Clinical care assistant Molly Sheehan, aged 26, grew up in Cheshire but now lives in Consett with her miniature dachshund, Dudley. She worked as a technician for the British Red Cross prior to joining NEAS in January 2022, based in Chester-Le-Street, and will begin training to become a paramedic in September, having secured a place on the next paramedic apprenticeship course with NEAS.
Q. What attracted you to the job?
A. The most attractive element to this job is the variety - I love that I am never bored and I get the chance to meet people I would never normally get the opportunity to interact with in my day to day life. I think it's a very privileged job that we do as we are able to make a difference to people on the worst day of their life, and are invited into people's homes and lives in a way that not many other services are.
Q. What brings you to work every day?
A. On the whole I just find the job really good fun; I get to work with funny and interesting people, get to travel to different parts of the North East and it is also a role in which you can constantly learn and develop in. It is the first job I've ever had where I actually look forward to coming in to work.
Q. What is an average shift like?
A. In a lot of ways there is no such thing as an average shift as the work we do is so varied. Within a shift myself and my crew mate will attend to a variety of emergency and sometimes non-emergency jobs around the North East, often travelling on blue lights to calls where (most of the time) you don't know what you'll be attending to. We then treat and assess patients on scene, and make a decision with the patient and sometimes other health care professionals as to what the best care pathway will be.
Q. What skills do you think people need to be able to do your job?
A. The most important skill is definitely communication – it’s so important to be able to effectively interact with people and without people skills this job would be difficult. It’s also important to be adaptable and to be able to think on your feet.
Q. It can be a traumatic job at times, how do you look after yourself and what support do you get?
A. I look after myself by using my family and friends and spending as much time as I can with them. I also try to keep busy on my days off and make the most of any free time I get. Though I haven’t had to use any of the support available yet, I know that there are services that can be accessed through NEAS should I need to talk to someone.
Q. What has it been like working through the pandemic?
A. Working through the pandemic was a strange time as things were constantly changing and people were generally quite scared and uncertain. This created new challenges at work that we all had to process and learn to manage. There were also positives to the pandemic - the public were generally very grateful and positive towards us for one, and I also felt lucky to be able to still go to work whilst lots of people were furloughed and/or had to isolate at home.
Q. How do you feel about being part of the BBC Ambulance show?
A. I feel happy to have been involved in the show but slightly nervous to see myself on it if any of our footage is used, as it’s hard to know how I’ll come across. Overall it was good fun to be involved in the show, I had a great crew mate and our producer was brilliant and made it a good experience. It was a little strange at times having the cameras with us, but I found that you quite quickly got used to them and would be less aware of them.
Q. What impact do you hope the series will have in the North East?
A. I hope the series will help to highlight some of the issues the ambulance service and health care services are facing, but also to highlight the positives of the North East and the brilliant job our crews do.
Q. What do you love about the North East?
A. I love the countryside in the North East as it has amazing scenery and beaches, and there’s so many lovely places to visit. I also find the people in the North East are generally a lot friendlier than other places I’ve lived.