More than 100 students from the University of Worcester have joined the West Midlands Ambulance Service workforce in the wake of the coronavirus emergency, with dozens of them on the NHS frontline.
So far 106 Paramedic Science students from all three year groups have taken on a variety of roles alongside their studies, with many out on the road with paramedics and technicians and others working to support frontline operations.
This adds to the more than 200 Worcester student nurses that are undertaking placements in hospitals across the region, as well as students on many other healthcare courses undertaking work in the community.
Thirty-three third year Paramedic Science students are working in Ambulance Care Assistant roles. This involves supporting paramedics when assessing patients’ basic observations like temperature, blood pressure, blood sugars and heart rate. Students can also continue to practice the skills they would usually carry out while on placement under supervision from a paramedic.
A further 45 second year students are also working in Ambulance Care Assistant roles and other roles such as Vehicle Preparatory Assistants, helping with replenishing and cleaning the ambulances. In addition, 28 first year students are in either High Dependency roles, working alongside Patient Transport staff to transfer patients to and from hospital and helping with inter-hospital transfers, or employed as Vehicle Preparatory Assistants.
Students have had additional training from the Ambulance Service and are being supported by Service staff and the University’s Paramedic Sciences lecturers.
It is not known how long students will be required to remain in these roles, but the University will continue to support them as long as they are needed. Numbers could increase as more training is provided.
In addition, the University has 80 Technician to Paramedic students, who are employed by the Trust and were undergoing training through a combination of the Trust and University to become fully fledged paramedics. These students have all returned to service full-time.
Liz Davies-Ward, Head of the University’s School of Allied Health and Community, said: “We are exceptionally proud of the way our students have readily taken up these roles at this very difficult time. Our Paramedic Science students’ hard work continues to have a positive impact on responses to Covid-19 and the experience they will gain from working with West Midlands Ambulance Service will increase their paramedic skills and prepare them for frontline work when they become fully registered paramedics.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Emergency Services Operations Delivery Director, Nathan Hudson, said: “We are very grateful to the hundreds of university students who are assisting us during the coronavirus pandemic. Many are already very familiar to our staff and the response we have had from the teams on our Hubs has been incredible with the students made to feel very welcome.
“The students are motivated and desperate to do their part to help the nation at this time. They are committed to enhancing their skills and learning while also providing vital care to patients. To a man and woman they are going above and beyond on a daily basis and should all be very proud of themselves.”