Pooja Kaur

Paramedic Science - BSc (Hons)

Pooja wanted a career working with people and knew that she’d need to go to university to achieve that. Her first challenge was persuading her family that it was the right choice for her. Now, with their approval, she’s embracing living away from home, juggling study and placements, and preparing to be a trustworthy and knowledgeable paramedic.

"Working with people was a key factor in my career choice, and after some research I realised that going to university was something I wanted to do. The first challenge was persuading my parents that this was a good idea!

From my parents' understanding and upbringing, this was a shock as no one in my close family had ever thought about going to university, and for me to be the first, suggesting the idea was a challenge. Their perspective of university was the typical student night out with little study being done. However, with determination, I showed them a new side to university and they were starting to get on board with the idea, and were feeling much more reassured...until I told them which degree I wanted to study – it was all going so well!

In all seriousness, sending your daughter into a career where she could get abused, come across violent people, dangerous situations and even have her own mental health affected is not what any parent would want for their child, so I did appreciate their perspective. However, that did not mean giving up. After a lot of discussion and thought, I got my parents’ approval and applied for the BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science at Birmingham City University and was accepted with an unconditional offer.

The next challenge was moving away from home and overcoming the nerves of starting the course. I look back now and appreciate what this experience has given me, including working the unusual hours of a paramedic and being able to look after myself in the process.

I’m really enjoying my time at university, including being out on placement as it helps bridge the gap between academia and the real world, and gain first-hand experience. Using SPACE to practise my clinical skills is great, and it’s easy to meet students from other health related courses, and help each other out.

At BCU, I like the fact that I’m not just another statistic, and although my course has students of different ages (19 to 45 years old), I am still respected and heard equally. Although we come from different backgrounds and experiences, we all work well together as a team - this means a lot to me. We have learned how to use one person’s strength to help with another's weakness and vice versa. My experiences so far have made me more open minded, independent, and inquisitive, given the different environments and people I have been exposed to.

Having the support of my family, classmates and staff has really helped me. The paramedic team provides many tools for support to make our journey easier and continue to do a lot of work behind the scenes also. The emotional support from the lecturers has been worthwhile and meaningful, especially when things got overwhelming with the intensity of the degree. It helped keep me on track and balance things a lot more.

I have started to understand my faith as a Sikh more where the core values and virtues from our Sikh gurus allow me to grow as a person and in building my career as a paramedic. My commitment to this means that I attend events and talks virtually where I can have a free space to connect with others on a similar journey to my own.

I AM BCU is like a piece of a jigsaw. Every jigsaw piece has its own individual role in forming the bigger picture and must work together for it to function. That’s how I see myself and my fellow students – we have our own individual goals but must work together to make BCU the family that it is."