Inspirational Story

Chris Harvey

Who am I? Chris Harvey

What do I do? Advanced Paramedic Urgent Care

What did I study at 6th form/college? – Health & Social Care, Sociology

What did I study at university? BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science at Hertfordshire University and MSc Advanced Clinical Practice at Sheffield Hallam

Pronouns: He/Him

What promoted you to study paramedic science?

As a teenager I was always interested in history and envisaged I would have a career around that subject. At the age of 16 a close family relative spent a lot of time in hospital, and it opened my eyes to a career in health care. I was amazed at the compassion and knowledge of all the different staff involved in their care. During a careers day I found an advert for paramedic science in a university prospectus and the article was around the varied role of a paramedic. I was sold!

What have I learnt since studying to be a paramedic?

My paramedic education focused a lot on anatomy and physiology in the first year of my degree. Once I learnt about the body systems, I was fascinated about the disease process of various conditions and how to manage them. Ultimately this learning inspired me to progress my career further and study to become a non-medical prescriber so I could learn more about drugs and how to use them to improve people’s health.

As my career has progressed, I’ve learnt more about the wider NHS and how my role as a paramedic fits alongside that of other professionals. Healthcare is an ever-evolving world, as is the role of a paramedic and as the profession continues to develop its led to more learning in areas such as primary care and advanced practice.

Healthcare is an ever-evolving world, as is the role of a paramedic

How have you got to the position you are now?

When I completed my BSc, I worked in London for 3 years to consolidate my knowledge and develop as a paramedic on an ambulance. Family ties led me to relocate to Yorkshire where I grew up. On my return to Yorkshire, I worked as a clinical supervisor mentoring and supporting new paramedics and being the operational commander at large scale incidents or at sporting events. As my interests in mentoring and teaching increased alongside my desire to study an MSc, I embarked on an advanced practice route which led me to placements in GP surgeries, minor injury units and working in ambulance call centres. In 2021 I was appointed as an advanced paramedic which has allowed me to have a varied role and given me the time to pursue research opportunities, teaching and developing colleagues in their roles.

What does a typical day look like?

Because my role is so varied no two days are the same. My focus is supporting staff development in their paramedic roles. This may involve working with other NHS organisations to secure placements and learning opportunities. It may involve working on an ambulance car providing 1 to 1 coaching. I attend meetings around the health systems in Yorkshire to understand how the paramedic profession can support people outside the ambulance service. I’m also involved in planning and delivering lectures at local universities or within the ambulance service.

What do I enjoy most about being a paramedic?

I enjoy that no two days are the same. When I work clinically, I see a whole range of patients with all manner of health concerns. Because the role is so varied, I’m constantly learning and developing my knowledge and enjoy being able to support and coach my colleagues. I’m lucky in that I get to support and help patients, but I also get to support and help other ambulance staff in their roles.

Want to learn more?

Find out more about the role of a paramedic and all of the varied settings they can work in

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