Current Honours students

Matthew Ferris

Commenced: March 2020 (Full time)

Thesis title: Assessment of cumulative fatigue using subjective and objective measures amongst rural paramedics: a pilot study.

Supervisors: Dr. Kelly-Ann Bowles, Dr. Alex Wolkow, Dr. Emma Bosley, Prof Shantha Rajaratnam

Research Setting: Rural Paramedic Fatigue, Extended Duty Shifts, On-call Periods, Cumulative Fatigue, Vigilant Attention

Clinical/ Research Expertise:

I am a paramedic working with Queensland Ambulance Service, working in a regional town in central Queensland. I have experience as a relief officer in charge (OIC), relief clinical support officer (CSO), tutoring and mentoring undergraduate students. Working in a regional and rural setting for the majority of my career has provided me experience in challenging my clinical knowledge, expanding my scope of practice through phone consults and working extended duty periods. From this I have personal experience of how fatiguing a rotation in the outback, at times, can be. I felt as though it was something worth quantifying to examine if it was a global issue.

My honours dissertation is looking at the effects of cumulative fatigue (i.e., duty periods of 8 continuous days) on subjective and objective measures. I aim to use quantitative research methods to gather data on fatigue levels throughout one duty period and explore how experience in the profession, age or type of job contributes to the fatigue.

Rebecca McCrory

Commenced: Feb 2020 (Part Time)

Supervisors: Dr. Kelly-Ann Bowles, Adjunct A/Prof Alan Eade, Dr. Kate Cantwell

Research Setting: Pre-hospital, paramedic, CPG, Pharmacological management, Literature Review

Clinical/ Research Expertise:

I graduated from Monash University in 2019, and enrolled in the honours program. I decided to undertake further study due to my interest in research and rationale behind clinical practice guidelines. My areas of interest are women’s’ health, pharmacological management of conditions and also ECGs. I am currently working as a paramedic with Ambulance Victoria (taking intermission for my graduate year), located in metropolitan Melbourne.

Matthew Metcalf

Commenced: August 2020 (Part time)

Thesis: Do emergency services benefit from centralised disaster response training centres/programs?

Clinical/ Research Expertise:

I am a paramedic working for Ambulance Victoria with a background in safety and training within the mining industry. I have a keen interest in disaster response and emergency management, and a passion for continuous learning and evidence-based practice. I see the honours program as a great opportunity to utilise my experience and passions to identify areas lacking research and eventually become a leader within our profession.

I had the opportunity to play a small role as a data analyst on the peer-reviewed paper "The impact of bystander relation and medical training on out-of-hospital cardiac arrest outcomes” published in Resuscitation. This certainly has been motivation to become more involved with research.

Kelsey Sharrock

Commenced: August 2020 (full-time)

Thesis title: Needle decompression versus finger thoracostomy in paramedic practice

Supervisors: Dr Alexander Olaussen, Mr Brendan Shannon

Research setting: Prehospital treatment of tension pneumothorax – associated complications, success and mortality

Clinical/research expertise/background:

I completed my bachelor’s degree of Paramedicine at Monash in 2019 and am currently on the order of merit waiting for a graduate position with Ambulance Victoria. I have been employed with St John Ambulance service for the last 2.5 years whilst I was completing my bachelor’s degree and therefore most of my clinical experience has been in the non-emerge setting and at state events.

Prior to beginning my honours, I had not completed any formal research. However, I have always had a keen interested in trauma and wanted to expand my knowledge within this area. My honours research will focus on the associated mortality, complications and success with paramedics performing a needle decompression versus a finger thoracostomy pre-hospitably for suspected or confirmed tension pneumothorax’s. The research aims to look at the outcomes of both interventions performed at a MICA HEMS and ground level.

Michael Hastie

Commenced: July 2020 (Full Time)

Incidence of paramedic intervention in unplanned out-of-hospital births in a global setting.

Supervisors: Dr Kelly-Ann Bowles, Dr Ensieh Fooladi (Nursing and Midwifery)

Research Setting: Paramedic, maternity, education, training, birth, birth complications.

Clinical/research expertise:

I am a Paramedic, with experience working for London Ambulance Service. I have also worked at the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne. Through my time at The Women's and as a Paramedic I have developed an interest in pre-hospital management of maternity presentations.

My honours project is looking into the incidence, exposure and confidence of paramedics to maternity related cases. I hope that through my research I will be able to have an impact on the paramedic education and confidence surrounding maternity cases.

Rachel Irvine

Commenced: Jan 2020 (Full Time)

Thesis: Prehospital Paediatric deaths an Epidemiological Cross-sectional study

Supervisors: Dr Kelly-Ann Bowles, Dr Emma Bosley (QAS), Dr Tan Doan (QAS) and Mr Marc Colbeck (ACU).

Research Setting: Paediatric emergencies, out-of-hospital emergency care, paramedics.

Clinical/research expertise:

I am a Bachelor of Paramedicine graduate from the Australian Catholic University. I have a research interest in the paediatric cohort, specifically establishing an epidemiological cross-sectional study of paediatric deaths in the prehospital setting. I believe prehospital literature lacks research in paediatric deaths specifically in the ambulance service. I would like to fill this gap by analysing the prevalence of conditions leading to paediatric deaths within the ambulance and develop an understanding of any trends or patterns of occurrence in Queensland. I see this project as a foundation for a PhD, with every intention to extend this preliminary research into a wider project that assesses preventative methods for these fatalities.

Rembrandt Bye

Commenced: March 2020 (Full-time)

Thesis title: Does modification to the QuickTrach II technique improve success rates of paramedic-performed front of neck access?

Supervisors: Toby St Clair, Ashleigh Delorenzo and Dr. Kelly-Ann Bowles

Research setting: Advanced airway management and critical-care procedures performed by paramedics

Clinical/research expertise:

I am currently a registered paramedic working in the private sector. I completed my Bachelor of Paramedicine in 2019 at Victoria University and immediately enrolled into the Monash honours program.  My honours program has focused on advanced airway management within the prehospital environment. Our research has examined and evaluated the various techniques of gaining front of neck access for critically-ill patients. Our team will evaluate the safety and efficacy of cricothyroidotomies performed by intensive care paramedics in Victoria, Australia. I also have a keen interest in advancing paramedic skills and interventions along with integrating paramedics deeper into the primary healthcare setting.

Matt Mihaly

Commenced: February 2020 (Full Time)

Thesis title: The changing role of paramedicine: the impact of providing palliative care on paramedic professional identity.

Supervisors: Dr Kelly-Ann Bowles (DCEHPP), Adjunct Associate Professor Dr Bill Lord (DCEHPP)

Research setting: Paramedics, palliative care, community care, non-transport, alternative care pathway, role theory, professional identity, qualitative research

Clinical/Research expertise:

I am an intensive care paramedic working with the ACT Ambulance Service in Canberra. I have experience in continuing professional development, clinical instructing, and ambulance guideline development. My clinical experience has provided the opportunity to identify areas for improvement in ambulance care delivery. Palliative care is a novel and challenging area for paramedics as it represents a significant departure from the traditional emergency treatment and transport role of a paramedic.

My Honours project will explore to what extent paramedics believe their role is in attending to patients receiving palliative care and report on the challenges that they face in caring for this patient cohort. My research will explore these views through the lens of role theory with specific reference to professional identity. Research results will help inform the development of guidelines and education initiatives that meet the needs of paramedics and empower them to deliver effective and patient-centred palliative care.

Jack Hook

Commenced: March 2020 (part time)

Thesis title: The effect of daylight savings time transitions on the incidence of acute myocardial infarction and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The effect of daylight savings time transitions on the incidence of out-of- hospital cardiac arrest: An interrupted time series analysis.

Supervisor: Dr. Ziad Nehme. Senior research fellow at Ambulance Victoria and Advanced Life Support (ALS) Paramedic.

Research setting: Sleep deprivation, Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI), out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA)

Clinical/research expertise:

I am an ALS paramedic currently working in Melbourne and northern suburbs. Working in the pre-hospital setting has allowed me to be exposed to multitude of emergency cases where I have been able to develop the skills required to deliver best care.

This has also exposed me to the strain that shift work may have on staff and birthed a personal passion to research the effects of shift work and sleep deprivation. I have no prior research experience, so this course has been exciting for me to be able to learn new skills.

My honours project is the first of its kind, looking specifically at how changes to and from daylight savings time, effects the incidence of out-of- hospital cardiac arrest. This is an exciting time to be a part of the Paramedicine research, as traditional practices are now validated by empirical evidence to ensure every patient receives optimal care.

Derek Collings- Hughes

Commenced: March 2020 (part time)

Commenced: August 2020 (Part time).

Supervisors: Professor Brett Williams and Dr Ruth Townsend

Research setting: Paramedics, professionalism, codes of conduct, ethics

Clinical/ research experience:

I am a Paramedic working for St John Ambulance Western Australia in the southern suburbs of Perth. I have held various roles in prehospital care, starting as a volunteer in New Zealand, working in non-emergency transport and now as an emergency ambulance paramedic in WA. I have always had a keen interest for understanding how paramedics make decisions, which non-clinical factors they take into consideration and how paramedicine is changing with the introduction of registration. My honours degree will focus on understanding how much paramedics and other health professionals know about their professional codes of conduct and how this affects their clinical practice.