Childhood dream now a reality for student paramedic Ben at Derry’s Magee

Ulster University student Ben Malone (20) is living his childhood dream of becoming a paramedic.

The second-year student is enrolled at the Magee campus in Derry where he is studying a degree in Paramedic Science.

He was recently on placement with the Ambulance Service across the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) region.

Ben says: “I’ve always wanted to be a paramedic - from the age of seven - having watched paramedics tend to my grandmother who lived at home with us and suffered from a series of strokes. I knew it was the career for me.

Ben Malone has wanted to become a paramedic since he was a child.

Ben is originally from Lucan, County Dublin, but currently lives, studies and works in Derry.

“I remember vividly the feeling of relief and reassurance seeing paramedics walk up to the front door of my house and to know that help had arrived for my Nanny when she had suffered a stroke,” he adds.

“It’s a feeling that has stayed with me and inspired my career choice. I want to bring that feeling of reassurance to those in need when they call an ambulance.”

After joining the Order of Malta Ireland Ambulance Corps as a Cadet, Ben sought volunteering opportunities throughout his childhood to train in first aid and emergency response.

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Ben acknowledges that a career as a paramedic will be a challenging one.

He even developed a 30 step career plan to take him through to becoming a paramedic.

So, after completing his Leaving Cert at Lucan Community College and passing his driving test, he set his sights on the Paramedic Science degree being delivered at UU’s Magee campus.

“I spent summers of my childhood with my grandmother who lived in Buncrana and I’ve always loved Derry. It feels like home to me, so moving up for my course felt like a no brainer.

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“The city has everything I need and I’m really happy to be making a difference.

The Magee campus of Ulster University in Derry.

“The Paramedic Science degree at Ulster University appealed to me because the combination of theory and practical learning sets the course apart from other universities. I’ve already been out on practice-based learning within a wide range of community healthcare settings, working with healthcare professionals in nursing home, learning disability, mental health and community nursing settings, as well as the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, developing and learning fundamental skills as a paramedic. During my first week on practice learning with the Ambulance Service, I witnessed the full circle of life, from supporting a person and their family through a cardiac arrest to supporting the birth of a baby girl. It’s a tough job but it’s one that I find so rewarding.

“I wake every morning with a spring in my step, looking forward to what the day will bring to me and where I can help those in need. Nobody rings an ambulance on a good day, but if I can do some good on a difficult day for a person and their family, then my day’s’work is worthwhile. ”

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Ben will feature in a new advertising campaign from UU targeting school leavers to encourage them to study at the Magee campus.

More than 900 additional students will relocate from the Jordanstown campus to Magee from September 2022, bringing together health sciences programmes inducing physiotherapy, podiatry, radiography and more to complement the existing health sciences provision on campus with the School of Nursing and Paramedic Science and the newly established School of Medicine.

To find out more about becoming a paramedic, visit https://www.ulster.ac.uk/faculties/life-and-health-sciences/nursing/paramedic-degrees