PhD Students

The Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice is committed to developing the next generation of paramedic PhD scholars, professionalising paramedic care, and building capacity for paramedic researchers internationally. We are committed to pursuing knowledge through research to
help develop contemporary paramedic best-practice nationally and internationally.

PhD Graduates

The following past students have been associated with our Department or supervised by staff from our Department.

Graduand

Year

Thesis Title

Susan Irvine

2018

Exploration of Self-Regulatory Behaviours of Near-Peer teachers: A Social Cognitive Perspective

Suryanto Suryanto

2018

Exploring Prehospital Care in Indonesia

Simon Sawyer

2018

The paramedic response to intimate partner violence

Linda Ross

2018

Investigating the psychosocial issues impacting older people in the out-of-

Judith O'Halloran

2017

Ascertaining the capacity for interpersonal understanding of potential and practicing doctors

Waleed Alshehri

2017

Workplace violence in the emergency department in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Ala’a Oteir

2017

The pre-hospital management of suspected spinal cord injury and its association

Abdulellah Al Thobaity

2016

Exploring disaster nursing core competencies and roles in Saudi Arabia.

Shane Costello

2016

Person-centred psychometrics and cognitive style: Moving from variables to a person-centred approach

Bill Lord

2011

Factors affecting paramedics' assessment and judgement about pain

Erin Smith

2009

Paramedic perception of risk and willingness to work during disasters: a qualitative and quantitative analysis

Malcolm Boyle

2009

Trauma triage and error identification in prehospital trauma management

Leanne Boyd

2009

What is the utility, feasibility, propriety and accuracy of the health promotion

Amee Morgans

2006

Patient decision making in prehospital health emergencies

Previous Research Graduates


Dr Ziad Nehme

Ziad commenced his academic studies with DCEHPP in 2004, completing the Bachelor of Emergency Health (Paramedic). After gaining a taste for research he went on to undertake a Bachelor of Emergency Health (Paramedic)(Honours) at DCEHPP in 2007. Ziad is now a paramedic and a NHMRC Early Career Fellow with expertise in prehospital emergency care and cardiac arrest research. He holds appointments as a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Research and Evaluation, Ambulance Victoria; Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice, DCEHPP and Research Fellow at the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University.  Ziad has over 10 years’ experience as an advanced life support paramedic with Ambulance Victoria, and is the Ambulance representative to the Australian Resuscitation Council (Victoria).


Dr Abdulellah AlThobaity

Abdulellah selected Monash University for his PhD as it has an excellent reputation globally, and it is very well-known in his home country of Saudi Arabia. Monash is ranked very high amongst the world’s universities for paramedic and emergency health research. When selecting a University, the availability of supervisors who are experts in the field of prehospital disaster was of prime importance to Abdulellah.On graduation Abdulellah commented that his experience at Monash University had been one of the best and most rewarding times of his life. These experiences included learning from outstanding supervisors who are experts in different types of research methodologies and who provide endless help and support for international students. Also, Monash provided research students with a series of training courses covering research essentials: how to make publications, and completing research with high integrity. Abdulellah is excited to take all the experiences that he gained from Monash University and put them into practice in his professional context in Saudi Arabia.


Dr Shane Costello

Shane interests are primarily drawn from the study of individual differences (personality and cognitive abilities). This area of research seeks to further our understanding about people, who they are, how they differ from each other and why they do what they do. In addition, Shane was particularly interested
in the study of psychometrics, or measurement science, which relates to the design, construction, validation, and evaluation of psychological instruments. He also maintains interests in trauma for emergency services workers and aviation human factors and he uses the learnings from his research in his
current role as a Lecturer at Monash University.


DCEHPP PhD Graduates

Dr Simon Sawyer

Simon’s thesis: The paramedic response to intimate partner violence


Dr Linda Ross

Linda is the Deputy Head of the Department of Community Emergency Health & Paramedic Practice and leads the Undergraduate Program. She practiced as an Advanced Life Support Paramedic with Ambulance Victoria for 15 years before becoming a full time academic in 2012. Since joining DCEHPP she has completed a Master’s of Health Professional Education investigating establishing rapport with patients, and most recently a PhD investigating the psychosocial needs of older people and developing paramedic awareness of these issues. She is predominantly involved in educational research with interests and experience including interpersonal communication, service learning, clinical placements, and care of older adults. Linda is also actively involved in facilitating and fostering paramedic led research and events via her roles as a HRD supervisor and position on the ANZCP Research Committee.

Linda’s thesis: Investigating the psychosocial issues impacting older people in the out-of-hospital environment, and building the awareness and capacity of paramedic graduates to recognise and address these issues.


Dr Ala’a Oteir

Ala'a is a passionate academic, researcher, paramedic and physiotherapist. Ala’a is from Jordan, and moved to Australia to commence his PhD, receiving a scholarship from Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST). His research interest focused on the use of prehospital spinal immobilisation and its association with patient outcomes. During his PhD Ala’a published in the top prehospital emergency journals and presented at several international conferences. One of his papers was selected in the top three papers in the Paramedics Australasia International Conference 2015. Ala’a was actively involved in teaching and research with DCEHPP including teaching research units, participating in practical tutorials, and assessing students in theoretical and practical exams. It is noteworthy that Ala’a is the first paramedic with a PhD degree in Jordan. He is now back in Jordan, re-joined JUST, and is aiming to use his teaching and research experience to improve the paramedics program at JUST as well as the paramedic profession, education and research in Jordan and the Middle East.

Ala’a thesis: The Pre-Hospital Management of Suspected Spinal Cord Injury and its Association with Patient Outcomes.


Saeed Alqahtani

Australia New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre

BHSc (Paramedic), MSc (Crit Care Paramedic)

Thesis title: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest precipitated by non-cardiac causes: Epidemiology, outcomes, and long-term functional recovery.

Primary Supervisor: Prof Brett Williams (DCEHPP, Monash University)

Co-Supervisors: Dr Ziad Nehme (Adjunct DCEHPP, Monash University /Ambulance Victoria)

Email: saalq6@student.monash.edu

PhD Project Summary
Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a significant public health problem affecting over 25,000 Australians each year. Internationally, the proportion of patients surviving to hospital discharge is low, ranging between 6.7% and 8.4%.Historically, OHCAs of presumed cardiac aetiology have predominantly been the focus of research internationally, and have benefited significantly from optimisation of the chain of survival. Conversely, OHCAs precipitated by non-cardiac aetiologies, such as respiratory causes, asphyxiation, drug overdose and exsanguination, have received comparatively little investigation despite their growing incidence and poor survival outcomes. The effectiveness of conventional treatment strategies, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation also remain unclear in OHCA populations of non-cardiac aetiology, given the vast majority of arrests present with non-shockable rhythms.

In Australia, there is a lack of information about the epidemiology of OHCAs precipitated by non-cardiac aetiologies. In addition, international reports vary considerably in the incidence and epidemiological profile of OHCA cases precipitated by non-cardiac causes. For example, the incidence rate was 26 per 100,000 person-years with a mean age of 50 years in Finland, while a study from Scotland reported the incidence rate to be less than half that at 10.5 per 100,000person-years with median age of 67 years. Although several reports from Australia have described the epidemiology of OHCA due to trauma, hanging or drowning, there is comparatively little information on OHCA precipitated by respiratory causes, asphyxiation, drug overdose and exsanguination. As such, our understanding of the long-term trends in incidence and the epidemiological profile of these populations remains unclear.

In OHCA precipitated by cardiac causes, the likelihood of survival to hospital discharge is typically influenced by prognostic factors such as witness status, community interventions such as bystander CPR and public access defibrillation, shorter response intervals by emergency medical services (EMS) and a shockable rhythm on EMS arrival. However, the value of these prognostic factors for determining short-term survival in OHCA sprecipitated by non-cardiac causes is not well understood. For example, a prospective study from Japan involving 187 OHCA patients reported that an initial shockable rhythm was not associated with one month survival following OHCA precipitated by drug overdose. In contrast, a Swedish study involving 177OHCAs reported that an initial shockable rhythm was significantly associated with one month survival and favourable neurological outcome following OHCA due to drug overdose. Few reports from Australia and elsewhere have evaluated the outcomes of OHCA of non-cardiac aetiologies, and existing reports are limited by small sample sizes and therefore lack generalisability.

There is also growing concern that OHCA patients who survive to hospital discharge experience ongoing functional disability and poor neurological outcomes. These concerns have led clinicians to question the benefit of prolonged resuscitation attempts in OHCAs precipitated by non-cardiac aetiologies. Unfortunately, little is known about long-term functional outcomes in survivors of OHCA precipitated by non-cardiac aetiology. A small study conducted in survivors of traumatic OHCA from Melbourne, Australia, reported poor functional outcomes at one year follow-up. A recent landmark publication from Victoria, Australia, described the 12 month functional outcomes of OHCA survivors and showed that most survivors maintained good functional recovery. However, 84% of cases in that study were of presumed cardiac aetiology, and outcomes related specially to non-cardiac aetiologies were not reported. As such, there is a need to investigate the long-term neurological outcomes of OHCA survivors from non-cardiac aetiologies.


Ahmad Alrawashdeh

Thesis title: Epidemiology and management of chest pain and acute coronary syndrome in the prehospital setting.

Primary Supervisor: Professor Brett Williams (DCEHPP, Monash University)

Co-Supervisors: Dr Ziad Nehme (Adjunct DCEHPP, Monash University /Ambulance Victoria)

Dr Dion Stub (Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Monash University)

Email: ahmad.alrawashdeh@monash.edu

PhD Project Summary
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and in Australia (1).Chest pain and other symptoms suggestive of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) are common presenting complaints in the emergency setting. It is estimated that over 500,000 patients with chest pain present to the emergency department in Australia each year (2). Furthermore, chest pain is the most frequent complaint reported to emergency medical services (EMS) (3, 4), and accounts for approximately 15% of the emergency caseload in the city of Melbourne (5).

The objectives of this research project are:

1. To characterise the epidemiology and incidence of non-traumatic chest pain presenting to EMS in Victoria
2. To describe the variability in prehospital diagnosis, clinical assessments and treatment inpatients presenting with non-traumatic chest pain. 
3. To evaluate the impact of introducing widespread 12-lead ECG capability in Victorian ambulances on the identification STEMI and delays in the prehospital time interval.
4. To describe the prehospital intervals of patients with suspected STEMI using EMS and identify factors associated with prehospital delays from symptom onset to reperfusion.
5. To assess the accuracy of paramedic diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome and its impact on total ischaemic time and treatment delays.


Talal Mamdouh AlShammari

Australia New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre

BHSc (Paramedic), MSc (Paramedical Science CC)

Thesis title: Family members of cardiac patients, how much do they know? And are they willing to perform CPR?

Primary Supervisor: A/Prof Paul Jennings (Adjunct DCEHPP, Monash University /Ambulance Victoria)

Co-Supervisors: Prof Brett Williams (DCEHPP, Monash University)

Email: tmals1@student.monash.edu.au

PhD Project Summary

Currently, the leading cause of death worldwide is cardiac arrest, for people over the age of 40. In a pre-hospital patient with cardiac arrest, the prospect of survivalis very small, except in cases where a lay rescuer starts BLS (Basic Life Support) and utilizes an AED (Automated External Defibrillator), which may double or even triple survival rates for cardiac arrest patients. As the major factor of survival from cardiac arrest, is the availability of a trained lay rescuer who is able to implement his/her skills. ALS (Advanced Life Support) techniques may increase the chances and quality of survival, but these contributions are generally not as effective as the improvement in the rate of survival that can come from increased rates of lay rescuer CPR and the organization of AED programs in society. Taking into consideration that 80% of cardiac arrest events occur in a home setting, the educational endeavour to increase CPR knowledge should primarily focus on family members and spouses of cardiac disease patients.

With every minute the patient is deprived of CPR, his/her survival is decreased by 7-10%.As such, when all medical, social and ethical factors are taken into consideration, it is inevitable to face the fact that the family members and people, who live with a cardiac patient at risk of cardiac arrest, are the most concerned group in providing early pre-hospital CPR. Therefore, studying the current level of CPR knowledge for these patients and family members will provide an important understanding of the current situation, so as to better plan the best approach to dealing with the lack of CPR knowledge and provide early pre-hospital high quality CPR to people who are most likely to suffer from them.

The objective of this research is to study the current level of CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) knowledge of household relatives of cardiac patients and their willingness to perform CPR in case of cardiac arrest. This research will contribute significantly, by identifying the prevalence and characteristics of CPR knowledge of a major risk group. The study will also improve the current understanding of the willingness of family members to perform CPR on their relatives in case of cardiac arrest. Comprehending these factors will help build the appropriate strategy, to improving survival rates and quality of life for patient outcome following ROSC (Return of spontaneous circulation). This can be achieved by providing good quality pre-hospital CPR in the home setting by household family members.


Zainab M. Alqudah

BHSc (Paramedic), MSc (Emergency Health Services)

Thesis title: Controversies in prehospital management for major trauma patient

Primary Supervisor: Prof Brett Williams (DCEHPP, Monash University)

Co-Supervisors: Prof Karen Smith (Adjunct DCEHPP, Monash University /Ambulance Victoria)

Email: zainab.alqudah@monash.edu

PhD Project Summary

Many therapies in the prehospital management of major trauma may be of little value or may be even harmful. There are uncertainty and shortage of evidence-based supporting many prehospital interventions for multiple trauma patients. Such therapies include, intravenous fluid resuscitation, airway control, patient transport and stabilization, traumatic cardiac arrest, and many others. Based on that, this project will aim to investigate some controversies in the prehospital management for major trauma patients by going through the following topics:

  • Pelvic splinting:

A systematic review of pre-hospital management of pelvic injuries. Epidemiological profile of patients receiving a splint for pelvic injuries and the benefit of using a Sam splint in the immobilization of patients with suspected pelvic injuries. Looking at Victorian Trauma Registry data to see if any patients are missed (i.e. Pelvic injuries not splinted).

  • Fluid management in trauma patients

A systematic review of pre-hospital fluid of trauma patients. Descriptive epidemiological analysis of trauma patients receiving fluid therapy pre-hospital.

  • Traumatic pain

Detailed review of patients not achieving adequate pain relief pre-hospital and pain scores versus other factors.

  • Quality of life of traumatic cardiac arrest patients

A review of 6 months AV follow-up data for patients with post-traumatic injuries.


Alan M. Batt

DipEMT, CertDisasterMngt, GradCertICP, MSc(Critical Care), CCP

Thesis title: Preaching what we practice? Developing practice-informed education.

Primary Supervisor: Professor Brett Williams (DCEHPP, Monash University)

Co-Supervisor: Dr. Walter Tavares,

Email: alan.batt@monash.edu

PhDProject Summary

The role of the paramedic is changing rapidly, and the workload has changed focus from emergency response to healthcare delivery in a broader context. Despite this, the preparation and education we provide to students has not changed significantly in many countries. Significant areas of practice are not well-addressed in current curricula including mental health, indigenous population health, IPV, homelessness and more. Demographical changes in populations are also leading to changes in paramedic practice, and thus the current competency frameworks, and resulting curricula may not be fit for purpose.

My research will investigate if we can better prepare students for their evolving role as healthcare professionals, by establishing what paramedic practice is in given contexts, how this should be used to inform competency framework development, and ultimately, how this might impact on curriculum design and development.


Janet Curtis

DipPE, BSc, PGCert Int. Paramedic, PGDip Int. Paramedic, MSc (Hons), MEH

Thesis title: An exploration into workplace bullying in a New Zealand ambulance service

Primary Supervisor: Associate Professor Paul Jennings (Adjunct DCEHPP Monash University/Ambulance Victoria)

Co-Supervisors: Emeritis Professor Michael O'Driscoll (Waikato University, New Zealand)

Dr Cameron Gosling (DCEHPP, Monash University)

Dr Kelly -Ann Bowles (DCEHPP, Monash University)

EmailJanet.Curtis@monash.edu

PhD Project Summary

In the last decade interest in workplace bullying has increased due to its consequences on health of the worker and the organisation (Strandmark K & Hallberg, 2007; Zapf & Einarsen, 2001).

The literature reviewed to date has shown no research looking specifically at the concept of workplace bullying in ambulance services, the prevalence of bullying within ambulance or a link to their organisational climate or culture. A number of factors have been identified in police and fire as causes for bullying. Given that ambulance services have a similar structure and culture, it is possible that ambulance paramedics are at risk of bullying.

Research on organisational efforts to deal with bullying or interventions and their effectiveness to address bullying behaviour is in its infancy (O'Driscoll et al., 2011; Saam, 2010). A literature search did find articles suggesting different approaches that organisations could and should consider to deal with workplace bullying but none have applied them and measured the outcome on bullying behaviour.

The aim of the proposed research is to address the lack of information on workplace bullying in the ambulance sector by investigating the prevalence of workplace bullying in an ambulance service in New Zealand, the interventions being used by this ambulance organisation to deal with workplace bullying and how effective these interventions are perceived by staff. It is hoped that the research will identify barriers to optimal management of workplace bullying in an ambulance service in New Zealand and identify potential solutions to overcome these barriers.


Daniel Cudini

BEx Sci, BEmergHlth (Paramedic), Grad Dip EmergHlth(MICA), MPA

Thesis title: Prehospital assessment and management of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock.

Primary Supervisor: A/Prof Paul Jennings (Adjunct DCEHPP, Monash University/ Ambulance Victoria)

Co-Supervisors: Professor Karen Smith (Adjunct DCEHPP, Monash University/Ambulance Victoria)

Professor Stephen Bernard (Ambulance Victoria)

Professor Karin Thursky (Doherty Institute)

Email: daniel.cudini@monash.edu

PhD Project Summary

The fundamental principles of sepsis management include early assessment /recognition, control of the source of infection, resuscitation with IV (intravenous) fluids and inotropic drugs. Contemporary management has also highlighted the importance of timely administration of broad-spectrum IV antibiotics. This is now considered a quality of care indicator in the management of severe sepsis / septic shock and has significant implications for paramedics working in the pre hospital setting.
Main theme:

  • Impact of pre hospital blood culture collection and subsequent IV antibiotic administration in those patients who present with severe sepsis and septic shock.

Additional areas of interest:

  • Recognition of SIRS (Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) criteria in pre hospital patients presenting with severe sepsis and septic shock.
  • Prehospital fluid resuscitation in severe sepsis and septic shock.

Pieter Francsois Fouche

BHSc (Paramedic), MScMed (ClinEpi)

Thesis title: Rapid Sequence Intubation in Out-of-Hospital Non-Traumatic Brain injuries

Primary Supervisor: A/Prof Paul Jennings (Adjunct DCEHPP, Monash University/Ambulance Victoria)

Co-Supervisors: Prof Stephen Bernard, Prof Karen Smith , A/Prof Malcolm Boyle

EmailPieter.Fouche@monash.edu

Francsois Fouche is a full-time Intensive Care paramedic with the Ambulance Service of New South Wales and works in a small rural station. He is currently a PhD candidate with DCEHPP since 2014 and is investigating rapid sequence intubation (RSI) in non-traumatic brain pathologies. Francsois also has an interest in investigating the value of observational research designs in answering clinical questions.


Justin Hunter

PhD Project Summary

Justin is a nationally certified paramedic and flight paramedic, licensed in the states of Oklahoma and Florida with a heavy interest in teaching entry-level EMTs and paramedics at the collegiate level. Justin is currently undertaking his PhD with Monash University with ambitions to move the EMS agenda forward in America by publishing original empirical data related to EMS and EMS education as well as participating in National Advocacy activities. I am also a currently active paramedic in a busy 911-system in Norman, OK. I am dedicated to giving back to the community through civil service and charitable endeavours. Justin is also the founder and President of EMS Success, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to assisting EMTs and paramedics from across America.


Eihab Khasawneh

DDS, RN, EMT-Paramedic, MSc in Emergency Health Services.

Thesis title: Does Math Anxiety Impact on Medication Calculation Errors in Paramedic Practice?

Primary supervisor: Professor Brett Williams (DCEHPP, Monash University)

Co-supervisor: Dr Cameron Gosling (DCEHPP, Monash University)

Email: Eihab.khasawneh@monash.edu

PhD Project Summary

Math anxiety can be defined as a feeling of tension and apprehension that interferes with math performance ability. It is also defined as a feeling of tension and anxiety that interferes with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems in a wide variety of ordinary life and academic situation. Empirical investigations first began on math anxiety in 1950s. In 1957.

Math anxiety may occur in all levels of education; from primary school to university education.

Paramedics are health care professionals who respond to and treat all kinds of medical and trauma emergencies outside the hospital setting. Paramedic practice starts on scene and continues en-route to hospital. Their scope of practice developed from merely transporting the patients as ‘ambulance drivers’ to hospitals, to now include health assessment, initial diagnosis, treatment plan designing, drug administration and management of the patient in crisis. Paramedics should be effective health care workers, being confident in their abilities to work in stressful situations including drug administration and calculation. As such, math anxiety may impact paramedics. Paramedics are often required to perform drug calculations in the daily care of the patients. However, this may be in uncontrolled environment. Their working environment can vary from a well-lit scene to difficult accessed scenarios

Although the math anxiety causes, preventive measures and impacts has been widely researched since 1950 in most of the educational disciplines, few articles address this problem in the paramedic field.

Project objectives

  1. To identify the facilitators and the barriers of math anxiety in university

    students.

  2. To identify the rate of medication errors reported by Ambulance Victoria (AV)

    paramedics and describe the medication errors types, and case types.

  3. To investigate the predictors /contributing factors to medication errors

    reported by AV paramedics.

  4. To explore the factors identified about math anxiety and how they influence the development of drug calculation ability in undergraduate paramedic students in Victoria.

Rod Mason

MProfEd&Trng(WVET), GradCertOp&DistLearn, DipTAA, DipTAASys, DipBus(FLM).

Thesis title: Individual differences in the psychological makeup of undergraduate paramedic students and their relationship with resilience

Primary Supervisor: Prof Brett Williams (DCEHPP, Monash University)

Co-Supervisors: Dr John Roodenburg and Dr Shane Costello

Email: rod.mason@monash.edu

PhD Summary

The overall purpose of this study is to determine whether there are predispositional profiles that undergraduate paramedic students possess that makes them better suited to, and more likely to flourish in their chosen field. The research question therefore is: “Which of a number of well-established constructs identifying individual psychological differences, dominate among undergraduate paramedic students, and how are these variously related to resilience.” Specifically, the study seeks to identify answers to the following four subsidiary questions:

  1. What cognitive styles/or typologies dominate among undergraduate paramedic students?
  2. What personality types according to the Big-Five/Five Factor Models dominate among undergraduate paramedic students?
  3. What occupational preference types according to Holland’s personality type theory of vocational preferences and social environments dominate among undergraduate paramedic students?
  4. What cognitive styles, personality types and occupational preferences predict to a positive adjustment in paramedics’ resilience?

Ben Meadley

BAppSci (Human Movement); DipParamediSci (Prehospital Care); GradDip Intensive Care Paramed; GradDip EmergHlth (MICA); GradCert EmergHlth (Aeromed Retrieval); MPA, MANZCP

Thesis title: Physiological and metabolic health in Australasian paramedics

Primary Supervisor: Dr Kelly-Ann Bowles (DCEHPP, Monash University)

Co-Supervisors: Associate Professor Maxine Bonham (Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, Monash University)

Professor Karen Smith (Adjunct DCEHPP, Monash University/Ambulance Victoria)

Dr Luke Perraton (Physiotherapy, Monash University)

Dr Joanne Caldwell-Odgers (Physiology, Monash University)

Email: benjamin.meadley@monash.edu

PhD Project Summary

Over recent years, a significant area of research into paramedic wellbeing has focused on issues surrounding mental health. Paramedics are exposed to the range of the human experience, and it is imperative that ambulance services care for the mental health of their staff.

There is a paucity of research investigating what role physical activity and nutrition have in contributing to overall wellbeing in paramedics. A requirement for the delivery of primary and emergency healthcare is to staff such services around the clock; shift work is mandated. Whilst data exist investigating the effects of shift work on a range of professions, there is a gap in the literature with regard to how working as a paramedic may affect the ability to undertake physical activity and access adequate nutrition. Additionally, there is limited evidence to suggest that regular physical activity, and having access to high-quality nutrition improves wellbeing in the paramedic population.

This project will investigate the impact of shift work on paramedics’ ability to undertake physical activity and access high quality nutrition, and how this may influence wellbeing and career longevity. Subgroups to be investigated include graduate paramedics, career paramedics with extended time in the profession, and paramedics undertaking highly specialised roles, such and those working in helicopter emergency medical services.


David Page

MS, BA (Hons), NRP

Thesis title: Competency Measurement in Paramedicine

Primary Supervisor: Prof Brett Williams (DCEHPP, Monash University)

Co-Supervisors: A/Prof Paul Jennings (Adjunct DCEHPP, Monash University /Ambulance Victoria)

Email: david.page@monash.edu

PhD Project Summary

Accreditation standards for paramedic training program in the United States and Australia require students to complete an academic course of study in which students must demonstrate “competency” in the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains of learning. Measurement standards for the attainment of competency are varied and their validity has not been studied. The culmination of most paramedic education is the hospital and ambulance clinical placements. In the US programs must set goals for numbers, ages and types of patient contacts the student must successfully complete. Goals also include attainment of competency as an emergency medical services team leader. Measurement of this attainment is not described in the literature.

Under the previous US department of transportation national standard curriculum (USDOT) programs received a recommended set of national goals. Unfortunately only 8% of paramedic students meet these goals (Salzman/Page 2007).

Since 1996, paramedic programs have been prospectively collecting electronic records of student contacts with patients during clinical placements. More than 10,000 paramedic students have tracked their educationally, using the FISDAP® (Headwaters Software Inc., Saint Paul, Minnesota) database. More detailed analysis of the types and quantities of clinical placement encounters can better informacademic goals and terminal competency measurement.


Brendan Shannon

Bachelor of Emergency Health (Paramedic) (Hons)

Thesis title: What are the societal and cost benefits for health service providers introducing a care diversion program in a community health setting?

Primary Supervisor: Dr Kelly-Ann Bowles (DCEHPP, Monash University)

Co-Supervisors: Dr Cylie Williams (Physiotherapy, Monash University /Peninsula Health)

Dr Nadine Andrews (Central Clinical School, Monash University/Peninsula Health)

Professor Karen Smith (Adjunct DCEHPP, Monash University/Ambulance Victoria)

Email: brendan.shannon@monash.edu

Project summary:

The number of patients presenting to Australian public hospital emergency departments (ED) has increased 17% from 2008 to 2013. This increase is also seen in pre-hospital health services with ambulance demand in Victoria, Australia, increasing by 3.9% in 2015-2016. The reason for these increases is thought to be multifactorial, including but not limited to an ageing population and an increase in the incidence of chronic diseases. This ever-increasing demand for healthcare services particularly in the acute setting has contributed to ambulance ramping and ED and ward bed block. My PhD will examine the impact of the introduction of a Community Care program that aims to divert unnecessary ambulance and ED presentations in a large metropolitan region of Melbourne.

This PhD will help to inform the future development of Community Care programs both nationally and internationally. The data will be useful in establishing and developing programs that, when deemed clinically appropriate, can decentralise healthcare towards true community based alternatives. Evaluation of this data will assist in reducing unnecessary ED admissions, reducing hospital bed block, improving patient flow through the hospital and a cost benefit analysis of community care programs.

If shown to be of benefit community care programs have the potential to reduce ED’s and ambulance services workload, increasing their availability to provide the right care to right patient at the right time.