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.
“Between labs and teaching, you’re ready to start as soon as you’ve finished the program,” said Josh, who graduated from Fleming’s Paramedic program in 2019 and General Arts and Science – College Health Science program (now called Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Certificates and Diplomas) in 2017.
“My experience at Fleming was awesome. There’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.”
Josh decided to pursue this career after experiencing a hockey injury that led to paramedics arriving to help.
“I cut my leg badly playing hockey and the paramedics that came did an amazing job,” he explains. “To see how well they did their job and calmed everyone down made me want to do that one day.”
He took the General Arts and Science – 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.
“I still enjoy it, but it is more stressful,” said Josh on working amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. “Before, I wouldn’t feel stressed by normal calls, it would be car accidents that would bring stress; Now, every call is stressful. We’re trying not to bring anything home to family and friends.”
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.
“It’s been a learning curve,” said Josh. “We’re not running into scenes; we’re making sure we’re okay first by screening and wearing PPE. I think some of these changes will stay now that we’ve experienced this.”
His advice to others is to continue to be cautious. “Don’t go out unless you need to, wash your hands and, if you’re sick, stay home and get a family member to run your errands.”