Nicola was a paramedic at the time of filming Ambulance, and is now a clinical team leader. She is from Portadown, County Armagh in Northern Ireland and is currently based at Bishop Auckland.
What attracted you to the job?
When I was younger my family had to ring for an ambulance and since then I knew I wanted to be a Paramedic. To be there for other people/families when they needed help and show them the same care and compassion.
What brings you to work every day/what do you like about your job?
What brings me to work everyday is being able to be there for people when they need help and being able to make a difference. I enjoy my job as everyday is different and Im able to meet so many people.
What is an average shift like?
The average shift is busy and unpredictable.
What skills do you think people need to be able to do your job? Communication is a key part of the job, being able to talk and show compassion and kindness to others is important
It can be a traumatic job at times, how do you look after yourself and what support do you get from the trust?
I find talking to my friends and family but mainly colleagues that I work with helps as they are able to understand and can sometimes relate to certain jobs.
What has it been like working through the pandemic?
It was difficult as life completely changed such as the PPE at work and not being able to see loved ones. It was really hard not being able to see all my family and friends during the pandemic as they all are back home in Ireland. Like other families we stayed connected through FaceTime and Zoom doing weekly quizzes.
Where do you see your career heading?
In the future I would love to complete my masters degree.
How do you feel about being part of the BBC Ambulance show?
I feel quite nervous about being involved but excited for my family to see what I do.
Being part of the show was a great experience especially being able to work with an amazing crew mate. It was quite enjoyable and the cameraman was able to put us both at ease throughout.
What impact do you hope the series will have in the North East?
I hope it is able to give the public an insight into the North East Ambulance Service showing what an average shift can look like demonstrating the highs, lows and challenges we can face.
What do you love about the North East?
I moved to the North East in September 2014 to become a Student paramedic at Teesside university. I found that the North East reminded me of home as everyone was so friendly and welcoming. My plan when I qualified was to move back to Ireland however 8 years later I’m still here and thankful for all the opportunities I have been offered.