Forum Ride Along
Hi everyone,

I'm a Student Paramedic in england and I am struggling with my last six week placement block. I have passed all my uni stuff and all but two competences which are under one year old assessment and cardiovascular assessment. The under one year old is due too not seeing hardly any. Also I struggle to speak up and take charge, this is due to anexity and not beleving in myself. Any advice?


ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
I'm not very familiar with the training requirements in the UK so I can't speak to that directly.

When it comes to kids you have to be comfortable with them. Kids can tell when you are faking it or being genuine, when you are comfortable and when you're not. They also read off their parents, so if you can keep the parents calm and happy your kids will be happier. Sometimes if the parents can't stay calm the kids will be easier to care for if the parents step out of the room.

If you have any friends or relatives with an infant I would reach out and try to spend some time caring for him/her. The more natural you can care or interact with a healthy kid the easier it will become to do so with a sick kid.

We still dress our kids up for holidays, paint their nails, and do arts and crafts even if they are on the oscillator, cannulated to ECMO, on hospice care, or whatever else. I've taken a sick heart kid up to the penthouse so that she could watch fireworks, some of our sicker vented kids on walks through the city park, had full on soccer games with our psych kids, and had many water gun and nerf battles with our onc kids. Being sick doesn't keep kids from wanting to be kids.

Like I said I'm not sure of how exactly paramedics train in the UK, but if possible I would see if you can spend some time in a pediatric emergency department or pediatric intensive care unit.


Community Leader
@Akulahawk @Tigger I think this might get some better feedback if it got moved to one of the main EMS forums.
I'll move it.

As far as struggling to speak up and take charge, sometimes that's because when you're learning, you have a safety net and you may tend to defer to that person. Something you also have to remember is that your preceptor often will take over for you if you're not taking charge of things. If you've been at this for a while, you know that all prehospital cases have a certain flow to them. The details can be vastly different, but the basic flow is always the same. Size-up, initial impression, gather a history of the event while beginning symptom treatment, develop a working diagnosis, transport decision, dispo. Also the speed at which you go through these basic steps can vary tremendously and sometimes happen nearly simultaneously with other steps. Here's the problem: you don't have enough hands of your own to handle all the logicstical stuff that also needs to happen to keep things running smoothly. Since you have people with you, give them tasks to complete. Then check in with them to ensure those tasks were completed. Don't tell them to do those tasks... ask them to do it. You're not their boss, you're getting to be a colleague.