Last reply 1 month ago
Paramedicine with MS

Hi guys, I have always wanted to be a paramedic (am currently an RN) but have recently been tentatively diagnosed with MS.
I am wondering if anyone has successfully gained employment as a paramedic with a known diagnosis of MS or whether I need to put this dream to bed.
Thank you 🙂

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stumbler
2 months ago

@alex1723 , never put your dreams to bed.

You really need to discuss this with someone in the Paramedics world. Personally, I would say that it depends on how your MS affects you, but the Paramedic’s requirements may be more stringent.

You should have already advise the DVLA of your diagnosis and they may have restricted your licence. This may prevent you from driving as a Paramedic……


alex1723
2 months ago

Thank you for your reply 🙂 I have not officially been diagnosed yet. I only get symptoms while pregnant (which I currently am) and so they couldn’t use contrast during my MRI and I haven’t yet had my lumbar puncture. There are two lesions on my spinal cord which “look suspiciously like MS” but no official diagnosis until the baby is out.
I know a quite a few paramedics through work but as it is a specific question for someone who has either been through similar, or someone who participates in recruitment, they aren’t sure of the answer. I know its unlikely to get an answer here, I just thought it was worth a crack!


stumbler
2 months ago

@alex1723 , could the Australian Paramedical College provide any advice?


itsmewithms
2 months ago

Hi-
There were suspicions of MS when I was pregnant as I developed a blind spot in one eye. Not enough to affect my ability to drive or work as it was a pretty constant and stable spot with no pain, etc. It could be clearly mapped through visual field testing and went away in my 3rd trimester. I was told that was common with MS and they are actually researching the hormones related to 3rd trimester to see if there is a treatment there somehow.

Now when I discuss that initial “attack” with neuros they say it sounds like it really was more of an optical migraine. My first real attack of MS then was gait related and an odd “foot sticking out like a duck” symptom that resolved within a couple of weeks to never return.

Regarding employment- I say do whatever you can when you can. If you feel you can handle the demands of an EMT and enjoy that kind of work to go for it. Just do it knowing that progression could make it difficult to do in the future…but MS can make about any profession more difficult in the future.

Think about how the skills learned as an EMT can be applied to more roles. I remember a “bobby”/policeman? posting in a couple of months ago and how he could switch it up to work in police staff type of role, dispatching or other related work. It would also seem that could apply to EMT work. I have found that every skill and experience I have can be called on and used in other ways…sometimes in jobs that don’t even exist yet.


alex1723
1 month ago

@stumbler I thought about that but I feel like the laws surrounding discrimination would make them hesitant to give me a proper answer!
@itsmewithms thank you for your reply. At this point I don’t feel it would affect me at all as my symptoms are purely present in pregnancy. I would just hate to get through a 4 year degree to get roadblocked due to a diagnosis at the end as it is super competitive to get internships here. Dispatch and the likes are certainly options and being an RN already, if paramedicine is a no go, I can still do ED work which will help curb the cravings I suppose!


itsmewithms
1 month ago

One thought that sticks with me is that I always seem to manage to use every thing I learn and experience. They all build up to make you 😉 if this is an experience you really want and you feel you can do it then go for it! Yes, it may be a job that you may not always be able to do. No one (MS or not) knows what tomorrow will bring (although we may be more aware of this than others). Having field experience can give you more career options down the road if you can’t do the physical end of the job at some point. Do all you can – every day 😉


thorpee
1 month ago

Hi @alex1723 I got diagnosed a few weeks ago now and I’m a Police officer in the UK. I thought my employer would massively overreact a park me in a cupboard for the next 20 years. In reality they are not that bothered, so long as I meet the requirements for my role – annual beep test, eye test for taser and be able to do officer safety training. The only thing they’ve stopped me doing is public order and response driving (not bothered about public order but I’ll see if my doctor will intervene re the driving) The time may come when I can’t be “Frontline”, for want of a better way of putting it but they’ll find me something constructive to do I’m sure. If you want to be a paramedic and you think you are fit enough and can do it you should go and do it! Once you are in you’re in and they will look after you. I know if you were planning to join the police here as a recruit MS would not preclude you, but they would have to look in to it deeper to make sure you would be safe. Good luck in whatever you decide 👍


alex1723
1 month ago

@thorpee thank you for your view. I hope this doesn’t prove to be an immobile road block. One way to find out i guess! Brilliant that your employer has been supportive, that must be a massive relief. I hope you are coping well with your new diagnosis otherwise, it’s alot to take in.

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