New paramedics in town

Ben Weller and Natalie Harries are on the road in Broken Hill. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

Three new paramedics will now provide care to the Broken Hill community after joining the local service.

The recruits have hit the road with NSW Ambulance in the Far West and are already gaining valuable experience.

Recent graduate, Natalie Harris, said it had been a “surreal” feeling transitioning into the workforce.

“Given the quick turnover from university into the workforce, it feels pretty surreal,” she said.

“But it’s also very rewarding that all of our studying has paid off, and we can use our new knowledge out in the ‘real world.’”

Her colleague and fellow graduate, Ben Weller, felt the same and has been eager to get going.

“Whilst it’s a big transition, we are so excited to finally put all the long hours of studying into practice,” he said.

“It’s definitely a little overwhelming, but we have some amazing friends and mentors around us.

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“We are so lucky to have such experienced clinicians here in Broken Hill to guide us through and make the transition as smooth as possible.”

Both completed their studies at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst that started in early 2019.

The graduates have had a long-time interest in becoming qualified paramedics and believe it has been a dream come true to join the ranks.

“I have always also been interested in health and science and helping people,” Ms Harris said.

“I think that paramedicine is such a rewarding career path. It’s an honour to be trusted by a community in letting you care for them.”

“I was introduced to a few amazing paramedics after losing a battle with a plate glass window,” Mr Weller said.

“Their skill, professionalism, and humour combined to bring me from the worst day of my life to a pain-free, first-class trip to the hospital.

“From that day, I dreamt of becoming a paramedic and eight years later it became reality.”

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The pair look forward to applying the knowledge they have learnt to provide the best possible care.

Their duties will cover a range of services such as emergency call-outs, treating patients and transferring them to the hospital when required.

They will also play a role in community health education and assist to empower people to make informed healthcare decisions.

“I’m definitely excited to learn the things books and lectures simply can’t teach. In the pre-hospital environment, no amount of study can prepare you for all scenarios,” Mr Weller said.

“I’m eager to learn about other cultures, develop my clinical skills, and just talk to people,” Ms Harris said. “I’d love to leave a good lasting impression on the people I come across.”

The graduates said they would love to learn more about Broken Hill’s history during their 12-month training before the next deployment.

They wish to stay in regional NSW and see themselves in the industry long-term.

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