Derek Mitchell

Derek set out to study Biomedical Science with the intension becoming a postgraduate researcher. Whilst studying, he had a change of heart and decided to use his degree to become a Paramedic within the Scottish Ambulance Service.

BSc Biomedical Science, 2016

Tell us about your current role and what it involves?

I respond to 999 calls from members of the public, responding in a blue light ambulance to deliver emergency care to those who need it most. I also undertake doctor’s urgent calls, taking patients to hospital wards directly from the community. My job can see me attending car crashes, patients suffering from sepsis, cardiac arrests and doctor’s routine calls to take patients into hospital. My work can directly benefit patients who are in urgent need of medical interventions for a number of conditions or accidents. I feel I can make a positive
impact on patients at this vulnerable time in their lives. I have been successfully seen my patients make full recoveries to discharge from hospital.

I graduated in June 2016 and was in my first day of employment (which was the beginning of a 10 week training course) by the end of the July. I didn’t have much time to relax for the summer, but I wouldn’t dream of changing the path I took. I completed six weeks of clinical training before undertaking a four-week emergency blue light driving course. I was then deployed into practise placement for a year where I worked with technicians and paramedics. I then returned to the classroom for a final four-week clinical training, which saw me qualify as an ambulance technician. I then undertook 10 weeks of classroom training to qualify with a Diploma in Paramedic Practice. This has now allowed me to apply for registration with the HCPC as a paramedic.

I feel challenged every day in my job. I’m constantly applying the knowledge I’ve gained in my training and the additional, transferable, knowledge from my degree to give the best care possible. I have to think outside the box sometimes, as most emergencies I go to aren’t always the way they are simulated in class.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Abertay. The Biomedical Science degree is very tailored and unique in that it is delivered by practicing biomedical scientists.
Derek Mitchell | Scottish Ambulance Service | Paramedic

What about your time at Abertay? 

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Abertay and I’d recommend the University to anyone. The teaching is the best, and my time at the Uni will always be a highlight in my life.

I chose Abertay because I felt the Biomedical Science degree was very tailored and unique in that it is delivered by practicing biomedical scientists, and you have that industry experience at hand.

I use much of what I learned during my degree to help me better treat my patients. The teaching delivered in this degree is directly applicable to my job when I am interpreting results of blood tests and understanding what doctors are referring to when they discuss a patient’s condition. The Uni does set you up to cope well in working life. There is a great emphasis on self-directed learning and this helped me a lot when I was learning in my initial training period and even now. I feel Abertay helped me to embrace working life with ease.

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