Grantham's inspirational women: 'Every patient deserves to be treated as if they were the first’
Saving somebody’s life is not something everybody can say they have done but for ambulance technician Kayley Reading, it just comes with the job role.
After leaving the army in 2012, 29-year-old Kayley joined LIVES as a first responder before embarking on a career as an ambulance technician with East Midlands Ambulance Service.
We caught up with Kayley in between her shifts this week.
How did you become an ambulance technician?
I was very naïve as I joined the army at 16 years old and I didn’t know how to find a job or what I might like to do. I knew that I enjoyed medical work so I got a job as a home carer and joined LIVES as a first responder.
After working within the care sector for three years my career path started to lean toward becoming a paramedic.
EMAS started to recruit for trainee ambulance technicians as part of a massive recruitment drive and I managed to secure myself a place on the second course running.
The trainee technician course was a mixture of academic work, practical work and a driving course. I started the course in June 2015 and qualified as an ambulance technician in March 2016.
I then followed a technician to paramedic pathway programme which involved a two year part-time university course at Coventry University.
Completion of this course qualifies you as a paramedic with a foundation degree in paramedic science. I am currently waiting for my official results and hope to qualify in May.
What drew you to work as an ambulance technician?
I really enjoy talking to people and that is a huge part of this job. The fact that I can have an impact on so many people’s lives is a privilege.
Of course it’s not always a good outcome but it is equally important to provide people and their families with the dignity and respect that they deserve.
Does the job ever overwhelm you?
No, I don’t sit back and think about it long enough to
I have been in some very difficult and chaotic situations and if I allow myself to take it all in then I probably would feel overwhelmed and I wouldn’t be able to do my job.
It is really important in this job to reflect on different situations as this is how we learn and cope with what we have seen and how we have reacted but I am human so I might find myself overwhelmed in the future.
What keeps you going?
The people I meet. Changing someone’s day and making them smile keeps me going.
The shifts are long and can be demanding but these things make each shift easier.
It must be challenging at times?
There will always be challenges in this job, whether it is the environment we work in, the medical dilemmas we face or the general demand in calls. I take each job and patient at a time, assess and treat them and then go to the next patient.
Every patient deserves to be treated as if they are the first person you have seen that day even if you are 12 hours into your shift and are going to be late home.