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To want to leave teaching and retrain as a paramedic

(33 Posts)
runningmummy1 Wed 17-Jun-15 17:41:57

So although I do put my all into the classroom, I am never good enough. I am not great at observed lessons and nowadays it really has to be a good or outstanding grade. Its not just the school as I have felt this way for a while. Actually love the classroom side but find all the other aspects of the job soul destroying. I am a voluntary community first responder so I am trained in basic life support and am sent to local 999 calls (within my area and training) to defibrillate etc until the ambulance arrives. I have also done a shift on an ambulance so this decision comes is based on the reality of what could be my new role. However my husband is in a similar role so works shifts making childcare difficult. My kids are 9 and 11 so I might well need to wait a few years. Then there is school holidays to consider and loosing weekends. Of course I would work longer days but less days a week. AIBU?

Eebahgum Wed 17-Jun-15 17:52:12

Yanbu to consider leaving teaching. I have done several times for the same reasons as you. No idea if paramedic would be better/workable but sounds like it's worth some serious consideration.

Earthbound Wed 17-Jun-15 17:52:41

I don't think YABU to want to change career to one you think would be more fulfilling. People do it all the time.

You do, however need to make sure you have thought it through. You would be looking at 4 years of training (a 1 year Access Course plus a 3 year degree). There is also no guarantee of a university place after Access. What would you do if you didn't get into your nearest uni? Could you realistically commute elsewhere? How would your family finances cope? Would you work part time? Did you have a student loan for your first degree? You would have to check you were able to claim another.

So yes, all kudos to you for wanting to do something so worthwhile but justake sure it works logistically.

Earthbound Wed 17-Jun-15 17:53:34

*just make

runningmummy1 Wed 17-Jun-15 17:58:10

Very helpful advice, I could do a two year course which I would need to produce an exceptional application as it is so popular .

LucilleBluth Wed 17-Jun-15 17:59:18

I don't think you need a specific degree to be a paramedic......just a degree and then a training course I think.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Wed 17-Jun-15 18:06:13

No it's a specific degree. Unless you can look on your local ambulance service website see if they have student paramedic jobs?

paulapompom Wed 17-Jun-15 18:09:45

I know someone who did just that and loves it. I would just say make sure it's really what you want. You sound like you know what's involved and have the relevant skills, but sometimes the urge to not be a teacher can put pressure on us (unfairly in my view but that's another thread). Good luck whatever you decide x

MadameJosephine Wed 17-Jun-15 18:17:08

Yanbu. It's never too late to change your mind about your career direction and it sounds like you definitely know what you are getting into. I would imagine your experience would help you put together an exceptional application so go for it! Best of luck whatever you decide

xiaozhu Wed 17-Jun-15 18:25:10

My sister has just completed the two year course at Oxford Brookes. She actually got in on the back of having done a sports and exercise college course (instead of A Levels) and having trained and worked as a life guard. She was pretty much the youngest person on the course - just turned 21. Most of the other students were older and had done other jobs, many in the sports or healthcare sector. She applied to a few places but this is the only one she got into.

She's found the course pretty tough, especially with all the night shifts - three in a row sometimes. Also, she had to get into debt to do it but I believe that's changed now.

She loves it, but I personally can't think of anything worse! It seems to swing between the routine (picking up elderly people who've fallen over) to the horrific (witnessing people die in car accidents), and can be emotionally taxing - she says that the only people who really understand what she's going through are other paramedics. You also need to be physically strong as there's lots of lifting involved.

On the other hand, she finds the work stimulating and always has plenty of stories to tell. She loves driving the ambulance and meeting all the people she treats.

You need to think about the other end though. I gather that where you are able to get a job will depend largely on where you did your course. So because my sister did her course in Oxford, she was able to get a job at an ambulance trust in Oxford or the surrounding area. Are you able to attend a course close to where you already live? Otherwise it could mean uprooting the family.

The other thing, of course, is that the pay is outrageously low IMO.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do.

xiaozhu Wed 17-Jun-15 18:27:46

I meant that she was only able to get a job in Ox or the surrounding areas - ambulance trusts tend to recruit from their local training establishment because they've already worked with many of the candidates.

Zanzibaragain Wed 17-Jun-15 18:56:41

runningmummy1 are you my twin?

My dc are 10 & 11.
I have been a community first responder for the last 2 years.
Just applied to university for the Adult Nursing Course, and waiting for my last interview.

I totally get the pull towards being a paramedic but the working hours after training just aren't compatable with childcare. It's a pretty full on shift pattern in my area with a lot of night shifts.
I am hoping that Adult Nursing can be more flexible and give me a much larger choice of areas for work in a hospital or in the community.
Funnily as a 1st responder I have far more hands on experience than my nursing student friend.

All the courses are massively oversubscribed so put in a lot of time on your application and read up everything connected you can get your hands on( the Francis report, the 6c's)
And get your mental arethmatic up to speed as there is an entrance maths test with no calculators!

Also do consider that for the 3 years degree you have only 2 weeks at Christmas, 2 weeks at Easter and 2/3 weeks in August, no time off for half term childcare, no reading week,unlike all the other students.

Personally I can't wait to start no matter what the hours, just wish I had done this 35 years ago

itsmeitscathy Wed 17-Jun-15 19:03:06

why not join St John ambulance as a volunteer and see if you enjoy first aid before giving in your teaching? you could even become a first responder.

look into it more, in Scotland it doesn't take 4 years to get out on the job and paid.

itsmeitscathy Wed 17-Jun-15 19:04:37

aye didn't read the full post before posting

the second bit is applicable though!

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Wed 17-Jun-15 19:05:35

The OP said in her first post she's a first responder

CallMeExhausted Wed 17-Jun-15 19:34:46

I was a paramedic. If you'd like to chat privately, please drop me a PM. I may well have some tales that will help you with your decision.

runningmummy1 Wed 17-Jun-15 19:39:06

Thanks everyone so many helpful replies, CallMeExhausted, how do you juggle it with family life as in my household both of us will be in similar work.

PurpleCrazyHorse Wed 17-Jun-15 19:41:33

Check out how big your Ambulance Trust is as you might not get a job in your local station but have to commute. On top of a likely 7-7 shift, a long commute might be tough too.

Childcare could be a real issue if your DH also works shifts, but if it takes 4 years to train your DCs will be 13 & 15yo. However what happens if both you and DH are on night shifts, who will look after the kids overnight? Can the kids have friends around if DH (or you) are sleeping during the day, how likely might that be if you work 4 days on, 4 days off? (or whatever the rota is for your Trust). How will it impact kids after school activities or going out with friends?

I worked for an Ambulance Trust in the past (not in a medical role) and loved going out on shift, the work was varied and really interesting. I can totally see the draw.

AliceHoney Wed 17-Jun-15 19:44:13

I don't know if this helps, but my partner and I are both paramedics, and have been able to negotiate a rota that allows us to share childcare between us. Depends which ambulance service you'll be applying to, but there's a good chance they'll be able to work with you as regards your and your OH's shifts. Happy to answer any questions if I can be of help.

runningmummy1 Wed 17-Jun-15 19:56:48

The ambulance service can offer opposite shifts and often does. He doesn't work nights and has a regular shift pattern. However during my student placements, I would need to do any shift pattern I was given. Could anyone advise me if my age 41, would go against me and as a regular runner would I need to start training for the physical

AliceHoney Wed 17-Jun-15 20:01:54

Your age shouldn't be an issue at all, my partner qualified aged 45. Your previous life and professional experience will probably be seen as a great asset. You'll need tp pass a fitness test, which as a runner shouldn't be a problem, but you'll probably also be asked to do a grip strength test, a test of flexibility and of lower back strength. They might be areas to work on if you feel you need to.

IonaNE Wed 17-Jun-15 20:15:38

YANBU for wanting to leave teaching. I have done the same and my life has become incomparably better. I have a 9-5 (well, actually, 8-4 smile ) office job though.

runningmummy1 Wed 17-Jun-15 20:20:42

Good to know there is life after teaching.��

IonaNE Wed 17-Jun-15 21:20:30

There is, runningmummy, and a much better one, too. smile

PandaMummyofOne Wed 17-Jun-15 21:27:04

I've got two paramedics under my belt now from my previous Learners. You will need specific a-levels in one of the science courses. Which one will depend entirely on the university of your choice.

You will need a specific degree in paramedic science. Then it's the training on the job. You can get an NHS bursary to help and you can get child care costs to help with the training.

If you work within your regions NHS Ambulance Service, they do have child care specific to people in your position so may be worth looking at.

I say go for it! Be a little selfish. You are not at all disillusioned as to what to expect once in the job, know what the day to day is etc. I teach and now feel the same way as you. I'm going through the process to be a prison officer at the minute.

Good luck to you OP! I hope you get to do this.

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