Staffordshire University paramedic helps injured dog walker on holiday

A Staffordshire student paramedic has been praised for her quick-thinking to help an injured dog walker while on holiday in Cornwall.

Katie Chell
Katie Chell

Staffordshire University Paramedic Science student Katie Chell, 20, was on a woodland walk with her family when they came across a woman who had fallen and was unable to get up.

Katie using the geo-location app, what3words, to help emergency responders find their remote forest located – and made sure the woman had pain relief.

She explained: “My mum spotted the injured lady first and called me over. Instinct kicked in and I went into work mode, like when I am on placement.

"I was concerned because the patient had spina bifida and I thought that she might have fractured her hip.

“I knew the response team would take a while to reach us on foot, so pain control was a priority. I helped the patient take her prescribed medication and we chatted to help take her mind off the pain while waiting.”

Katie stayed with the emergency team while they assisted the patient and even helped to carry their kit back through the woods to their vehicles.

Thomas Walvin, a lecturer in adult nursing at Plymouth University and emergency nurse, was the first responder on the scene and was impressed by Katie’s actions. He said: “Katie provided an outstanding handover, including a comprehensive medical and medicines history, as well as a detailed primary and secondary survey. She had already formed a strong trusting bond with the worried patient and her communication style was beyond what we often see in young healthcare students.

“Her ‘bedside manner’ as such was reassuring, friendly, supportive and with a well-timed and appropriate level of humour helping the patient through the pain. Overall, Katie demonstrated excellent clinical knowledge, excellent scene management and outstanding care for this patient whilst very much off duty on holiday.”

Second year student Katie was inspired to become a paramedic by her grandad who worked with the ambulance service for 30 years and she has been volunteering on the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Katie said: “I grew up hearing my Grandad’s stories about working as a paramedic so it’s nice to be following in his footsteps. I have loved working as an ambulance care assistant this year and have gained a lot of experience.

“Luckily, the patient in Cornwall didn’t have any serious injuries but she did break a rib and was battered and bruised. We have stayed in touch and she even sent a thank you card. It is lovely to get such positive feedback and has definitely given me a confidence boost.”

Tim Davies, head of Staffordshire University’s Department of Midwifery and Allied Health, added: “Katie is an outstanding paramedic student and an absolute credit to the University. I am so pleased that she was able to assist both the patient and the emergency services in difficult and unexpected circumstances.

“I’m sure that Katie is encouraged by Tom’s kind words and by the excellent impression she has left on both service users and other clinicians."

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