A day in the life of a Specialist Paramedic

Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Specialist Paramedic Illtyd Hollard


Specialist Paramedic Illtyd Hollard, known as Icky is based in Milton Keynes. He joined SCAS in 2011, working previously for the Welsh Ambulance Service for 21 years, joining as an ambulance cadet.

The first task of his 07.00 – 19.00 shift is to check all the kit on the rapid response vehicle (RRV). Up to half his time on some shifts, can be as a normal RRV (i.e. he will be protected to attend Red calls only), but when he is not doing this, then he plays a key role in admission avoidance.

“The skillset of a paramedic today is far beyond what it was when I joined the service. Paramedics can do so much more for patients at the scene, and specialist practitioners are one level up again. Whether it’s wound care, administering strong painkillers or things like changing a catheter, it all means the patient gets the care and treatment they need there and then.”

Icky is on standby for the next Red call but a few minutes later he is called by the Clinical Hub at Reading, who have a job suited to Icky’s skills.

An elderly female has fallen out of bed and can’t get up, the patient is in pain and very pleased we’ve arrived.

“After my tests were clear my focus was then to empower her son to get in touch with the GP and Hospice to better manage her conditions and keep her as safe and comfortable as possible in her final weeks.”

15 minutes later another patient needs help. A female in her early 30s called NHS 111 complaining of sharp abdominal pain. Icky carries out his assessment, calls her GP and arranges an urgent appointment for her that afternoon.

Icky has his break before the next call comes in, a 35-year-old female is reporting severe back pain.

“As a specialist practitioner I’m able to administer a greater range of antibiotics and pain relief than standard paramedics. Other advanced skills include catheter insertions and changes, wound closures with steri-strips, sutures, glue or staples. This is very beneficial to crews on the road who can’t close wounds and therefore have to transport to hospital. Administering the closure within the hour helps with the rehabilitation of tissue too.”

The patient is practically immobile and the first pain medication, Icky administers doesn’t help her pain, it looks like the patient will need a trip to A&E after all.

Icky is alerted to his last call of the day along with an ambulance crew. Icky is back on blue lights, he does not hang around and the sheer skill it takes to drive quickly, and safely, in rush hour traffic is remarkable.

A few minutes into the drive he and the ambulance crew are stood down. It’s now back to base and Icky has a handover to Andrew, the specialist practitioner who is coming on duty and will be taking over the car.

We have a range of clinical opportunities available and are holding an Open Day on Saturday 23rd June (10.00 – 14.30) in Newbury. For more details click here:


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