Trainee paramedic stresses importance of support networks during pandemic

Trainee specialist paramedic Fleur

Trainee specialist paramedic, Fleur. - Credit: GWAAC

A trainee specialist paramedic from North Somerset has spoken of the challenges of working on the frontline during the pandemic.

Fleur Mosley joined the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity’s (GWAAC) crew in August 2020.

She previously worked as the lead emergency care paramedic in a busy South London emergency department which she describes as 'harrowing'.

It has been an emotionally, physically and mentally challenging year for healthcare workers and GWAAC’s crew has responded to more than 1,700 critical care incidents in 2020.

Fleur said: “By the nature of what we’re exposed to daily, we give bad news quite regularly, and that was the same for me whilst working in my role in London too. "To be doing that so often can be pretty tough, but I am very lucky to have an amazing support network of friends and family, a lot of whom also work in healthcare, so have lots of similar experiences."

Fleur is currently going through a two-year training programme to be signed off as a specialist paramedic in critical care with the local air ambulance.

When asked what the biggest challenge has been during the past year, Fleur said: “In London, I used to be able to come home and go for walks with my flatmates, which played a big role in how I got through that first wave of the pandemic. Moving down to the South West and not having a physical network has made the whole thing harder. I hadn’t fully prepared for that.

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“The lockdown has definitely made this experience much more overwhelming than it would have been otherwise. None of us could do any of the things we do without each other, having those conversations in person is part of decompressing. Being in human contact is really important- and wow do I miss a good hug."

She added: "The team at GWAAC are something else, they really are amazing. I am so lucky to have such a great group of people to be training and developing with.

"To have it all backed by charitable donations is the cherry on the cake. We wouldn’t be doing the jobs we’re doing and getting the training we’re getting without you, we’re completely indebted to you all really.”

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