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Training HEMS teams: learning from the past, shaping the future


Associate Professor Cliff Reid

Director of Emergency Medicine Training
NSW Ambulance Greater Sydney Area Helicopter Emergency Medical Service



Cliff works in emergency medicine at Mona Vale Hospital and in intensive care at Dubbo Base Hospital. He is a clinical associate professor in emergency medicine at Sydney University Medical School.



Australian Helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) teams require a diverse range of competencies to execute both prehospital and interhospital missions. All new physician and paramedic team members have learning needs that need to be addressed prior to becoming mission ready. A training regimen has been developed that focuses on team performance, and is guided by a six-monthly feedback loop between the induction training course and quality improvement activities such as morbidity and mortality, airway audit, and ‘coffee and cases’. The iterative evolution of the course over the last six years is described along with the challenges of evaluating its effectiveness and the resources required to host it.



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