Everyone who has been working in the non-emergency sector for the last two years would agree with me when I say that it has been a very frighteningly strenuous and exhausting period. However, there was a silver lining as we featured on the news coverage of the evacuations of the nursing home outbreaks. This sparked the curiosity of the teachers at my daughter’s kindergarten, after they recognized the logos on my uniform during drop offs, resulting in the kindergarten coordinator making an enquiry about a possible “Ambulance incursion”.
This gave me the opportunity to put my communication skills to the ultimate test: teaching young children about what we do. My challenge was to deliver information to children aged from 4-year-old kindergarten to grade 2. So, with the help of my oversized novelty teddy as a patient, I put together a 20-minute session informing both children and teachers of what we do on a daily basis. But in all honesty, the children were most excited about hearing the sirens on the ambulance, so in a very controlled environment, I gave them that experience.
As you can see from the photos, they also got a very highly supervised tour of the ambulance. They got to explore our equipment, including spine boards, carry chairs, as well as some basic first aid equipment like bandages, slings, and splints. Every age group got to have a question-and-answer session, but the children mostly filled these sessions with their own anecdotes about their experiences with our health system, including some very humorous stories of their parents perceived inability to deal with stressful situations, too long to include in here.
Overall, both children and teachers were very engaged with the session and the NEPT sector received some well-deserved exposure to the community, including a brief explanation of who we are and what we do.
To all who read this, road staff, management, call takers, and rostering staff, I thank you, and stand with you in solidarity, for all of your hard work over the last two years. Yes it has been incredibly difficult, but I hope these young faces full of awe and joy remind you of how important our work really is to the rest of the community.