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A new class of care for AV paramedics

February 19, 2024 | in News

Australia’s first class of paramedic practitioners have commenced their master’s degree, helping to fill a newly created role within Ambulance Victoria (AV).

In an Australian first, the course, delivered by Monash University, will train paramedics to provide a new and expanded level of care to people in the community and ease pressure on hospital emergency departments.

For many patients, it will eliminate the need for them to go to hospital, which also frees up more ambulances to respond to the most critically ill patients.

This innovative model of care will complement existing health workforce models and support the delivery of contemporary healthcare that meets the needs of our community, particularly in rural and regional areas.

Paramedics Norieul Kinross (left) and Sean Duggan (right) are taking on the new Paramedic Practitioner master’s degree course at Monash University.

AV Ballarat Paramedic Community Support Coordinator (PCSC) Sean Duggan said he was motivated to apply for the course after working closely with regional and remote communities.

“Having grown up in a rural town and still being involved with local community groups, I have witnessed firsthand the impacts of chronic diseases and poor health care outcomes,” he said.

“The paramedic practitioner role will offer these rural communities an alternative pathway to health care and allow me to become a community health care advocate.

“It’s a very exciting time to be part of an ambulance service like AV and see this role introduced, which will offer countless benefits to all Victorians.

“This new program and position of Paramedic Practitioner will be recognised not only Australia-wide but also world-wide and I feel very privileged to be a part of it.”

AV Strathbogie Paramedic Community Support Coordinator (PCSC) Norieul Kinross is taking on the course, inspired by educating communities about health care and increasing resources to safe and accessible care.

“Every community has different healthcare needs, and this role will work towards better meeting those needs,” she said.

“The practitioner role will better support patients on their health care journey and help keep them out of hospital.”

AV Medical Director Professor David Anderson said the new position reflected AV’s changing role within the community and cements AV as a global leader in pre-hospital emergency care.

“Over the past decade, the role of a paramedic has undergone a significant transformation, evolving from focusing on emergency treatments and patient transportation to becoming frontline care providers,” he said.

“Our focus is on ensuring Victorians get the care they need, when and where they need it – and the skills of our future paramedic practitioners will better help us achieve this.”

The Paramedic Practitioners Master’s degree was developed in 2023 by Monash University in consultation with AV.