999 ‘time wasters’ most likely to assault ambulance crews

Paramedics from the North West Ambulance Service face the most threat of violence from non emergency call outs that do not need an ambulance for medical treatment.

Drunk, inebriated people are the most likely to strike out or threaten an ambulance worker who are responding to their call for help. Senior paramedic Michael Langford who has worked in the service for 29 years describes the moment he was attacked by a man who’s girlfriend had called 999:

” He had a face injury and was staggering around obviously very drunk, he became aggressive as I asked him to come into the ambulance and as I went to hold his arm he went to bite my face, the police were called and responded immediately, I heard the man got three months in prison for that”

Micheal and Jo

Ambulance crews are attending more call outs to people who do not have life threatening injuries or symptoms. Some intoxicated patients call 999 for a ride home by claiming they have false symptoms such as chest pains which require a ‘blue light run’  that includes a rapid response vehicle being immediately dispatched and an ambulance to follow. Patients who are refused transport or treatment for their intoxicated state are most likely to threaten or subject ambulance crews to violent behaviour. Jo Gifford an emergency tech 1 describes her last shift:

 “All night we were called out to jobs that could be dealt with at a walk in centre and some needed no treatment at all, we were not called out once to a proper life saving emergency”

Michael believes that stricter filtering of 999 calls could be the key to preventing injury to ambulance crews from intoxicated ‘time wasters’. He also knows that many non emergency patients are sent ambulances because of the threat of litigation which if pursued could lose a paramedic their job.

He urges the public to remember that even though paramedics wear a uniform they are not ‘super-human’ and the uniform is not ‘body armour’ that protects them from assaults, violence and threatening behaviour.

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Time management tips

After collaborating the results of my survey in my other post it was clear to see that time management is what most mature students worry about or struggle with the most.

A Lifenadinestyle blogging collegue of mine Nadine Hill is not only a best selling author but a self employed mother with a wealth of experience when it comes to organisation.

I managed to sneak 5 minutes of her very organised time to get some great tips on how to manage your time well…….

What items would you recommend for being organised?

A diary is essential to keep track of yours and everyone else’s appointments and needs.

Use your smartphone to set yourself reminders for things you need to do and set alarms to block out time so you can immerse yourself in a task without clock-watching. The alarm will signal when you can move onto the next thing.

What tips do you have for juggling work/studying/day to day stuff and still have a life?

Ringfence your time. If you have sat with your diary at the start of the week and spend 30 minutes planning, it frees up much more than that later on. 

Decide when your study sessions are, when you need to work, and also mark out playtime.  We need time to rest to be more productive in the future so leisure time is not ‘dead’ time. It is essential. 

Once the time is allotted to whatever activity then just throw yourself into it without guilt.  If you are working, then this is your time – get as much done in that slot as possible. The focus makes you more productive. 

If you are chilling out- do it guilt free- the work is taken care of elsewhere in the week.  

Put yourself 100% in to whatever you are doing rather than lots of half hearted things, and you will find you are much more sleek, productive and determined.

Quite a few of mature students are parents what is your advice for them?

To stop trying to do everything at once!  Decide what is important and do that- leave the rest.  It isn’t essential that the dusting gets done each week but spending time with the kids and cooking meals is.  Prioritise and be ruthless.  Tackle the important stuff first and get to the rest when you can.

Brilliant advice Nadine, thank you I certainly will be using these tips myself.

 

 

Stress and the mature student

Stress is something that everyone experiences in their life but I was interested in the levels of stress that mature students face when making that huge step back into education.

I made that jump last year and managed to land a place doing the course that I really wanted to do. I quickly realised that as I started into my first semester there was some serious work that I needed to do to get the grades I wanted.

As the deadlines loomed and I blew the dust off my essay writing skills I realised that I was very stressed. I woke up thinking about what I had to get done, worrying about having the time to do it and was I actually doing enough. This combined with being a mother to five very sweet children I found the first wave of deadlines a big mountain to climb.

I emerged out of my first semester with great results, the stress and being out of my comfort zone really honed my ambition and fire to grasp my degree with two hands. I felt proud and realised that I wanted this so badly, that it is worth every bitten nail and late night study session.

From my personal experiences I decided to do a bit of research into how other mature students felt about juggling their workload with everyday life.

I created this survey

Here are some of the results:

I found out that most mature students feel stressed most of the time and that they spent between 5 and 20 hours studying a week outside of lessons.

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I used one of the questions to find out what tips other mature students would give to prospective students or those who were thinking of going back into education.

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If you are feeling overly stressed or not sure if you could be at risk have a look at this useful stress tester by The stress management society and some great tips to deal with stress from the charity Mind.

It’s not all worry though, going back to university is the best decision that I could have made and I wish you the best of success if you do the same.

10 signs that you are a mature student

I thought I would collaborate some of the signs that you are a mature student, just in case being older isn’t obvious enough…..

1. Beginning a sentence with “Do you remember when..” *tumbleweed*

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2. The 9 flights of stairs to your class look a lot easier than it actually is.

3. You sit at the front of the class not because you’re a nerd but because your eyesight is worse than the youngsters.

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4. You try to fill breaks between lectures with shopping list making and other productive stuff.

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5. Public transport is now a regular occurrence with your car being neglected

6. The lack of understanding towards “hip” band names.

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7. Your version of ombre hair is basically going more grey steadily through the year.

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8. Shopping at a certain store to get the bag is a thing of the past unless it is a bag for life.

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9. When this was the hight of technology when you were at school.

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10. When being asked for ID is always a fist pump moment

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Juggling commitments and balls

This week has been so busy that I don’t actually think that my brain has stopped whirring.

I’m constantly thinking about my assignments and trying to get organised, but also on the other hand trying to be a good parent.

Being a student and a parent is like being a sub standard juggling clown; you look good whilst being mildly entertaining but keep dropping balls no matter how hard you try, something always slips through whilst you furiously carry on with a crazed smile on your face.

Yeah that sums it up……sort of

Anyway I spent the morning researching for my TV package, plotting the shots and script in my mind ready for filming next week, all the while forgetting that I’d not sent the children into school with their lunch boxes.

Time drove on and after seeing the missed calls on my phone the dawning reality of that I’d not provided food for the people who rely on me hit me like a slap across the face with a brick.

The guilt trip from school was immense:

“Yes we’ve fed them because you forgot to”

“Don’t worry, it happens, parents forget to bring in lunch all the time

Bloody hell it was like the walk of shame but there was no hangover just a ball and chain of guilt.

I sloped into school to pick up the children thinking they’d be as cross as the school

“Mummy, school dinner was great, what a surprise!!”

and there, right then, I realised that my beautiful optimistic children had dealt with this hiccup much better than I had,

They had loved the change, the surprise,

I learnt a lot from this,

life is not the same day in day out, change, commitments, studies and other stuff doesn’t get in the way, it enriches us, makes up adapt, makes us open to embrace different things, makes us live in the moment.

The next time that I drop a few balls, I’ll remember my children running up to me, happy to see me.

I am always juggling, no matter how amateurish but I keep most of the balls up and with a smile on my face.

Commuting like the other kids

When I got my timetable for my first half of the semester (yes for some reason my uni is American….what happened to term?) Anyway….. I felt like the kid at college who can drive before everyone else.

You see during the first year of college most of your peers get the bus waiting at the freezing cold bus stops for the giant metal snails to arrive late or typically early if you are a breath away from the bus stop.

We all boarded the bus with the same weary look hoping that we weren’t the unlucky one to be stuck next to the drunk or the babbling weirdo or even worse the smelliest person on the bus.

By the second year of college I passed my driving test so I could drive past all my fellow students and smile at their half frozen, damp, wind swept selves whilst I listened to whatever CD was cool at the time.

It was such a luxury I could stay in bed later and zip to college, I was super smug and to be honest until I went back to uni I hadn’t been on public transport much at all since.

I thought that I would be driving to university as I am at the media city campus, the hub of all things media with ample parking, perfect for the older mature student like myself.

I did find a flaw to this plan:

1) you have to sell a kidney every time you park it is that expensive and since I only have two that might be an issue.

2) traffic is absolutely crazy when I finish at 6pm I risk watching the tram go by full of smug commuters laughing at my traffic jam misery.

3) combining the cost of petrol wasted in traffic jams and the kidney selling parking rates it just seriously isn’t worth it.

So I buckled, the tram lured me into its easy, cheapish, sort of comfortable but not charms.

I can get on close to where I live with a FREE park and ride and travel all the way to the stop before media city and walk the last bit.

Easy I hear you say! All my problems are solved!

Actually it is just like being back at college, there is still the smelly commuter and because sometimes there is only standing room you get the armpit in the face area, I do also seem to attract the old lady who talks to me for the whole journey when I really need to read the chapters in a text book that I should have read last week.

Hopefully my relationship with the tram will remain strong and by my final year we will be best friends…..sort of.