After only a year of delivering the program, Flinders University’s Bachelor of Paramedic Science (Northern Territory) team have been rewarded for their efforts in a challenging year, receiving a 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Innovation in Teaching.
Delivered in South Australia for over 20 years, the degree was offered for the first time in the Territory this year and is supported through a collaboration with St John NT to provide clinical placements.
Responsible for establishing and teaching the program, Dr Tim Rayner, Dr Narelle Campbell, Anthea Cayetano, Deb Boyko and St John NT’s Andy Thomas received the VC award on Friday night.
The Flinders Bachelor of Paramedic Science program is approved by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to graduate registered paramedics and is anticipated to increase the retention of staff in the Territory by training up locals.
Flinders paramedicine discipline lead Dr Tim Rayner said he was invested in developing the degree in the NT, as he was forced to leave Darwin in order to pursue tertiary education.
“Previously students had to leave the NT to get the qualification and so this is an opportunity for students to study at home and not leave the Territory,” Dr Rayner said.
“It’s not just for Darwin residents but anyone in the NT.”
Students complete the program online with practical workshop intensives involving St John NT paramedics held twice a semester.
“Flinders has been delivering contemporary paramedicine education for the past 20 years and the program is highly regarded nationally and internationally,” he said.
He said the award recognised the hard work of staff and the satisfaction from students with the program.
“I think it’s excellent recognition of the program we’ve put in place that’s strongly aligned to the student experience with the award really reinforcing the innovation that will ensure that students doing this degree will have relevant clinical understanding and be appropriately trained for entry into the NT paramedic workforce,” he said.
Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students) Professor Deborah West said the program was recognised with the award for providing quality education to students in regional Australia.
“The award recognises the agile, responsive and enterprising teaching practices that has resulted in students of the Bachelor of Paramedic Science NT program receive quality education and training while not having to relocate interstate,” Professor West said.
“The program provides more opportunity for locals to seek higher education, rather than having to relocate for their studies.”
St John NT Ambulance Services director Andrew Thomas said the collaboration with Flinders was important as it trained students to understand the complex and unique workload paramedics in the Territory faced.
“The experience of working on the road here cannot be taught anywhere else in the country and we are pleased to be working with Flinders University in offering clinical placements to students that will help embed them in the Northern Territory community,” Mr Thomas said.
Flinders University has a significant record in making an impact on the Territory health workforce.
In addition to the paramedicine program, Flinders has over 20 years of on-the-ground presence in the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory Medical Program (NTMP) just celebrated 10 years of local students. The upcoming graduation will see over 150 medical graduates added to the Northern Territory workforce over this time, including 15 Indigenous doctors. In addition, Flinders also supports over 400 placements for allied health and nursing students each year, inspiring nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to work in the Territory in the future.
Applications are now open for the Bachelor of Paramedic Science NT course for 2022.
To find out more about the Bachelor of Paramedic Science NT head to: https://www.flinders.edu.au/study/health/paramedics