Female Paramedics: Nurturing Life … Saving Lives!

Over the last couple of weeks my attention has been focused on finalising my poster and web page for the University’s Festival of Postgraduate Research which takes place on 27 June 2013.  If I’m honest the work involved has been much more than I naively envisaged when I first submitted my application back in March but its been worth it on several fronts.

Firstly, its made me have to really think about my research question.  As I continue to work on my literature review and start to draft my interview framework, achieving this higher level of clarity on my research question has been really valuable.  Secondly, it has re-energised my excitement and energy in my research.  After several months working on the theory, you can perhaps loose sight of what it was that drove you to start on the doctoral journey in the first place!  For me, that happened when I joined the ambulance service 8 years ago and was humbled, and somewhat astounded, by the number of female paramedics working in ambulance services across the UK who were successfully combining motherhood with a fulltime professional career in one of the most practically, physically and psychologically demanding of work roles/settings!

The role of a paramedic is far from a 9 to 5 job!  Paramedics need to be there for patients at any hour of any day!  The vast majority therefore work on 24/7 rosters.  As a working mother of more than 20 years myself, I can fully appreciate the difficulties associated with that!  The psychological demands of the job are also particularly challenging with inherent exposure to life-critical situations and other natural and man-made traumatic and catastrophic events.

So why and how do they do it?  In a few weeks time, and after nearly 3 years on my doctoral programme, I am at last going to get to ask them!

To view my Festival web page and poster visit:


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About Tracey

Tracey has now graduated from the University of Leicester.

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