Andrew Fox has been a senior clinical advisor since October 2017 but his career didn’t start off in healthcare.
Andrew said: “I left university after studying business management, was working at Safeway and had planned on being store manager. I felt unhappy and demotivated and really didn’t know what I wanted to do.
“Having Sunday lunch with my grandmother, who was a nurse until retiring when I was small, she was telling a story about a nurse she worked with and how she always enjoyed her shift when he was on. It hadn’t actually dawned on me until that point that there where male nurses!
“I started studying in 2005 at Northumbria Uni. I hated the academic part and didn’t get the best grades in exams, however on placement I always got fantastic marks and enjoyed each department I worked on.
My favourite placement had been on neurology, i found it fascinating, I applied and got the job on ward 30 at Newcastle General (now ward 43 at the RVI). It was a baptism of fire with highly acute and very ill and sometimes challenging patients due to brain injury and disease. I worked there for the next ten years and became a confident nurse with a good knowledge base.
"I became possibly too comfortable and could undertake duties with ease. I felt I needed a new challenge and to extend my knowledge. I noted the clinician role on NHS Jobs working for NEAS. To be honest, I didn’t expect to get an interview let alone the job!
“I knew I would like to work for NEAS as I have paramedic friends who enjoyed it and told me they were a great employer.
“I started in October 2017 and my role is working across the 111 and 999 services. It’s so varied it would be difficult to describe. Being a nurse in the ambulance service, I thought I may not fit in but we nurses can bring a vast and sometimes different knowledge to our paramedic friends.
“My role in 111 and 999 is patient focused, whether that’s assisting our health advisors on live calls when needed, assessing cases that have come via 111 that may be more complex than normal or helping patients manage symptoms at home.
“In 999 we validate the jobs on the live dispatch stack ensuring patients get the correct care in the right time, keeping the safe as possible with interim advice whilst waiting on a response and when appropriate, assessing patients for alternative care and transport.
“Although we need a wide variety of knowledge because we cover all genders and age groups, being an adult nurse this was scary at first, however we have a wide variety of paramedics and nursing colleagues with different background who are always willing to help.
“I can honestly say I have been so supported at all levels and the occupational health and management have gone far beyond what I have previously experienced. We work well as a whole team and support each other.
I enjoy being a nurse so much and couldn’t imagine doing anything else now.”