Written by: University of Plymouth Paramedic Science President, Mark Tompkins https://www.upsu.com/societies/parasoc/
Over the past six years, the School of Health Professions Paramedic Science department has had a student society called Para Soc (Paramedic Society). This society has allowed students to do things they may not be able to do within university module time. This is such a valuable opportunity for students to grow their confidence clinically through simulation and learn more about specific areas of medicine not traditionally taught at university.
This is the first year that the Paramedic Society has run without the influence of Covid-19, which completely changed how people live and how medicine is done. As a committee, we are so fortunate to be in a position to be given this opportunity.
Our goal for the year is to grow as a society to give students the biggest opportunity to learn and develop before they go out across the world to practice autonomously.
We currently have 86 members (as of October 2023) who we want to give the best opportunity possible to in order to aid their development.
Each year, the society has organised events to raise money for different charities, and this year is no different. The two charities which we have chosen are Mind as our national charity, and BASICS Devon as our local charity.
In a recent study undertaken by the Journal of Paramedic Practice, over 50% of paramedics in the UK were seen to be struggling with mental health and the effects of burnout. As students, this is a scary prospect. This is why we chose the charity Mind: a mental health charity that also supports emergency personnel with their mental health. MIND is a London-based charity, but their work is spread throughout England and Wales.
Our second charity is BASICS Devon. BASICS Devon is a team of volunteer, specialist medics who provide immediate care across Devon and support the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. In 2022 alone, they attended 419 incidents, which equated to 441.5 hours of volunteer time.
On the 21st of September, Para Soc welcomed Amie Bull from BASICS Devon down to visit the Paramedic Society stall at the SU Societies Fair. We were so fortunate that Amie could take some time to come down to see us and see more about what we do as a society.
We are thrilled to be chosen as one of the charities for the Paramedic Society. It was a pleasure to meet some of the members and hear about their plans for the coming year. Society President Mark Tompkins, is clearly very passionate to broaden the learning and experiences for his fellow students and at BASICS Devon we too are dedicated to not only responding to emergencies, but also to share our skills and knowledge in pre hospital care, especially to medical students and the community to help develop them for the future and help treat the sick and injured. -- BASICS DEVON
As a society, we very much look forward to raising lots of money for both our chosen charities and doing our best to make a huge impact by supporting the mental health of those working in the emergency services and supporting patients in need before they are hospitalised.
If you want to learn more about what Para Soc do, please visit https://www.upsu.com/societies/parasoc/ or visit us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter (X).