In 2021, never before has there ever truly been a more exciting time to start my journey as a student paramedic. For me, the rapid pace of the development of the paramedic profession and the new roles coming on stream have highlighted the need for a voice in Northern Ireland. I believe that I would be highly suited to this role.
Currently, I am a volunteer with the Order of Malta Ireland having joined as a Cadet aged 11. I was later promoted to Cadet Sergeant and developed a leadership role whilst working as part of a team. I have now been a member for over 8 years and have gained many experiences, skills and qualifications. I am also one of their national photographers in which I have learned how to demonstrate collaborative team work and appropriately deal with social media.
Within Ulster University, I have learned how to engage with a new cohort and work with the university to support these students. This has enabled me to develop my confidence which I believe strongly supports me in my role as Regional Representative.
Previously, I was proactively engaged with my student council at both primary and secondary level and more recently, I was appointed as head boy of my secondary school (2020/2021). I developed my leadership, peer mentoring and supportive role. I was able to listen to the needs of students, address their concerns, liaise and engage with the Prefect Team whilst demonstrating my interpersonal skills. As a result of this, our team were able to implement changes in policies and procedures to provide the necessary support for students where applicable. This was particularly difficult during Covid-19, however we were able to adapt and respond appropriately.
To be part of the Student Council and represent Northern Ireland would be a huge privilege and honour, especially as we are in our infancy of the first BSc degree programme here. I strongly believe it is essential that our cohort and subsequently, further cohorts are appropriately supported. As a member of the Student Council, I strongly feel that I would represent a role model for student paramedics within my region and provide the most appropriate support to enhance our learning. I would represent the region as a platform for student member’s voices as well as working collaboratively with other Student Council members in order to further the development of student paramedics.
Being a volunteer has taught me so much, not just the medical skills but also the confidence to engage with the community, patients we meet and other volunteers along the way. Being a paramedic is not all about the lights and sirens, it's about making a positive difference in my community. It's about making a difference to students ensuring their voices are heard. Being a Regional Representative means I can enhance the support and develop the growth of student paramedics not only within Northern Ireland but right across the United Kingdom and Ireland. I feel that I am ready, experienced, eager and prepared to step up and be the voice of change in my region, to engage with student paramedics, and form excellent working relationships with the Student Council and the wider College of Paramedics organisation.