Students make arresting case on research

Students make arresting case on research
ambulance-standardFive students from the Bachelor of Health Sciences/Masters of Paramedicine course plan to travel to Hobart at the beginning of November, where they will present a paper comparing the effectiveness of interventions by paramedics during cardiac arrests at the annual Paramedics Australasia Annual Conference.

‘A lot of research is currently being conducted into how paramedics deal with cardiac events and major traumas,’ said Alex Spence, a second year paramedicine student and one of six students who conducted the research.

‘The purpose of our research was to appraise journal articles relating to pre-hospital patient outcomes in cardiac arrests. We compared the interventions of highly trained MICA (Mobile Intensive Care) paramedics and regular paramedics.’

Ms Spence says that evidence from Australia and the United States strongly suggests that MICA paramedics and similar professionals in other ambulance services around the world improve survival rates in pre-hospital cardiac arrest patients.

‘We support Ambulance Victoria's decision to widely introduce MICA paramedics and believe that patient outcomes will continue to justify their employment. They have demonstrated a superior ability to master life saving techniques.’

Ms Spence says that the presentation, which began as a class assignment, will demonstrate the course’s focus on evidence based practice whilst drawing on research at the cutting edge of academic enquiry in the field of paramedicine.

The paper is one of eleven student papers that will be presented at the conference to an audience of industry professionals from every ambulance service in Australia and New Zealand.

‘The course has only been in operation for two years so we are very aware that we have to establish a strong reputation within the industry and meet some high expectations.’

However, Ms Spence says a lack of funds threatens to stop their journey before it has begun.

‘So far the La Trobe Rural Health School’s Department of Paramedicine has given us $200 each towards the registration of the conference. We have attempted to raise money by contacting community groups in Bendigo, but those who have responded have advised that all funds allocated for these types of programs have already been distributed for the year.

‘We were also encouraged to create some posters and enter a poster competition a couple of months ago. However none of our posters won any prize money.

‘At the moment some of us don’t know if we will have enough money to go. It costs around $400 for each of us just to attend the conference. While it doesn’t sound a lot to people who are in full time employment, that’s a lot of money for a student,’ said Ms Spence.

‘There’s also the cost of accommodation as well as the rest of our conference fees. So we are asking for support from community organisations or individuals who are in a position to help us promote the excellent course that’s available in Bendigo.’

To donate, please contact Ms Spence at


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