Who we are?
Pay Student Paramedics is a campaign set up by Paramedic Science students with the aim of lobbying the Scottish Government to create a bursary for student paramedics in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has rightfully taken great pride in creating and gradually improving the Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary (NMSB) over the past few years. They have brought it to a point where it now stands at £10,000 per year of financial support, none of which is repayable. This allows student nurses and midwives to enter their new career path debt free. We believe student paramedics should also receive this kind of excellent support.
Here are just some of our key points as to why we feel that the Scottish Government should establish a bursary equivalent to NMSB:
- Student Paramedics have an almost identical course structure to Nurses and Midwives - 50% placement doing full time shifts alongside registered professionals entirely unpaid, making it near impossible to work alongside study and make enough of a living to survive as employers often see us as 'unreliable' due to the unsocial hours that we need to work. This is the biggest argument used to justify the increases in the NMSB. It applies to student paramedics as well. Trying to balance work, life and studying can be near impossible, and student Paramedics are very likely to suffer from burnout and high levels of stress. A bursary would significantly ease this pressure.
- There is a desperate need for more paramedics in Scotland as highlighted in the Scottish Government shortage occupation list (2018) . The Ambulance Service is severely understaffed and the old paths to becoming a paramedic, such as the in house training that ambulance technicians could undergo, are being phased out. Soon, the only way to become a Paramedic will be by completing a degree. A bursary would significantly bolster the appeal of the degree and make it more accessible to people from all backgrounds. Again, this was a key factor behind the decisions made about the NMSB.
- It is about protecting and improving the future of our beloved NHS in Scotland and our Scottish Ambulance Service, who are already under immense pressure due to serious understaffing and resources issues. We want this bursary to be created for the benefit of future students, and in turn, to benefit every single person in our country.
Creating a Student Paramedic bursary would open the doors to so many more caring and committed people who want to become paramedics. Recruitment is difficult, the job is tough, but the call for more Paramedics now, and for the future, is something the Scottish Government should be striving to answer.
Several Ambulance Service workers unions already fully support our campaign. They know better than anyone how desperately the service needs more staff. We want to become life savers, care givers, the people you know you can count on when you need help. We are ready and willing to take on the challenges of the work and dedicate our lives to helping others. We are asking for your help in achieving this.
The similarities in the demanding schedule and a desperate need for an increase of numbers in the workforce is evident for nurses, midwives and paramedics alike. With an already excellent support system in place for student nurses and midwives, it seems obvious that the next logical step for the Scottish Government is to extend this support to student paramedics as well.
This is why we are lobbying the Scottish Government to establish a bursary equal to that received currently by Nursing and Midwifery students in Scotland. In turn, strengthening our beloved NHS Scotland.
Help us by telling the Scottish Government to Pay Student Paramedics.#PayStudentParamedics