Home > Case Studies > I Found a New Career Through St John's Ambulance: A Case Study

I Found a New Career Through St John's Ambulance: A Case Study

By: Lynne Conner - Updated: 2 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Paramedic Ambulance Doctor First Aider

Not only is volunteering a great way of getting involved in your community, it can improve your career prospects too. Sasha Cunningham now works as a paramedic thanks to the experience she gained as a volunteer with St John’s ambulance.

“I always wanted to be a doctor when I was at school but knew I would never get the grades. Instead I went into an office and then got married and had the twins.” Once her daughters had started school Sasha found herself with more time and decided to volunteer as a First Aider. “One of my friends volunteered with St John’s Ambulance and she invited me to come along as she thought I would love it. She was right.”

Training as a First Aider

First of all Sasha trained as a First Aider working for her certificate through St John’s. The certificate is open to anyone and teaches vital information on how to deal with life or death situations such as heart attacks and strokes. It also gives a grounding in how to deal with more everyday situations such as burns, scalds, abrasions and the need for bandages or cold compresses. “Although there was a lot to learn I loved it and found that I had an aptitude for it. The trainer said I was a natural to volunteer with St John’s”

Volunteering at Local Events

Sasha volunteered with her local group and soon found herself attending local sporting events, performances and gigs. “I got to attend lots of interesting events and I met lots of interesting people.” Due to her family commitments Sasha helped out at mainly daytime events, usually at the weekends when her husband was able to look after their daughters. “The main problems were cuts and grazes and also people passing out and fainting in stuffy theatres.” Sasha found that a big part of her role was simply to offer a calm ear and reassurance. “People sometimes get a bit overwhelmed and emotional and they like to be able to pour it out to someone who will listen. That can often help every bit as much as the plaster that goes on their cut.”

Looking for a Different Career

After volunteering for three years it was another volunteer who told Sasha that the local NHS was looking for new paramedics. “I was ready to return to work and the thought of going back to an office filled me with horror. Before St John’s Ambulance I never dreamed I could have a career in a medical role but now I felt a bit of confidence and decided to apply.” Sasha is convinced that her volunteering role and commitment to St John’s Ambulance gave her the knowledge and experience to succeed at the interview. She was taken on to train as a paramedic at her local hospital.

“As a paramedic my colleagues and I are often the first medical point of contact for people with a whole range of conditions, often very serious. We turn up in the ambulance and have to assess the situation and often give essential emergency treatment. You need to stay calm, clear-headed and keep up to date with treatments.” Sasha loves her new career and also continues to volunteer with St John’s Ambulance, now as a First Aid trainer. “I never could have imagined where it would all lead when I first took my First Aid certificate. I would recommend anyone to do it; after all you could save a life.”

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Sam
    Re: Becoming a Samaritan
    I am 56 . Have always been there for others and love being there for someone to talk to . I am semi retired and have a lot to give . I would…
    22 May 2024
  • Selam
    Re: Volunteering to Help Premature Babies
    Hi, I would love to give cuddle and care for babies if there is any opportunity. I am mom of 4 years old daughter and…
    21 May 2024
  • CKHICHEKH
    Re: Your Employment Rights as a Volunteer
    I hope that I will be accepted because I really want to apply for this volunteer work
    12 May 2024
  • Rebecca
    Re: Volunteering With Meals on Wheels
    Hi I am available every Saturday and Sunday to volunteer for Meals on wheels in my local area
    3 May 2024
  • Vasile Maftita
    Re: Becoming a Voluntary Worker: Frequent Questions
    Hi, I'm disabled in both legs, I can walk, but I'm lame, Beginner, I want sitting or voluntary work to…
    29 April 2024
  • Ant
    Re: Your Employment Rights as a Volunteer
    I have been volunteering at this place for 5 years most of the staff are great and welcoming but the supervisors and…
    23 April 2024
  • Philly
    Re: Hospital Radio
    I have tried you before about 2 or 3 years back but had difficulty getting to you because it was for evening and I had no way of getting there. I…
    15 April 2024
  • Eddy
    Re: Volunteering With St John's Ambulance
    I am Edmond Minang Ali, a Mariner resident at Newcastle Upon Tyne. Am willing to volunteer with your service
    8 April 2024
  • Phil
    Re: Hospital Radio
    I would love to become a radio DJ for all ages. I've been to listening to all types of music for 35 years now mainly CD ones. I did give radio a go…
    28 March 2024
  • Notgoodenough
    Re: Your Employment Rights as a Volunteer
    Hallo, I was offered a volunteer role at my local hospital wich I accepted. I had to wait one year for it to have it…
    19 March 2024