractions in the CBD, such as the Adelaide Oval, and we have some amazing rural locations. Less than an hour north or south of the CBD are our world-renowned wine regions: the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. Finally, the city comes to life in March with the Adelaide Festival and the Adelaide Fringe.