Graduation celebrations with Nick Ridley

Nick Ridley is now six months into his graduate programme and it couldn’t have gone quicker. 

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“It’s very much a large family and I immediately felt welcome. Whether we were sharing a meal in the station kitchen at 3am or cramming into a small room during a cardiac arrest, there was never any doubt that everyone was there for each other.”

Time flies when you’re having fun right?! Halfway through his year of learning and training he often finds himself thinking about how much he’s changed since he finished the paramedicine degree and began working fulltime with Wellington Free.

“Thinking back to my graduation day there was an immense sense of pride from my whole class. Three years of late night exam study, classroom scenario tests, and clinical placements had all finally paid off!” says Nick.

“As we stepped onto the stage to receive our degrees the cheering from family and friends left no doubt that what we had achieved was very much a team effort”.

Nick remembers looking to his classmates who had now become close friends and wondered what the future held for everyone. Where in the world they would find themselves, what types of patients they would treat and how the ambulance sector might change throughout their careers.

“While it was a very happy occasion I couldn’t help but feel that I still had a long way to go” says Nick.

The learning never really stops. Clinical skills are always being developing, soft skills are always being refined and learning how to effectively read people and anticipate their needs is a central skill to being an excellent ambulance officer.

“Last week I attended an elderly woman who was experiencing an altered level of consciousness. She was distressed, scared and instinctively batting people away. I noticed she kept grabbing for something with her hand. I cautiously reached out and held her hand and she immediately calmed down. I don’t know if holding her hand made a difference or if she was even aware of it but six months ago I’m not sure I would have even thought of a simple gesture like that. The ambulance service is whole heartedly people centred. What we do goes beyond simply giving medications and driving people to hospital”.

As the graduates reach their halfway point they change mentors.

“While it’s exciting to move on to a new chapter I’m going to miss working with Isaac. He has been incredibly supportive, constantly guiding and encouraging me to become a better clinician. I couldn’t have imagined a better start to my career” says Nick.

As well as thanking Isaac, Nick is also thanks the whole Green Shift for their continued support and encouragement.

“It’s very much a large family and I immediately felt welcome. Whether we were sharing a meal in the station kitchen at 3am or cramming into a small room during a cardiac arrest, there was never any doubt that everyone was there for each other.”


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