Amy, a student from Stirling University is our first ever student placement paramedic - the only person in her cohort that has been placed within a palliative care setting. This six-week placement, will provide her with an invaluable learning experience that she will go on to share with her fellow students and peers at the university.

Amy said, “As a paramedic student, we don’t really get taught the principles of palliative care, only a small insight into death and dying. I have learned so much in just a few weeks at Strathcarron, working with the Rehab, In-Patient Unit, as well as within the community with Clinical Nurse Specialists and Hospice@Home teams.

My perception of Hospices was it was a place people went to die. My opinion has changed completely. Strathcarron has opened my eyes as it’s such a positive place – not at all about dying, but about how the individual wants to live their life, until the end”.

Susan Bateman, Ward Manager, In-Patient Unit, “Every care professional should have a level of understanding of palliative care. A paramedic’s role is to keep someone alive, but if their patient is someone who is clearly dying, the critical shift is for them to take a step back and view their palliative needs. To be able to provide a level of comfort for the individual and their family, enabling people die with dignity. Hold their hand, be there and care for them in their last moments”.

Robyn Smith, AHP Lead, Strathcarron Hospice, “This is a pioneering placement – this is a multi-disciplinary student placement where Amy has been hosted jointly by the Rehab (Allied Health Professionals) team and the In-Patient Unit, with visits arranged to other departments such as Hospice@Home and Clinical Nurse Specialist teams.  Amy has gained an appreciation and knowledge of palliative care, and has learned important non paramedic skills which will assist her in the assessment of her own patients.  Some examples of this would be how to recognise "red flags" in patients with bone disease and how to safety move and handle them; and learning alternative ways to communicate with people who have difficulty with speech or understanding."