Daniel Duffield – Student Paramedic Apprentice

Daniel Duffield is an Inspiring the Future volunteer and Student Paramedic Apprentice for the West Midlands Ambulance Service. Before joining the ambulance service at just 19, Daniel worked in Pizza Hut, for the NHS and also took part in a work experience placement in Italy. Daniel has been an Inspiring the Future volunteer since September 2018 and has attended events in primary and secondary schools across the midlands.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

From a young age, I wanted to be a Police Officer and then work my way up to become a Detective Constable.

What is your current job and what does it involve?

In my current role as a Student Paramedic for the West Midlands Ambulance Service, I am involved in a wide variety of responsibilities ranging from providing life support for patients in cardiac arrest, to administering medication to help ease their pain or help their breathing. I also drive the ambulances on blue lights and sirens, responding with a fully qualified paramedic to 999 calls. My job involves a lot of communication including speaking with the public, relatives and even other emergency services.

What apprenticeship did you take and is it due to finish?

My apprenticeship is the Associate Ambulance Practitioner course that is governed by FutureQuals. I started my apprenticeship in March 2019, and I’m due to finish in early 2021!

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

For me, an apprenticeship was an alternative option because I’m placed directly with industry leading experts who know the job inside out. It also meant I could start learning and getting stuck in straight away, alongside getting paid for my time in training. The apprenticeship was a safe option, and I feel like apprenticeships are the way forward.

What path did you take after your apprenticeship?

Being totally honest, I never wanted to be a paramedic. It’s not a job I thought about until I started working in A&E doing admin. From there, I took a particular interest in paramedics. I loved the idea of being out and about in the community and the idea of prehospital care. I took the decision to apply for the role on NHS jobs. I got shortlisted, invited into a highway code assessment and passed it. Just weeks later, I went back for stage two which involved me taking a fitness test, driving a minivan and also an interview. From there I was told that I was successful and would be joining the trust. In the space of two months, I began my 15 weeks clinical training and four weeks emergency driving course. After a tough 19 weeks, I went on operational shifts where I now work with a paramedic responding to 999 calls and learning on the job before my next sign off stage!

Looking back, how do you value your apprenticeship?

I value it a lot. I feel that people don’t understand how amazing apprenticeships are, and there’s lots of different roles available!  I know it has a worth, and I value that a lot!

Any advice for someone thinking about taking an apprenticeship?

Just. Do. It. Quite literally, don’t hesitate about whether or not you should, just go for it. Make sure you research the apprenticeship, the role, what you are getting into and also the progression opportunities when you finish. There are some very interesting ones out there!

And any tips on getting into your current line of work?

Try and gain some work experience or volunteering opportunities at a local care home or hospital. You can use this as a baseline into healthcare, and if reinforces your passion. Be yourself – as simple as it sounds, just be your own person and never try and be someone you aren’t. It’ll help so much during the whole process and you’ll see yourself strive! Finally, and probably most importantly, research your information. Look on the website at what is going on, it shows you are involved and engaged.

Have you enjoyed sharing your apprenticeship story with young people through Inspiring the Future (and why)?

I have genuinely loved it. It’s been such an amazing thing to do and the reason I’ve enjoyed it so much is because I love seeing the response from the young people and knowing I have made a difference in one way or another.