Get to know your College alumni: David Dalmaso

Bachelor of Health Sciences (Paramedic) 2012, Graduate Diploma in Intensive Care Paramedic Studies, 2021

Current position: Paramedic and Clinical Educator with SA Ambulance Service.

What led you to study postgraduate Intensive Care Paramedicine at Flinders University?

I started my paramedic internship with the SA Ambulance Service in January 2012. Over the last 10 years I have worked largely as an on-road paramedic, but also as a Clinical Instructor and Clinical Educator for SA Ambulance Service.

The next step in my career is to become an intensive care paramedic, hence I undertook a postgraduate diploma in Intensive Care Paramedicine (ICP). I recently successfully interviewed for an Intensive Care Paramedic Internship with the SA Ambulance Service, and I will commence in November 2022.

What roles do Intensive Care Paramedics play in patient care?

ICPs have a larger scope of practice and can provide more therapeutic interventions than a normal paramedic. For example, cardioversion, external cardiac pacing, cricothyrotomy (surgical airway procedure), and administration of additional medications.

They act as senior clinicians and leaders during a complex scene and patient management. Often the ICP will value add through things such as leadership, closed loop communication, providing a safe and positive environment for collaborative teamwork. Often the ICP won’t physically touch the patient, but instead will stand back and manage the scene with a more holistic lens of what needs to be done for best patient care.

ICPs also have an education role and will conduct reflective case reviews and clinical audits with paramedics in an attempt to identify areas where patient care and on-road practice can be improved.

How did studying the Intensive Care Paramedic qualification enable you to develop your career?

Studying the Graduate Diploma in Intensive Care Paramedicine has increased my clinical knowledge and capacity for critical thinking in stressful and complex situations. The extra knowledge I gained has helped me deliver improved patient care and has also furthered my capacity for leadership and communication in the pre-hospital setting.

What are the three most important professional attributes that your Flinders degree equipped you with? 

  • Increased clinical knowledge
  • Critical thinking in stressful and complex situation
  • Leadership and communication

What do you enjoy most about being a Clinical Instructor and Educator?

I have been involved with education for a long time as a secondary focus, including teaching paramedic science students at Flinders University on a casual basis, working with paramedic interns on road, working in the SA Ambulance Clinical Education setting.

I have recently won a fulltime contract working as a clinical educator with SA Ambulance and I am involved with developing and facilitating clinical content to my paramedic colleagues. This involves developing online content for ongoing professional development and facilitating face to face training in both the metro and country regions of SA.

The role also involves research and development of new clinical initiatives, for example, reviewing pain management guidelines and researching potential areas of improvement.

I really like working as a clinical educator as it gives me the opportunity to positively influence the professional development of my colleagues, which subsequently leads to improved patient care on road.

What are your future career goals and plans?

To become an Intensive Care Paramedic, as well as to continue working in clinical education alongside the on-road component of being a paramedic.

What does being a Flinders University graduate mean to you?

I am proud of the education I received from Flinders University and would recommend the post graduate diploma to those seeking a well-rounded degree that includes both practical and didactic components. In addition to increasing your clinical knowledge it will also help develop you critical thinking.

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