I undertook the Flinders Graduate Diploma in Intensive Care Paramedic Studies whilst working with St John Ambulance NT in Alice Springs and Darwin. Following that I commenced the Master of Paramedicine whilst working as one of the Critical Response Unit Intensive Care Paramedics. The focus behind undertaking the Master of Paramedic Science was to look at avenues of extending my paramedical clinical skills to include an Acute Demand for Primary Health Service through the role of an Extended Care Paramedic.
After working in South Australia, and spending six years in the NT, I obtained a position as an Intensive Care Paramedic with Ambulance Tasmania. The focus of obtaining further qualification as an Extended Care Paramedic came to fruition in Hobart mid-2020. Ambulance Tasmania have a successful Extended Care Paramedic service that allows these paramedics greater scope of practice to treat patients within their home environments, and to work collaboratively with General Practitioners and Home Nursing Services.
It wasn’t until I began studying the Master of Paramedicine that I realised how infinite learning can be. It’s become somewhat addictive as I look for other avenues to challenge myself that I would never have done before. I’ve proven to myself that despite my initial reservations about undertaking the Master of Paramedicine, there is a true value in gaining a higher degree.
Why did you choose paramedicine as a profession? I had previously spent nine years as a Medic in the Royal Australian Navy. Towards the end of my enlistment, I had been working with a number of paramedics from both Ambulance Victoria and SA Ambulance Service. It was their love of the work they did, their desire to help and assist others and at the time an excitement that I felt whenever I was in discussion on the subject of working with an Ambulance Service. Although somewhat of a continuation of the work I had been doing within the Royal Australian Navy, it was absolutely the desire to be up-close and helpful to sick and injured patients led me on this career path.
What are the three most important professional attributes that your Flinders degree equipped you with?
- Improved communication skills. This is directly attributable to the many communication media I was required to use: I’ve improved my computer communication literacy skills, active listening skills, debate skills and conversation skills.
- Determination and persistence. My last semester really challenged me. I needed a determination and persistence like I had never had previously. Although initially stressful, having full autonomy and accountability for my research subject was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had.
- Problem-solving skills. A Master of Paramedicine is challenging! It taught me to think laterally, to interpret and analyse information, and to synthesise information and feedback from a variety of sources.
What is your current role and main responsibilities? As the Clinical Deployment Officer (CDO), I support the operational capability of Ambulance Tasmania. I provide clinical advice, direction and operational support to frontline paramedics, including providing clinical consultations to those actively treating patients in the field. In addition to assisting paramedics on scene, my role as the CDO provides health advice to patients/callers and refers them to the most appropriate/available services.
Who has inspired you the most in life? My wife Michelle! She is the most inspirational person I know: she understands more than I know about how people work, what motivates them, what is important to them and how to interact with them on a personal level without being intrusive to their space. She is kind and considerate to others and an inspiration.
Professionally, every member of staff in the three jurisdictional ambulance services I have worked with are inspirational: they demonstrate selflessness, a love of caring for others, service to their communities, and high standards of professionalism.
What are your future goals and plans? I would love to work in a role that utilises my Intensive Care Paramedic and Extended Care Paramedic clinical skills in the most helpful way. Sharing my knowledge and skills with my peers in a position involving clinical education is also a long-term plan.