Paramedic Joe Picola
Name: Joseph Picola
Where and when did your career in the Trust start?
My career began in 2015.
What apprenticeship did you complete?
PTS apprenticeship becoming an ambulance care assistant.
What are you doing now?
I'm now a fully qualified paramedic.
How has the apprenticeship programme you completed helped you on your journey?
The ambulance service was always where I wanted to work, and having seen the application for patient transport apprentice, I was in two minds about applying as at the time I had just completed studies and was working full time elsewhere.
However, giving my interest in the NHS and ambulance service I applied and successfully started my training at Lanchester Road Hospital in Durham for three weeks. After the course, I was based out of Gateshead Station often working four days a week with various other staff, whom taught me how to look after patients and how to follow all the values.
Upon completion of the apprenticeship, I was successful in an emergency care assistant role and joined Hexham Ambulance Station, working alongside other ECAs technicians and paramedics. I continued this role for two years before becoming successful at interview for joining June 2017’s student paramedic cohort.
After studying, and varying clinical placements such as accident emergency, urgent care and cardiology and remaining at Hexham for the course of my studies and being mentored by various cilinical staff; I graduated at the University of Sunderland and now work full time as a paramedic within the service, still based at Hexham.
Without the apprenticeship, I wouldn’t have gained the skills and experiences needed to complete my paramedic role today, and without the support I had from admin, and mentoring/clinical staff I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I would reccomend an apprenticeship to anyone thinking about doing one as it really is the stepping stone into a positive and rewarding career.