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Paramedic it is (for now)

15 March 2006

So I have made a, preliminary, decision. As someone with ADHD, I know that this may very well change at any time, or may never happen again but hey –ho, for now, I have a GOAL.

But I NEED to make it work because I do not really get a second chance at my age (God, I sound old)

Coventry University do a Degree in Paramedic Science (as do a few others but Coventry is close by). I have about 1 million things that I am interested in but throughout my life, only one of them has been more or less constant: Nursing.  I have thought about it a great deal and I have realised that, even though I am very interested in Nursing, I feel I would get bored with it pretty soon. I think I would struggle to deal with the hospital-structure and paperwork etc. Only one job in particular makes me sit up and say: YES. I want to do THAT.

Paramedic. I applied for a training position last year but was rejected out of hand because I do not have the correct category on my driving license that allows me to drive a minibus/ambulance. That is easily solved for a mere £1,000 (cough).  So that is step 1. Where do I get £1,000 from I don’t know yet but I am not letting a silly thing like money put me off my plan for now.

I am too late for a start in September 2006 so it will have to be in September 2007. Good. That gives me time to get that licence and do volunteer work for the Red Cross and St. Johns Ambulance Service perhaps.

Then all I need to do is apply, get in, study 3 or 4 years and I am a Paramedic.
Problem 1: The courses are over-subscribed every year so I may not get in for a few years.
Problem 2: Money. The course would cost £2,000 in tuition fees per year. Add the cost of books, say £1,000, per year. So it would cost, with all kinds of things thrown in for good measure, £4,000 per year. But it is a full-time University degree course that will make me a Bsc in Paramedic Science. That means I can not work (much) whilst studying. JD will still be in University as well, studying for a Phd for another 3 years, so neither of us will be making any money. JD gets money from her folks and has a bit of savings so she is OK to get by. (In fact, we split all the costs 50/50 at the moment and she still has more money than I do and she does not even have a job!!)

So, that may well be the biggest hurdle: No money. At least not until JD finishes University and gets a full time job.

So what to do now? Go for it, follow the dream and take the risk of crashing out at the last moment when there is no money? Or should I decide now that we can not afford it and find something else to do? What if I do not get in in Coventry? Should I apply elsewhere? And if I do and I get into University on the other side of the country? What about JD and me?

This would all not be such a problem if I wasn’t already paying off a student loan from when I thought Journalism was the thing I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I only have a mere £10,000 left to pay on that loan (cough) so I am not really willing to add another £10,000 to that. Although hen I listen to students here, having a load that big is the norm rather than the exception so maybe I should just throw caution to the wind and do it.

I am feeling quite excited about this idea. People who know me will know that it is not just a fluke, not just a thought that has suddenly occurred to me. They will know I have mentioned Paramedic many times before. I just never thought about having to go to University to do it. But it seems to be the easiest way to get there. The hardest step is not studying. It is getting in and paying for it.

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