Middlesbrough paramedic Lois had initially planned on going into sports therapy until witnessing the way paramedics treated her grandma changed her career plans.
The 31-year-old joined NEAS as a clinical care assistant in 2014 and progressed through the service, qualifying as a paramedic in 2019.
When she’s not in work, you’ll find Lois down the gym or socialising with her friends. She’s also running the Great North Run this year for Breast Cancer Now alongside her best friend Sammi, who she appeared in the show with, in honour of their friend and colleague Abbie. You can make a donation here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Loisadele
Q. What attracted you to the job?
A. When I was studying my first degree, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in life. My grandma fell down the stairs and fractured her neck of femur and witnessing first-hand what the paramedics did for her made me look into the ambulance service. I also helped care for her when she was palliative and had dementia and had several encounters with the ambulance service, all being positive.
Q. What brings you to work every day?
A. Making a difference to people’s lives, even small differences make me want to come back to work. Meeting diverse people within Teesside and doing what I can to help a situation big or small.
Q. What is an average shift like?
A. Demanding, high pressures, busy, but rewarding.
Q. What skills do you think people need to be able to do your job?
A. People need very good communication skills, empathy and to be able to think outside of the box.
Q. It can be a traumatic job at times, how do you look after yourself and what support do you get?
A. I have a very good supportive family and friend network who help me deal with certain things, and I have also had multiple sessions of counselling arranged through the Trust’s occupational health department which I can’t praise enough.
Q. What has it been like working through the pandemic?
A. At first, it was scary – everyone thought we would drop dead at work! There were some really challenging times, with people passing away without family members and not being able to take relatives to hospital, which is what I found the most difficult. It got easier as time went on and became a way of life, getting used to PPE, changes of policies etc. Pressures have now has increased on the NHS due to waiting times etc.
Q. Where do you see your career heading?
A. Eventually I want to progress on to a MSc and obtain my non-medical prescribers and work within an urgent care setting.
Q. How do you feel about being part of the BBC Ambulance show?
A. It has been a really good opportunity. I’m slightly anxious of it being aired but on a whole it’s been a positive experience, especially getting to work alongside my best friend, Sammi.
Q. What impact do you hope the series will have in the North East?
A. I hope it opens eyes of what we do, not just saving lives but dealing with a lot of social and safeguarding issues. And also highlight the pressure the NHS is under.
Q. What do you love about the North East?
A. I love the people of the North East, how friendly and down to earth they are – and, of course, the ‘Teesside Parmo’!