Over the past few weeks, I've gone back to school. I've been sitting in the classroom listening to lectures I've heard before, albeit in a different language, surrounded by a group of paramedic students who are just about ready to be unleashed on an unsuspecting but hopefully grateful public. The vast majority of the students are about to start their lives as combat medics which has made for some interesting scenarios, but one or two are heading for civilian roles. And then, there's me. I've sat at the back of the room that is fit to burst, writing bilingual, multi-directional notes, taken a few exams and hopefully come out the other side unscathed and ready for the front line once more.
It's been a bit of a struggle to get my paramedic licence recognised and accepted here, and has involved two steps backwards of bureaucracy for every one step forward in actual physical achievement. It's been frustrating. I've been on the ambulances, but in a limited capacity. My paramedic skills have been safely tucked away until the piece of paper that I need is finally spat out of the machine, hopefully sometime very soon.
I don't mind jumping through the relevant hoops. I don't mind sitting in classes I've heard before, because the reminders that they're providing are more than useful. It has been, however, somewhat disheartening that it has taken this long to make the progress that I'm finally making.
Yet, as always, there is a silver lining to the cloud. Going back to school has given me the opportunity to see another generation of people who are already loving their chosen path. There are those who are looking far into their futures, planning to change the world, or at least their little part of it. There are those who are talking about being a part of something bigger, part of an EMS world that is looking to expand, to improve, to change, to evolve into something better than it already is. I've had the chance to introduce some of these students to forums, to various forms of social media, to blogs, to ideas, to people, at least virtually, who share their vision.
(In the meantime, I have another day in the classroom tomorrow, and a rather daunting exam, the equivalent of the end of the paramedic course, on Tuesday. No public holiday here. So those of you celebrating Christmas, spare a thought and send some positive vibes just before you tuck into your turkey and mulled wine.)
From my seat at the back of the class, the future is looking good. Hopefully, once
I've defeated the monster that is bureaucracy I'm embedded a little more in the system, I'll be able to be a part of that future. I might even tell them that I know the person who writes this blog...