Although Josh Hogan is still new to the paramedic profession, he feels well-prepared for his career at Peterborough Paramedics thanks to his Fleming College education.
â€śBetween labs and teaching, youâ€™re ready to start as soon as youâ€™ve finished the program,â€ť said Josh, who graduated from Flemingâ€™s Paramedic program in 2019 and General Arts and Science â€“ College Health Science program (now called Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Certificates and Diplomas) in 2017.
â€śMy experience at Fleming was awesome. Thereâ€™s an ambulance so you can practise driving, you can practise skills and scenarios anytime, graduates come back to give students feedback, and the faculty are fantastic.â€ť
Josh decided to pursue this career after experiencing a hockey injury that led to paramedics arriving to help.
â€śI cut my leg badly playing hockey and the paramedics that came did an amazing job,â€ť he explains. â€śTo see how well they did their job and calmed everyone down made me want to do that one day.â€ť
He took the General Arts and Science â€“ College Health Science certificate to build a strong foundation before entering the competitive Paramedic program. He said this certificate helped him feel more prepared for the Paramedic program.
Now that Josh is working as a paramedic, he is certainly experiencing challenges amidst this global pandemic, however he feels confident in his skills and knowledge.
â€śI still enjoy it, but it is more stressful,â€ť said Josh on working amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. â€śBefore, I wouldnâ€™t feel stressed by normal calls, it would be car accidents that would bring stress; Now, every call is stressful. Weâ€™re trying not to bring anything home to family and friends.â€ť
Josh explains that 911 dispatchers do a COVID-19 screening call and, when paramedics arrive, they ask a series of questions to determine whether additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required, such as face shields, masks and gowns. If the patient may have COVID-19, paramedics report to the hospital and bring the patient to a designated arrival area by ambulance.
Another change due to the COVID-19 pandemic is that family members can no longer ride in the ambulance with patients.
â€śItâ€™s been a learning curve,â€ť said Josh. â€śWeâ€™re not running into scenes; weâ€™re making sure weâ€™re okay first by screening and wearing PPE. I think some of these changes will stay now that weâ€™ve experienced this.â€ť
His advice to others is to continue to be cautious. â€śDonâ€™t go out unless you need to, wash your hands and, if youâ€™re sick, stay home and get a family member to run your errands.â€ť