A paramedic is hoping to inspire more Muslim women to follow in her footsteps and join the profession.

Hina Chowdary, a newly qualified paramedic, wants to show that it is possible for woman to work in a role often perceived as 'unsuitable'.

Hina has graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a degree in paramedic science and will soon be working for the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) in East Lancashire.

At the end of her first year of studies, Hina took part in an episode of BBC documentary series 'We Are England', where she shared her experiences of being a student paramedic and learning on the job.

She said: “I wanted to show that women who look like me can be paramedics.

“I live in a diverse community but this isn’t necessarily reflected in my profession.

"Young Muslim women often live a sheltered lifestyle and so to go into a career that’s unpredictable and on the frontline of patient care isn’t the done thing.

“By taking part in the BBC documentary and sharing my story, I want to challenge stereotypes and show that I am capable and want to make a positive contribution to society.

"In my religion we’re taught that to save a life is to save the whole of mankind and that’s the motto I live by.”

Hina, who attended Preston Muslim Girls High School and Tauheedul Girls Islamic High School and Sixth Form in Blackburn, worked as a care assistant for several years before returning to study.

The 26-year-old met paramedics at the care home where she worked and decided to find out more about the profession.

She said: “I wanted a career that would challenge me, be rewarding and where two days are never the same.

“I knew from my first placement that being a paramedic was the right career choice. Before then I felt unenthused and under-challenged by my daily life. This motivated me to pursue a career that does not confine but rather pushes me.”

During her time at the University of Central Lancashire, Hina took part in the annual trauma simulation day at Fleetwood Nautical College where students take part in hyper-real disaster scenarios.

She said: “I was able to learn at my own pace and enjoyed the laughter whilst learning, making mistakes and practicing together with peers.

“It hasn’t always been an easy journey and I’ve had my doubts at times but I have learnt that most graduates leave feeling nervous. As seasoned clinicians say, ‘the real learning happens on the road post qualification, when the safety blanket of a mentor is no longer present.’"

Hina will officially start her role as a paramedic with NWAS in November and in the meantime, she will be working as a clinical support worker at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital.

She added: “Graduation feels like a well-deserved blessing. I’ve learned so much about myself over the last few years and now I feel like I am on a steppingstone to future career opportunities that I am more than capable of achieving.

"My husband Waqas and the rest of my family are very proud of my accomplishments and recognise that I’ve found my purpose in life.”