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David Blackie

Sunderland, UK

BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science and Out of Hospital Care


After being medically discharged from the British Army and then being made redundant from his job during the Covid-19 pandemic, David decided to take the opportunity to pursue his dream of becoming a paramedic.

Paramedics have saved the lives of several family members in the past and I cannot think of a more admirable career to pursue. In my eyes, they are the closest you can get to a real-world superhero. 

I decided to study at the University of Sunderland because I wanted to remain local, and I’d heard so many positive things from previous students regarding both the course and the University as a whole.  

I attended an Access to HE (Health) Diploma at a local college in order to obtain the required grades to go to university. I then started my Paramedic’s degree at the University of Sunderland back in September 2021 and it’s by far the best thing I’ve ever done. I feel like I’ve found my calling and I’m excited to attend each day, eager to see what new skills I’ll learn and what challenges I’ll have to overcome.  

I really enjoy the course, it’s highly engaging, but I particularly love our simulation days and the time we spend out on placement with the North East Ambulance Service. Naturally, being a paramedic is a highly practical career that requires a lot of hands-on experience, and I feel that so far the course is greatly preparing me for this. Being able to go out on placement and experience the job first hand, helping people in their time of need and making a positive impact is absolutely amazing! The shifts can be tiring and challenging at times, but I wake up each day excited to get back out on the ambulance.   

To anyone looking to study at the University, I would say you need to have a true passion for whatever course you choose. The more you put into your studies, the more you’ll get out of it. It’s also important to manage your time and be prepared to have a busy few years, but if you keep focusing on the end goal and make use of the fantastic resources and facilities on offer at the University, your dreams will soon be a reality. And of course, make sure to enjoy yourself! Make friends, experience new things and create wonderful memories. 

After I graduate my goal is become a registered paramedic within the North East Ambulance Service, gaining experience and working my way towards joining the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service. I love living in the North East and I want to use the skills I’ve learned in the area to benefit our fantastic region. After I’ve served my time in the service, I would eventually like to become a lecturer at the University of Sunderland, to help teach the next generation.  

Until then, I intend to apply to become an emergency care assistant or an advanced first aider to expand my portfolio and develop my skills alongside my studies.  

If I could sum up my experience at the University, it’s been amazing, life changing and the best decision I’ve ever made.” 

Published 24 June 2022

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