Apprentice Paramedic Anwara Lewis


Anwara Lewis, Apprentice ParamedicBefore applying to be an apprentice paramedic I worked as a carer for the elderly and people with long-term illnesses for five years. Working with paramedics whilst caring for my patients is what inspired me to apply.

I began training in December 2012 but before my first shift on the road with experienced paramedics I completed an initial course.

This included a two-day induction, six weeks of clinical training in the classroom and three weeks’ ‘blue light’ training – driving an ambulance.

The ‘blue light’ training was challenging and hard work but a lot of fun. Everything you have ever been taught about driving is turned on its head. It’s also about fine-tuning your existing driving skills.

The initial course was great. I enjoyed the team work and the fact that there was never a dull moment.

The apprentice paramedic scheme is a new five-year course into the profession run in partnership with the Open University. Although this seems like a long time, you combine studying with practical learning and you’re dealing with real patients which is a great way to learn.

I have finished the initial training and I have been working on the road with my mentor since February, based in Silvertown ambulance station.

I was very nervous before my first shift but it went really well. I was with two experienced paramedics which gave me the chance to just watch how they work. Nothing can prepare you for your first job – suddenly the blue lights are on and you are at the scene within minutes. As soon as I got over the initial nerves, I couldn’t wait for my next shift.

I now work one-to-one with my mentor and for the next seven months all of my learning will be on the job and everything that I learnt while in training can be put to practice. After each job, I go through the detail with my mentor, who is great at explaining and answering any questions I have. I will also have assessments of my clinical and communication skills and I will also need to pass an access to study module.

Hopefully, after seven months I will be registered for the Foundation Degree in Paramedic Science. I will be studying 16 hours a week and be out on the road with my mentor for 37.5 hours - that’s when the really hard work will begin.