Cherylene Camps has become the first paramedic in Nottinghamshire to gain a Masters degree in Advanced Clinical Practice. Cherylene, from Hucknall, says her MSc from The University of Nottingham will help her improve the way she cares for patients.
With no degree or O-Levels and a demanding full time job with the East Midlands Ambulance Service and as a helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) paramedic with the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance, Cherylene gained entry to the course based on her professional experience and passed with Merit.
Clinical Director Dr Frank Coffey, Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Associate Professor in the School of Health Sciences, said: “Cherylene is an inspiration to other students. It was a privilege to teach her. She successfully combined a demanding working life with her studies and excelled on the course.”
Despite her demanding day job Cherylene squeezed in a day of study every week for three years. She said: “Each week I would do a timetable of what I need to learn for that week. Although the studying was enjoyable it was at times very challenging as I had no other qualifications other than within the ambulance service. My colleagues both on the air ambulance and on the road were truly amazing as they were both supportive but also left me alone to study. In between jobs on the air ambulance I would go into a room and study, if I got stuck on any of the studying there was always a doctor around to answer questions or practice on! The same applied on the road, in between jobs I would go and study in a room and be left alone. This also applied on all my days off, I either studied at home or in the University library, following my timetable. Each day I would not stop studying until I had achieved what was on my timetable for that day or week. The tutors at the university were also extremely supportive and for that I am truly grateful.”
The MSc course reflects changes in healthcare and how advanced nurse practitioners are now able to offer some aspects of care that have traditionally been the domain of doctors. This includes taking a patient’s full history and clinical examinations.
Cherylene was the first paramedic to apply for the course at Nottingham. To achieve the qualification she completed academic assignments including a clinical project on the over 65s who had suffered falls. Her tutors also observed her treatment of patients.
Cherylene, who grew up in Bulwell in Nottingham, said: “The course has given me confidence to broaden my skills in ways which will directly benefit patients. It will mean in some situations I’ll be able to provide treatment and help a patient stay at home rather than having to take them to a busy emergency department.”
East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s chief executive Phil Milligan said: “Cherylene’s achievement is fantastic and her knowledge will directly benefit patients.”
Dr Penelope Griffin, Head of Widening Participation, said: “I’m delighted to hear of Cherylene’s success. 10 per cent of undergraduate students entering The University of Nottingham are mature and we welcome students with a broad range of experience and qualifications. Our foundation and preliminary years offer additional pathways, while the School of Education uses flexible study patterns and welcomes mature applicants without formal qualifications.”