Greetings from Australia! Here writes Maija, a third-year paramedic student, who is doing her exchange in Sydney. On exchange the first five weeks I spent at the Western Sydney University and the last five weeks on placement. The placement is in Haberfield Superstation that has 16 ambulances. This is a dream come true since I have always wanted to visit Australia!
The first weeks we had lectures in University. The teachers here are very professional, still very friendly and helpful. The lectures takes usually about 1,5 hours and you usually have maximum of two lectures a day. The school is very expensive so students go to school approximately three times a week, which is a huge difference to Finland. After we got more used to the language we attempted practical lessons where we had simulations of different kind of situations. There we also learned to use their i.v. systems, protocols and other equipments. It was very weird for us that they don’t learn to stitch needles to real patients (each others) only to swimming noodles!
After the University time I started my placement in Haberfield. The station is huge, we don’t have this big stations in Finland. They also have different levels 0f paramedics, depending of your skills, that we don’t have back in the home. The people here are so lovely and very interested in Finland and the differences we have in emergency care. I have been on big jobs such as cardiac arrests and traffic accidents. I have been able to interview patients and treat them following their protocols. It has been very educational to be here!
We have two day shifts followed by two night shifts and after that we have five rest days. If I’m on a day shift I wake up at 4.45 am, eat breakfast and start walking to train station at 5.05 am. I have to take two trains and hop off at Summer Hill, where I am about 6.15am. From Summer Hill I walk one km to the station. My shift starts at 7.00am but everyone is usually ready at 6.45am. Then I change my clothes and go to check car equipments and medicines and be ready for the first job of the day! The shift is finished at 7 pm and I will be back home after the train travel at 9pm. The night shifts are also twelve hours long, but the time really flies during the shifts! I love doing this.
During my day offs I like to go for walks at the coast of Sydney. The views are amazing, you can se the horizon in front of you and unbelievable cliffs underneath you. I use all the time I have on my day offs exploring this beautiful city with its nature and animals. There is also 3 other students from Finland and with who I like to do things together. We borrowed a car from our teacher and have had amazing road trips to other cities and attractions. Here is so lot to see and do, the 2,5 months could never be enough here!