Monash University will train Australia’s first Paramedic Practitioners, whose skills will ease the pressure on ambulances, emergency departments and other healthcare services.
Victoria’s Premier, the Honourable Daniel Andrews MP, and Minister for Ambulance Services, the Honourable Gabrielle Williams MP, yesterday announced the Paramedic Practitioner Master’s Degree, which will be free to complete.
The Victorian Department of Health chose Monash University as its preferred education provider for the new $20 million program to be rolled out by Monash University and Ambulance Victoria.
Monash University will co-develop the course with Ambulance Victoria and Safer Care Victoria and paramedics, clinicians, hospitals and unions. The first students will start in early 2024, and the first 25 Paramedic Practitioners are expected to be on the road by 2026.
The Paramedic Practitioners will be based in the community, and have the primary care skills to assess, treat, and where necessary, refer patients with a broad range of health conditions.
Monash University’s Department of Paramedicine will work closely with the Department of Health, Safer Care Victoria, and Ambulance Victoria in developing and running the Master’s program and stands ready to evaluate the program and continue to adapt it to enable best practice. It is well placed to do so, as it already trains paramedics and has cutting-edge facilities and programs including a simulation centre and large evaluation studies.
The project will deliver care in areas where people are falling through health system cracks, complementing existing medicine and Nurse Practitioners. Paramedic Practitioners will train in advanced assessment techniques, diagnostics, clinical decision-making, treatment planning, and legal and ethical considerations.
Monash University Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Susan Elliott, AM, said she was thrilled to join the Premier and Minister to announce the innovative program.
“Monash University is proud to be leading the provision of education to help bolster Victoria’s front line health services, now and into the future,” Professor Elliott said. “We are excited to work with Ambulance Victoria, Safer Care Victoria, paramedics, clinicians, hospitals and unions to develop and deliver the degree.”
Dean of Monash University’s Sub-Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Wayne Hodgson, said the University was proud to be chosen to deliver the program - and well prepared.
Professor Hodgson said Monash had already invested more than $16.4 million over the past five years in the growth and development of world class paramedic education and research.
“We understand the strains on our health workforce and the need to look towards innovative practices,” he said. “That's why our researchers and clinicians are focussed on developing, trialling and evaluating all sorts of health workforce innovations that will relieve the pressure on the health workforce and support communities to thrive.
“The Paramedic Practitioner course will leverage off Medicine and Nurse Practitioner programs already developed by Monash University. Practitioner roles throughout the health ecosystem aim to complement each other and strengthen the care available in the community.”
The Department of Paramedicine sits within the sub-Faculty of Health Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University’s largest faculty. One of the world’s leading Paramedic Departments, it was established in 1999 and is nationally recognised for producing graduates of high quality with skills relevant to current industry and community needs.
Opened in 2017, the Monash Postgraduate Paramedic Simulation Centre offers immersive and virtual simulation technologies for Monash University students. It also provides contemporary opportunities nationally and internationally for professional development and short courses.
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