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The ASA+ FNA Conference Photo Competition for 30th Aeromedical Society of Australasia and Flight Nur

The challenges of skills maintenance & continuing professional development in an aeromedical prehospital and retrieval service

Sharon Paddock
SAAS MedSTAR, Adelaide Airport, Australia



Sharon Paddock has over 25 years nursing experience in Intensive care units in the UK and Australia.
She is currently employed as the Nurse Educator at the South Australian Ambulance Service MedSTAR emergency aeromedical retrieval service.


Education; Just ticking boxes for registration or actually useful and relevant?


The Rescue Retrieval & Aviation Services (RRAS) directorate at the South Australian Ambulance Service (SAAS) employs medical, nursing and paramedic staff. Whilst each workgroup has similar mandatory training requirements to meet they have vastly different industrial arrangements impacting their ability to undertake mandatory training.
This situation means planning education and training for SAAS MedSTAR staff is particularly challenging, especially when coupled with the more traditional barriers described throughout the clinical education literature; operational workload, competing workload priorities, workload irregularity, lack of oversight and planning.


At SAAS MedSTAR the responsibility of providing daily education has traditionally been with one of 23 different medical specialists who each work a part-time fraction in prehospital and retrieval as well as in one or more additional health sites. Their availability to teach is influenced by many of the factors as described above. The result was that teaching and training was sporadic, dependent upon the specialists’ passion for education as well as the availability and enthusiasm of teams on base to engage .
Education needed to be inclusive of all specialties and workgroups. It needed to be varied to maintain interest and preferably accessible 24/7 to ensure equal access to education opportunities, independent of a specialists availability.


In an effort to combat this education and training at SAAS MedSTAR has shifted towards a more adult-based approach with the learner taking increased responsibility for their own educational needs. The presentation will describe the techniques used to facilitate this direction, the efficacy of this process and how it is evolving, how it has been received by clinical staff and proposed future directions.



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