Chelsea Doxey has joined the Cayman Islands Hospital as a paramedic.
Caymanian Ms Doxey, who was born in the United States and grew up in George Town, works as an emergency medical technician.
Ms Doxey, the daughter of Raymond and Celia (nee Ebanks), attended Red Bay Primary School and matriculated at George Hicks High School, completing Year 8 before moving to the US for high school.
“Our grandmother always had us on a schedule. We learned the value of hard work, and as we grew up were afforded privileges because we were responsible enough to handle a little independence,” she said.
Ms Doxey and her twin sister Cilicia became American Hospital Association-certified in cardo-pulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator operations and in 2004 completed an EMT programme in the US and then moved back to Cayman.
Ms Doxey worked part-time while studying for an accounting degree at the University College of the Cayman Islands.
However, after performing CPR in 2007 in an emergency, she realised her true calling.
“I remember being really nervous, but excited at the same time,” she recalled. “In class, we practised on mannequins; during clinical rotations, we focused on patient assessment and history taking. All of that is great, but under pressure, muscle memory is what is important. Having hands-on practice and experienced teachers, I learned that under pressure, I really could do this.”
Ms Doxey received a Cayman Islands Government scholarship and entered Palm Beach Community College – now Palm Beach State College – in Florida in 2008, attending the EMT and paramedic programmes.
After completing her course work last August, she returned home and accepted employment with the Health Services Authority in October.
“I loved my classmates and I especially loved my instructors,” she said. “Almost everyone worked in EMS in one form or another. The instructors never gave up on anybody, and my classmates were always supportive of each other. No one ever worked alone because, in the field, on an actual call, you have a crew to assist you. I made some really good friends and I know that the friendships will continue for a long time.”
She plans to finish her associate degree in EMS and perhaps become a teacher. She is also considering cross-training as a firefighter.
For now, she intends to make the most of her time at the Health Services Authority. “I know this is cliché, but I’m going to try my hardest to make a difference. What I lack in experience, I make up for with eagerness and enthusiasm. I love what my career entails. I wish everyone enjoyed their jobs as much as I enjoy mine,” she said.
Health Services Authority CEO Lizzette Yearwood welcomed Ms Doxey, saying it was particularly satisfying to see young Caymanians seeking careers in the healthcare industry.
“…People like Ms Doxey bring fresh skills and a fresh outlook, helping us all to grow and contribute to a far greater good,” she said.