We caught up with second-year Bachelor of Paramedicine student, Andre Perkins, to celebrate the publication of his first co-authored article in the Australasian Journal of Paramedicine.

In “Pandemic pupils: COVID-19 and the impact on student paramedics”, Andre Perkins and his fellow classmates explores the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic pose for paramedics students as well as the new opportunities for growth in terms of learning, connectivity, placements, and employment.

Gone are the times when Andre felt uncomfortable putting his hand up to do a peer demonstration during practical laboratory sessions.

“In my first year, it took me some significant mental willpower to volunteer in front of my classmates. As I have progressed, I have become more attuned to recognising my inner-critic and now go out of my way to receive critical feedback,” he says.

“Studying Paramedicine at Griffith University sees you step outside of your shell and grow quite considerably. I find this exciting.”

Andre attributes a large part of his personal development to the small class sizes, which he says give him the opportunity to get to know his classmates better and support each other as they progress throughout their degree.

“In a small cohort we can engage more actively in tutorials. We have more time to learn from practicing academics, course convenors and sessional paramedics who have practiced internationally who are all a wealth of knowledge. It’s a real privilege.”  

Andre Perkins on the far right with fellow Bachelor of Paramedicine students

While recounting his 6-week placement completed at the Beenleigh Station earlier this year, Andre says that his biggest learning was to ensure he now approaches every case with an unassuming mindset.

“Especially at the end of night shifts, by just looking at the case description on the MDT, it would be so easy to fall into the trap of drawing early conclusions regarding the severity or cause of the patient’s presentations prior to seeing them,” he explains.

“I found that pigeonholing patients as such can really throw off your assessment and compromise your systematic approach. I’m now more mindful of being open to every possibility when I walk through the door,” he admits.

The future is full of potential pathways for Andre, but he has yet to decide which one to follow.

“It’s my aim to obtain a position in a graduate program within an Australian state ambulance service. Alternatively, I am also considering applying for international positions or potential employment in the private medical arena. Obtaining entry into a Doctor of Medicine program and practicing medicine is also a big aspiration of mine.”  

Reflecting on his decision to study Paramedicine, Andre concludes: “Being able to support someone through their life’s toughest moments or potentially save a patient is both a gift and a privilege. We have the opportunity to make positive contributions to society and I think this is awesome.”

If like Andre you want to pursue a rewarding career that makes a real difference and demands your personal best, find out more about the Bachelor of Paramedicine at Griffith University.