REDISCOVERING A PASSION: A PARAMEDICS RETURN TO PRACTICE JOURNEY IN THE UK
Rediscovering a Passion: A Paramedic’s Return to Practice Journey in the UK
A break from professional practice doesn’t signify the end of a career; rather, it can provide an opportunity to reignite the passion that first led you down your chosen path. Today, we’d like to highlight an inspirational personal account of a paramedic who returned to practice after an eight-year hiatus. Meet Hannah Amondsen, a determined healthcare professional who didn’t let her physical disability deter her from her passion.
Hannah began her career with the London Ambulance Service in 2004 after completing a degree in paramedic science at the University of Hertfordshire. This degree was quite revolutionary at the time, being the only one of its kind and pioneering the concept of university-trained paramedics. However, due to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type 3, a condition that required her to use a wheelchair, Hannah was pensioned off in 2015.
Despite her personal challenges and after almost eight years away from practice, Hannah’s resilience shone through. Her longing to make a difference in healthcare spurred her to return to practice in 2023. She embarked on an online course with the University of Coventry and found a placement to supplement her learning.
Before commencing her placement in primary care, Hannah enrolled in Belmatt Healthcare Training’s Minor Illness self-paced online course in April 2023. This course provided her with a broad knowledge base, equipping her with the critical information required for her transition into primary care. She found herself revisiting the course content and utilising the case studies for reflective writing, which contributed to her return-to-practice hours. The goal? Completing a total of 60 days’ worth of updating to reapply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) register.
Contrary to her prognosis in 2015, Hannah is now at the tail end of her return-to-practice journey and is ready to reapply for her registration. Her next step? An exciting venture into a first contact practitioner course.
Her story is testament to the fact that there are various avenues for paramedics to return to practice in the UK. There is a range of support available for those considering a return, including online courses, placements, and funding from organizations such as NHS England.
Current evidence suggests that return-to-practice programs are not only beneficial to healthcare professionals seeking to re-join the field, but they also greatly contribute to the healthcare sector by addressing workforce shortages. However, many primary care practices are still not fully aware of the benefits of such programs.
Hannah’s story is a call to action for more awareness and understanding around return-to-practice schemes. The journey into primary care might be long, but as Hannah’s experience shows, it’s worthwhile, particularly for those who have aspired to this pathway from the onset of their careers.
To those paramedics out there considering a return to practice, remember Hannah’s words, “Not many primary care practices know about it. The opportunity is there, the support is available, and the healthcare industry would be enriched by your return.”
For more information about return-to-practice schemes in the UK, or if you have a story to share like Hannah’s, we’d love to hear from you.
Remember, it’s never too late to reignite your passion and return to practice. In Hannah’s words, it’s “a really helpful starting point.”
Paramedics considering a return to practice have a range of resources and supportive schemes available to help navigate their journey. These resources provide everything from detailed information about the return to practice process to financial assistance.
Here are a few key resources that may be beneficial:
- Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) The HCPC provides guidelines for return to practice after a period of absence. The guidelines detail the number of hours or days of updating skills and knowledge required depending on the length of the absence. Visit their website for more information: HCPC Returning to Practice
- NHS England NHS England offers a return to practice program which includes financial support and the arrangement of supervised practice placements. More information can be found at: NHS England RTP
- College of Paramedics The professional body for paramedics, the College of Paramedics, offers resources and support for paramedics returning to practice. For more information, check: College of Paramedics
- Universities Several UK universities offer return to practice courses, often with a combination of online and face-to-face learning. Some of these universities include the University of Coventry, University of Hertfordshire, and Oxford Brookes University.
- Belmatt Healthcare Training Belmatt Healthcare Training provides courses like the Minor Illness self-paced online course which are beneficial for paramedics returning to practice and starting a placement in primary care. Check out their website here: Belmatt Healthcare Training
- Skills for Health Skills for Health provides an online ‘Return to Practice’ module, designed to refresh the skills of healthcare professionals returning to work. Find out more here: Skills for Health RTP
Remember, before you decide to return to practice, it is crucial to understand the requirements and the process involved. Using the above resources, you can make an informed decision and plan your return to practice accordingly.
- Health and Care Professions Council https://www.hcpc-uk.org/registration/getting-on-the-register/returning-to-practice/
- NHS England https://www.england.nhs.uk/ahp/return-to-practice/
- College of Paramedics https://www.collegeofparamedics.co.uk/
- University of Coventry https://www.coventry.ac.uk/
- University of Hertfordshire. https://www.herts.ac.uk/
- Oxford Brookes University. https://www.brookes.ac.uk/
- Belmatt Healthcare Training. https://belmatt.co.uk/
- Skills for Health Return to Practice. https://www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/