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Your task is to write an essay outlining the history and evolution of paramedic practice in Australia. The assignment is subdivided into two major sections:

1.History of Australian ambulance services – where and why did ambulance services start in Australia. You may also wish to consider discussing:

2.What services were there for people that were sick and injured before the

3.What was the role and scope of practice (abilities) of the “stretcher bearer” in the early years of paramedic practice?

4.Evolution of paramedic practice – how and why has paramedic practice evolved in Australia. You may wish to consider discussing:

5.How and why did we go from simple first aiders to paramedics who can perform a range of invasive procedures? You may like to include examples such as use of intravenous fluids for trauma including how and why this treatment has changed over time – particularly for trauma patients.

6.What and when were some of the major milestones of paramedic practice in Australia? For example, when and why were Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) Paramedics introduced to Victoria or Extended Care Paramedics (ECPs) in NSW?

7.What does the future look like for paramedics? Where is the profession going? What will paramedics be doing and where will they be possibly working e.g. in GP clinics? What is driving the evolution of paramedic practice? 
 

Introduction of Ambulance Service in Australia

 It is the paramedics who acts in times of emergencies and for years their roles have evolved within the framework of healthcare (Stanley,  Hom & Joiner, 2016). A paramedic is highly skilled and trained medical professional who is educated in order to carry out some of the duties of a physician. A paramedic in Australia is a healthcare professional position requires developed skills in this specific field along with training for years as it deals with all types of medical and trauma emergencies outside of a hospital setting before and during transportation to a medical facility. The paper aims to discuss the history and evolution of paramedic practice in Australia. The essay will discuss the Australian ambulance service from an historical aspect including the area and the reason for starting in Australia. The services that were present before the introduction of ambulance services in Australia will be discussed in the essay. The evolution of paramedic practice in Australia will be included in the essay covering the reasons, the ways paramedics evolved and the time period that led to the growth of the paramedics in Australia. 


The first recognized ambulance service in New South Wales commenced operation on 1 April 1895, was known as the Civil Ambulance and Transport Brigade. The first ambulance station that was in Railway Square, Sydney which was actually a police station that was staffed by two permanent officer. In the situation the patients were transported on hand-held stretchers and hand litters (Perkins et al. 2015). The brigade was an organization that was community based and in the year 1899 it operated the first horsedrawn ambulance and in the year 1912 the first motor vehicle. The both of the vehicles were donated by public to the brigade. In the year 1937, radio controlled vehicles began operating, a rescue service began in the year 1941 and a training school was introduced in 1961. In the year 1967 an air ambulance began operating and it was 1976 when the advanced life support and intensive care vehicles were introduced. It has been over hundred years of it and now the organization operates from 266 different locations along with over 3700 employees across the state. Today, the organization has over 800 ambulance, 300 support vehicles along with nine helicopters and four fixed wing aircraft. The people in the state can be justifiably proud of the ambulance service that has been built by them. There is collection of excellent teams who have constantly continued the excellent service and the traditions of excellence in pre-hospital care.

Evolution of Paramedic Practice in Australia

The ambulance in the state celebrates more than 25 years. Prior to the 1970s most of the ambulance services were staffed by volunteer staff or paid staff known as ‘ambulance bearers’ of simply ‘bearers’. In order to work with them, the basic qualification required was merely a possession of a first aid certificate or a home nursing course certificate. Few of the workers were trained to administer Trichloroethylene in order to do bandage and splint it was the skills that played the key role forming the core of the training sessions. During the 1970s, a formal training blocks was commenced by Queensland at the Ambulance Officer training Centers. Also, the metropolitan Ambulance Service in Melbourne the mobile Intensive Care Ambulance program was developed by Victoria. In the next few years, there were certain officers who were provided training in coronary care that would help them in treating patients with semi-automatic defibrillators (Calle et al., 2015). Then onwards, the semi-automatic defibrillators along with three lead ECG cardiac monitoring were mandatorily present in the ambulances. In the 1990s, an appropriate training began processing when the Queensland Ambulance Service Trained recruits got in conjunction with South Brisbane TAFE. Graduates would be resented with a diploma in health Science after three years course. They could become a ‘Qualified Ambulance officer’ after the diploma. The staffs that were already present would complete the bridging course and carry on their service. During the mid-2000s, universities began to offer Bachelor of Paramedicine that would help an individual gain employment with Australian services. 


In the earlier days of human conflict, there have been situations when the wounded soldiers would be left untouched in the battlefield. The ones that would recover were transported by their compatriots to a place where care was available by whatever means were available. Several patients would be lost on the ways to a place of amenities. Later the surgeons and doctors would be advised to go with the army unit in order to provide basic helps. For the sick and injured people, during the 1240 the sick people would go to charity hospitals and the dead people would go to chapel on stretcher. The stretchers were dressed in long robes with faces covered. There are no evidences of ambulance in the next 500 years and it was only in the eighteenth century when some hospitals began offering porterage of the sick and injured. Later, slowly the hospitals began to understand the need for vehicles to save the people who are injured or sick. The paramedics sector have changed dramatically over the years. It has been influenced and informed by several rages of social, economic, health, political and professional factor. There have been reflection of these changes, sometimes it is either the perception of the discipline or the manner in which its membership is trained, educated and socialized. Paramedics today, is one of the best semi-profession that actually want to achieve the status of full profession.

Training of Paramedics in Australia

Australian paramedics have always been considered as an occupation regardless of a significant regulatory evolution that occurred in their discipline. From stretcher-bearers, ambulance officer and ambulance driver to paramedics, the discipline as a profession has made a long progress. However, while the discipline was evolving, paramedic’s regulatory framework sustained to be self-regulatory through employer governance. This does not reflect the professionalized role of paramedics in the society which is supposed required in the society. The role of the paramedics is one of the roles that evolving cross many countries including Australia. Demand of the health services over the years have encouraged the profession to develop. Although paramedics have yet to figure out the place where they belong, it is one of the important part in the healthcare service. 


The reason paramedics are preferred more than someone who is simple first aiders can be various. Paramedics are devoted towards emergencies such as the calls received from 911. They are the emergency medical assistance that people need. They are simply not present for providing the first aids, they perform various other duties. They work for the most important thing on earth, the life. Even when health is taken good care, accidents are inevitable. They can occur any time which is the time when paramedics play the crucial part. They are the life saver during life-threatening situations. They provide the emergency care to the ones in need and provide medical assistance. They are trained in ways that makes them fast-responding with quick-thinking skills in order to provide assistance to the sick and injured patients. Often patients do not make it till the hospitals for being stuck in difficult situations. The paramedics perform the emergencies while bringing them to the surgeons and doctors. They are important than someone knowing the first aid skills as they do not provide emergency care. Paramedics are always available every time they are called medical assistance. A vital responsibility is performed by the paramedics involving transporting the patients to the hospital in a safe and efficient manner. They are also significant as they are the first medical responder to any sort of medical emergency situations. Since they are well trained, they handle the situation in professional and efficient manner. They are the first one to inform the hospitals regarding the emergencies and patients’ medical conditions. Paramedics have played important role in society for a very long time.to see it from a different perspectives they are the people who compromise their personal lives in order to help saving lives.

Role of Paramedics in Emergency Medical Services

The Australian mobile intensive care ambulance are the ambulance that are well equipped and staffed by highly trained paramedics. They are 24 hours available for providing services in the emergencies. They are also towards patients that require a higher level of care than a regular ambulance can provide (Huber et., 2014). Mobile paramedics are highly efficient as it is regulated by highly trained and regulated medical professionals. Along with the other paramedics, they hold the degree of advanced diploma of health science or some other recognized bachelor’s degree. An extra study to the MICA level is done by the professionals of the MICA. First MICA shift began in 1971 with two paramedics along with a doctor. Todays, the service has become more than 45years. It was initiated to provide emergency services that would be proud of providing service on time in the right place. They offer pre-hospital treatment and ambulance transport for people who are in need of urgent medical emergencies. The practice of clinical practices are leading edges and saving lives. Their paramedics work to underpin their purpose of improving the health outcomes of the Victorian community. According to them, their service was born in the community and it remains in the same. The board of director develops strategic direction, oversea financial and service performances in order to ensure regulatory and government policy requirement (Victoria, 2016). 


The future of paramedics is certainly bright. With the advancement in the technology and the medicine, there is lot of scope for the field to develop. The profession is likely to get separate discipline of its own. The innovative ideas and the innovative thought people always ted to push their boundaries and their limits. The future is paramedics are looking only brighter than it was in the past. Although there is ambiguity regarding the field and the path it is leading, it is possible it can go in a department that is associated with the public safety (Griffiths, 2015). There have been numerous companies around the world that announces various projects and innovations that they hope will be revolutionary. It will be revolutionary in the pre-hospital emergency care industry forever. The future holds RenovaCare’s CellMist system, cresilon’s TraumaGel, the perfuming Cadaver Model and head-Up CPR. There is certainty that the future of the paramedics are bound to be very bright for they are better equipped and better prepared for the worst kind of emergencies (Russ-Eft, Levine & Fernandez, 2014).

Paramedics have always paced their patients to the first position as priority. They have shown their responsibility, compassion, understanding and empathy in order to provide care. As discussed above, along with healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurse and pharmacist, paramedic plays vital role in the healthcare industry. It is the paramedics who acts in times of emergencies and for years their roles have evolved within the framework of healthcare. However it is indeed the fact that a paramedic in Australia is a healthcare professional position requires developed skills in this specific field along with training for years as it deals with all types of medical and trauma emergencies outside of a hospital setting before and during transportation to a medical facility. The paramedics have made life of people safe and helped them during emergencies. 

References:

Calle, P. A., Mpotos, N., Calle, S. P., & Monsieurs, K. G. (2015). Inaccurate treatment decisions of automated external defibrillators used by emergency medical services personnel: incidence, cause and impact on outcome. Resuscitation, 88, 68-74.

Griffiths, E. (2015). The search and rescue helicopter paramedic: an emerging role. Journal of Paramedic Practice, 7(8), 402-407.

Huber, K., Gersh, B. J., Goldstein, P., Granger, C. B., & Armstrong, P. W. (2014). The organization, function, and outcomes of ST-elevation myocardial infarction networks worldwide: current state, unmet needs and future directions. European heart journal, 35(23), 1526-1532.

Perkins, G. D., Jacobs, I. G., Nadkarni, V. M., Berg, R. A., Bhanji, F., Biarent, D., ... & Deakin, C. D. (2015). Cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation outcome reports: update of the utstein resuscitation registry templates for out-of-Hospital cardiac arrest: a statement for healthcare professionals from a task force of the international liaison committee on resuscitation (American heart association, european resuscitation council, australian and New Zealand council on resuscitation, heart and stroke foundation of Canada, InterAmerican heart foundation, resuscitation council of southern africa .... Circulation, 132(13), 1286-1300.

Russ-Eft, D., Levine, R., & Fernandez, A. R. (2014). Objective career success among paramedics: interaction effects of location and race. Human Resource Development International, 17(1), 10-29.

Stanley, I. H., Hom, M. A., & Joiner, T. E. (2016). A systematic review of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics. Clinical Psychology Review, 44, 25-44.

Victoria, A. (2016). Clinical Practice Guidelines for ambulance and MICA paramedics. Ambulance Victoria.

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