Tough job; big satisfaction rate for Josie
Some of Josie Corkery’s work stories are doozies.
Due to the sensitive nature of her work as a Wellington Free Ambulance paramedic, many can only be repeated with colleagues.
But she is able to relay a recent visit that typifies the work she and the other Wellington Free paramedics do every day.
‘‘There was a 92-year-old lady who had acquired pneumonia,’’ Corkery said.
‘‘Her vital signs were outside the normal ranges but she refused to go to hospital.
‘‘I was able to issue a full treatment of antibiotics and steroids and we saw her every day for the next four days. She made a full recovery and was in close contact with her GP as well.
‘‘It’s an example of that community care that people may not realise goes on every day.’’
Wellington Free Ambulance attend about 50,000 incidents every year, many of which do not require an ambulance trip to the hospital.
There were 283 calls for the urgent community care team in Porirua between July 1 and September 30 - the team consists of three fulltime staff, one part time and relievers.
Corkery said the relief on the faces of some patients who had called 111 and saw the Wellington Free car turn up, instead of an ambulance, reveals a lot.
‘‘The hospital may be the best place for some, but often we can treat people in their own home, which they prefer. ‘‘We can assess and then work in with other groups in the com- munity for ongoing care. It takes the pressure off emergency departments and hospitals.’’
The 29-year-old, who has also spent time lately as the paramedic adviser in the 111 call centre, said being a paramedic in Porirua had challenges, but also a high level of satisfaction.
As part of a scholarship honouring former paramedic Andrew Truesdale, Corkery recently visited the New South Wales Ambulance Service to further her development.
She decided to become a paramedic after a family member had a bad accident 13 years ago.
‘‘I just remember feeling so helpless and was blown away seeing how calm the paramedic was.
‘‘It stuck with me and I love that in this job you see people in urgent situations and you can set the mood for their care.
‘‘It’s an incredibly rewarding job.’’
Wellington Free Ambulance paramedic Josie Corkery.