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Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.
We asked Keith Hayes from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:
|At a minimum get your Leaving Cert, that’s required anyway. But don’t sell yourself short aim for a third level college qualification, something like a science degree. It may not have obvious benefits now but the career is changing direction so fast it could stand to you big time.
Take your time in applying I joined the service when I was 25 yrs old and looking back I think around that age is the right time. When you consider some of the calls we attend and things we may need to deal with, joining at 17 or 18 after the Leaving Cert with little or no life experiences may turn you off because it is very demanding physically, mentally and emotionally.
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Keith Hayes, Ambulance / Paramedic
Keith works as an Advanced Paramedic with the National Ambulance Service and is based in Dublin. He pursued this career directly from leaving school and has gone on to complete a Higher Diploma in Emergency Medicine. Despite the sometimes horrific incidents he is called to attend he remains upbeat and rewarded by the unique and influential role he plays in life and death situations.
In school there was very poor attention given to, or ‘guidance’ towards suitable careers. I was lucky I knew what I wanted to do. This, looking back was disappointing because I had no drive to go to third level college. I knew all I needed to be a Paramedic was the Leaving Cert.
In the Leaving Cert I took English, Irish, Maths, French, Biology, Chemistry and History pretty much the standard, they didn’t really have much influence on my career choice. That said, Biology and Chemistry are a great foundation for studying medicine as a Paramedic.
My education prior to joining the service was the Inter Cert and the Leaving Cert, with various courses and training from other jobs such as certificate in Security Management and Retained Fire-fighter training. After joining the Ambulance Service I’ve gone on to do a world of courses and training including
Obviously any of the training or education you get through the job is important and beneficial in one form or another, but anything you can bring from your previous studying, roles or job is of great benefit. Itís important to develop an ability to study and apply yourself academically.
Not immediately as Iíve just finished my Higher Diploma within the last year and that was very intense, with a massive commitment needed from me and my family. However there is compulsory refresher training and clinical up skilling on an ongoing basis that Iíll need to do. As you can see from above there is never a shortage of courses or further education open to Paramedics and Advanced Paramedics and no doubt in the near future there will be a course or position that I fancy advertised on the notice board.