Following a life-changing conversation three years ago, 27-year old Adrien Dansette quit his job and became a Paramedic Science student at St George’s. Now finishing his second year, Adrien reflects on his experiences so far and the reasons he took up the course.

Adrien Dansette Paramedic900pw

Since the age of 11, Adrien had loved languages and had set his mind on becoming an interpreter. He spent four years studying Translation Studies French with a Spanish minor and a focus on socio- linguistics at Aston University.

He says, “I love meeting and helping people. Whenever I was out and about and heard tourists having difficulties getting around, I stopped to chat to them. Given I spoke French, Spanish and English fluently, it seemed to make sense that I’d use my languages to help others.

“By the time I left university, the market had changed. Knowing that three languages was now the norm and so to become an interpreter had become incredibly competitive and that broke my heart a little bit. I was just unable to get my foot in the door”

At a loss on what to do next, Adrien took up jobs in public relations, recruitment and journalism before becoming a Marine Fuel Event Executive, dealing with clients who purchase large-scale fuel orders and creating large scale conferences in the Marine Fuel industry.

He says, “I had a great team and a manager who fought my corner and pushed me but something wasn’t right. I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do long term.”

A life-changing conversation

He continues, “One night, after a particularly bad day in the office, I was ranting to my girlfriend Sarah about work. She is the Classroom Support Officer at a special needs school and when I asked her how her day was, she said, ‘today a non-verbal child said hello to me for the first time’.

“All my anger dissipated and was replaced by envy. I knew then I had to find more fulfilling work and make a drastic change in my life. I’d always wanted to help others and I realised that’s what was missing in my marine fuel job.”

The conversation marked the turning point in Adrien’s life. He started to think about what might make him happy and how he could make a positive difference to other people.

He says, “I had worked for St John’s Ambulance service before and an incident with my mum kept playing on my mind. Before I was born, my mum had been involved in a car accident and a passing lorry driver stopped and administered first aid. Without him, my mum would not have survived and in fact, she is still friends with him now, having put out an appeal on the radio to find her saviour a few years ago.

“The more I read about a career as a Paramedic, the more I thought ‘this is me’”.

Feeling like a Power Ranger

In 2016, Adrien decided to apply to St George’s as he wanted to study in a teaching hospital having heard about the great reputation of the paramedic lecturers.

He says, “I love the course and the hands-on nature of the training. When you are speeding down the road to get to someone in need, you a hit a button that says ‘999 mode activated’, and in a funny way it makes you feel like a Power Ranger coming to the rescue.

“Of course, I still have bad days but I try and remember a phrase my girlfriend lives by, ‘this day too shall pass’. Once, I went out on a call to the aid of a five-year-old girl who was having an epileptic fit. When we were able to stop the seizures, she drew a picture for me to say thank you. I’ve got that picture up on my wall and when things get difficult and I have doubts about whether I can do the job, I draw strength from that as it reminds me what I am doing this for.

“I am indebted both to my incredible girlfriend and to Chris Baker, Course Director of Paramedic Science and his incredible team of lecturers who encourage me and lift me up when I need it most. I hope I can continue to make patients feel they have been heard, and that someone is there for them during what might be the darkest hour of their lives.”

Find out more:

Paramedic Science BSc

Courses available in Clearing 2018