Interview: Jacquie Le Busque – Paramedic, Lecturer & Academic in the field of Women’s Health medicine and Reproductive health medicine

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by Chloe Thornton
21.11.18

Interview: Jacquie Le Busque – Paramedic, Lecturer & Academic in the field of Women’s Health medicine and Reproductive health medicine

Hello, My name is Jacquie and I am, well I suppose I am a few things! I have been a Paramedic for almost 10 years now and have worked in academia for 4. In my spare time I love lifting weights and have a big year cut out for me next year in my competitive bodybuilding. Im a bit of a homebody to be honest, but things I adore are the beach, red wine and good conversations.

What does your current job entail?

At the moment I am a full time Lecturer at Victoria University, where I teach Paramedic Students all about Reproductive anatomy and physiology and Obstetric, newborn and paediatric emergencies.  This blog post has actually come at an interesting time for me as I get ready to retire from the service on my ten years; so Im feeling awfully sentimental about my time as a Paramedic, and truthfully a bit emotional writing this.

Reflecting on your time as a paramedic, what about the job inspired you/kept your passion alight?

I began my Paramedic career at 21, I was a wee baby thrust into the world of frontline emergency and I fell in love with the job from the get go. There is no more rewarding career then helping people at their most vulnerable, to be able to walk into a persons home and see the overwhelming sense of relief that you are there to help. Being a Paramedic has shaped me into the person I am today and built my strength and resilience more then any other life experience, and my exit from the service is certainly a bitter sweet one.

What has your journey looked like from paramedicine to academia? And what inspired the transition to a focus on womens health?

My passion for Women’s Health came from my own battles of infertility, I was diagnosed with a condition called Primary Ovarian insufficiency at the age of 25 and by the ripe old age of 28 I was on the tail end of menopause. I think part of my healing of coming to terms with the fact I wouldn’t be able to have my own children I needed to know everything about the condition, I started researching and reading more and more, and I guess that lead me down the rabbit hole of postgraduate study. I have now completed a Master in Women’s Health Medicine and a Master in Reproductive Medicine. There is nothing more I enjoy then educating women about health and wellness. Leaving behind my Paramedic career has been bought upon by a string of shoulder injuries and unfortunately it just cannot cope with the unpredictable demands of the job anymore but silver linings I’m able to finish my PhD full time now.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

As a lecturer, my favourite part of my job will always be engaging with students who want to learn and who have a keen interest and curious mind.

What is your least favourite thing about your job?

My least favourite will be the politics of government universities and unfortunately the students see you a lot of the time as the face of problems, when often a lot of things are beyond your control.

What sticks out to you as the most important lesson you’ve learnt in your career so far?

When I think about the most important lesson I have learnt in my career, it will come from my ambulance work, a few years ago I was quite hardened by the job, desensitized and very dethatched to emotional or traumatic jobs, I lost my best friend in a car accident in 2016 and that 100 percent shifted my perspective of my job again, all of a sudden every death I realized was someone’s person, just like that car accident, he was my person, and I think when you have engulfed in a career of often tragedy and difficult circumstances we very quickly learn to cope by dethatching; and we forget this is someone’s person and its okay to be sad about it. I used to not let heavy jobs affect me, but now I think “ So what if you cry on a job with a grieving family? So what if you sit and have a cuddle with a fellow police officer or ambo or fiery post traumatic job?” You are human and that’s okay.

Any special areas of interest that you may explore in the future?

I think as I move forward with my academic career I will finish my PhD and perhaps move onto something clinical again as I very much miss working with patients. Who knows, maybe Ill finally go study med like I’ve been saying for 10 years but the timing hasn’t been right.

What tips or words of wisdom would you share with someone thinking of studying to enter the work force as a health professional or going back to do postgraduate study?

What I can tell you is that you are 100% never too old to learn, to study, to change career or to embark on new adventures. 

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