Scott Atkinson

Cert HE Ambulance Studies 2017
Dip HE Paramedic Practice 2018

Paramedic with Scottish Ambulance Service in Edinburgh 

Scott Atkinson 680

Tell us in more detail what your role entails, what challenges you currently face, and how you are finding ways to cope.

In my role I provide frontline A+E ambulance cover in my divisional area. This job has a wide scope dealing with a great range of medical emergencies covering all ages. Obviously our role has been changed significantly with the current Covid-19 situation. Calls relating to patients who are or belief they have symptoms of Covid or confirmed positive have risen exponentially. It has changed how we respond as now we have to don PPE before every call which in the case of serious emergencies is quite foreign, to find yourself speedily blue lighting to a location only to arrive and have to don PPE which can be time consuming and feels very different to how we normally operate.

For the most part it is just precautionary and it just feels odd wearing all this extra gear in someone’s living room however, it is different when you have someone with severe suspected symptoms or are confirmed positive. This can be stressful but you simply need to be deliberate in your actions not rush and follow procedures There is still some anxiety as is it not certain how this virus is transmitted and some staff have been getting infected despite wearing PPE. 

I have always wanted to work in my current role and while there is some added stress with the current pandemic this is ultimately what we trained to do. We are required more than ever at present and it is important that staff remain dedicated and professional to ensure we deal with Covid patients and still provide care to our non-covid patients. To work in this role at present you need to remain flexible and and see the bigger picture. I have cancelled some leave and offered to work in other stations that are under resourced in order to ensure there is adequate A+E coverage.

Do you have a top tip for coping at a time of crisis? Or a few words of advice or support for fellow students and alumni on the front line?

It is a privilege to work in this field and one that you work in not for financial or prestige reasons. The whole country is having to pull together and make huge adjustments which will be felt for decades. Now more than ever paramedic students need to be aware this is what we are here for and if there is any anxiety or apprehension there is a great camaraderie among ambulance service staff and that always gets you through. The PPE situation in the service is stable and while some have been infected most have not. I take some relief from this knowing that we are somewhat protected and seeing all my other NHS colleagues doing their own bit also makes you want to make your own contribution. This situation won’t last forever, one day and you will want to look back on how you did your bit to help. 

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