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High flying career for university graduate Lisa


Lisa Curatolo 'flying doctor'

A course at the University of Cumbria has opened up a country full of opportunities for a high flying paramedic.

Lisa Curatolo has joined Scotland’s ‘flying doctors’ after completing the BSc (Hons) Advanced Paramedic Practitioner course.

Lisa, 33, will graduate from the university on Thursday 24 November and has already been seconded to work as a critical care practitioner with the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service (EMRS), part of the Scottish Ambulance Service, based in Glasgow.

Lisa and the team undertake secondary retrievals, transferring patients from rural surgeries and hospitals to bigger hospitals with more appropriate facilities for their care needs.

The team covers the whole of Scotland, taking patients from remote areas in the Western Isles for example, to receive special care in larger towns or cities such as Glasgow.

The team also take part in primary care work, attending road traffic accidents or entrapments, if they are requested to assist the ambulance teams on the ground.

Lisa said: “I have only been doing the role for two months but I can already see how I am using all of the new skills I picked up through my university course. The EMRS team covers the whole of Scotland and I have been as far north as the Shetland Islands, a 90 minute flight, for a patient retrieval.

“I always work alongside a consultant in A&E or anaesthesia and I complement the rest of the team with my newly learned skills and knowledge.”

Lisa was working as a paramedic on the Paramedic Response Unit (PRU) in Glasgow city centre when she decided to apply to the University of Cumbria to further develop her clinical practice. And due to the flexible nature of the course, Lisa was able to study and work at the same time.

She said: “Each individual module of the course was linked back to my work and I enjoyed the clinical placements, working in the A&E department or the Out-of-Hours department alongside a doctor, as I was able to learn about the patient’s complete journey.

“The A&E department placement was particularly significant as it allowed me to focus on particular presentations and to get involved in the clinical decision making process for each patient.”

For ‘flying doctor’ Lisa, the course has resulted in a number of opportunities and university senior lecturer Sharon Seddon agrees that new career paths can be opened up for ambitious paramedics.

Sharon said: “Previous paramedic students have progressed their careers into senior roles such as advanced paramedic, emergency care practitioners, secured lecturing positions in higher education, gained work in offshore, remote area environments or continued to serve in the armed forces with their increased body of knowledge. Others have chosen to continue to study with the university on master’s programmes."

Sharon added: “Lisa has worked very hard to take part in the course whilst still working and she deserves every success in her career.”

For more information about courses and other learning opportunities at the University of Cumbria, visit www.cumbria.ac.uk/courses.

Visit www.emrs.scot.nhs.uk for more information about the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service.

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Posted on Monday 21 November 2011