🚧 NSCG | Q&A with former Access to HE Learner and community paramedic,…
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30th May 2022

Working as a community Youth Worker, Charlotte Brough knew that she wanted to work towards a professional role within the health sector. After realising she didn't have the qualifications to achieve her dream of becoming a paramedic, Charlotte enrolled on the Access to HE (Health Professionals) Diploma at Newcastle College. Here, she tells us all about her journey to university and becoming a paramedic.

Q. Why did you choose to return to education?

A. I was already working in the community in youth work and knew that I wanted to do more of a professional role in healthcare, so I started making enquiries about various jobs. I quickly realised that I needed to obtain a degree in order to be in a “professional role”. I didn’t have the right qualifications to go straight to university, so I started to look into the Access to HE course. I began to work out my finances so that I could still work (part time) and complete the Access course.

Q. Why did you choose Newcastle College?

A. I did some research and found that Newcastle were offering more flexibility around me being able to work part time. I also heard about the fantastic progression rate of Access students from Newcastle College, so it seemed only right to apply there.

Q. How did you juggle completing your assignments alongside your work and family commitments?

A. I was so nervous before I started wondering how I was going to complete this course alongside my other commitments…..it IS an intense course! However, with lots of organisational skills I managed to forward plan, in order to know which specific periods would be the busiest with assignment deadlines etc., and I was able to work around that really. It is a lot of hard work, but it definitely is do-able and it pays off in the end.

Q. How did the Access to HE course prepare you for university?

A. The course helped me enormously with things like academic writing, referencing, essay structure etc.…..but it also helped me to grow in other areas such as confidence, communication, and resilience. These are the things that you are learning throughout the course, you just don’t realise it at the time!!

Q. What help and support did you receive from the lecturers?

A. All the lecturers were so supportive and were passionate about education. They were on hand to give advice, whether that be relating to assignments, topics, or even just general advice about personal things. There was always a shoulder to cry on if needed. I cannot thank the team enough.

Q. What are you doing now?

A. I am a fully qualified paramedic with West Midlands Ambulance Service. I completed my training through Staffordshire University, whom were amazing! At the moment, I am on maternity leave but I will soon be back to my role and I cannot wait! I actually met my partner, Rich, on the Access course (as he was training to be a paramedic too)……we now a beautiful baby boy together and that is all down to the Access course!!!

Q. What is your future goal/plan?

I just love being a paramedic to be honest and every, single day offers something new to learn. I would never be complacent enough to think that now I’m qualified I know it all, as even people who have done the job for 25 years still have lots to learn. I am happy and content with working in this role, and want to be proficient within my role. I haven’t actually delivered a baby yet as a paramedic and I would LOVE to do this, nerve wracking though it might be. Perhaps in the future I may like to also consider doing something with prescribing duties…as this is a new thing within the paramedic field.

Q. Describe your time on the Access course?

A. It was such a special time. My class all bonded really well and encouraged each other to go and pursue careers such as paramedics, midwifery, nursing, physio etc. It was very tough in terms of the amount of subject content, assignments etc., but I look back on it with such fond memories. You find your feet somehow and just keep ploughing through…..and finally you are in the career of your dreams!

If you've been inspired by Charlotte's story, find out more about studying an Access to HE course at Newcastle College.