Saving the lives of others whilst protecting our own... An emergent look into OHS within the Ambulance Services!
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Paramedics given power to send patients to GPs

Paramedics given power to send patients to GPs | Saving the lives of others whilst protecting our own... An emergent look into OHS within the Ambulance Services! | Scoop.it
People in NSW calling an ambulance for trivial matters will be taken to their GP instead of hospital in a new trial.
Amy Weise's insight:

I totally agree with the direction that the NSW Ambulance Service are taking. It is the trivial cases that are putting other lives at risk. During my placement, I have been called to such cases as a blister on a person's palm and another with some bruised knuckles on their hand because they had punched the floor when playing an X-Box game. Really? These types of cases definitely are not classified as an emergency and definitely does not warrant the use of an emergency vehicle. Perhaps if we go back to the old way of having to pay for an Ambulance subscription whether this kind of blatant abuse of services would continue? I just wish that some people would use their brain!!

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Justin Stewart's curator insight, March 12, 2014 10:35 PM

It's all about giving patients the best care possible. Having emergency departments run off their feet because of backed up waiting rooms full of people with a cough, or because they've simply had too much to drink means that the people who are genuinely unwell and in critical conditions have to share their time with the doctors. Giving the power to transport to GP instead of ED means that patients will be safer in the long term, ED doctors can do their job.

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QF11 Yeppoon

QF11 Yeppoon | Saving the lives of others whilst protecting our own... An emergent look into OHS within the Ambulance Services! | Scoop.it
Amy Weise's insight:

My other passion... When I am not helping people on land, I am assisting them on the water. Whilst there is no medical knowledge other than first aid required to do this job, we are still apart of a search and rescue team. Coastguard's motto, "Safety by all means". Cruising around the Keppel Islands can be a bit much to take on a sunny day!

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FAQ - Industrial Safe. Insight is foresight

Amy Weise's insight:

At the start of this project, I just assumed that my 5 year goal would be to work within the Queensland Ambulance Service, however, I have stumbled across some other prospects that I was unaware of. Here in Central Queensland, it seems that everyone who is anyone these days has dealings with the mining industry, well guess what? Apparently I can too! It's quite exciting really!

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South Coast Ambos - Fatigue

South Coast Ambos discuss rural rosters and dangers of fatigue.
Amy Weise's insight:

This clip highlights the very real danger that fatigue can have on not only the Paramedic, but the patient and/or community, especially in the rural sector. Rural paramedics are expected to work a shift during the day and then be 'on-call' during the night. Studies have revealed that fatigue can have the same effect as being intoxicated and subsequently lead to a diminished capacity. Like anyone suffering from fatigue, paramedics that have been awake for excessive periods, would be prone to errors and unable to think straight. However, if called upon during the night, are still required to calculate drugs for administration, often in a single officer capacity, which may ultimately have a life-threatening effect. Just think, if paramedics were classed the same as a truck driver within the transport industry, these conditions would definitely not be acceptable!!

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Help our ambulances get through the traffic

Department for Transport.
Amy Weise's insight:

Sadly, one of the major safety concerns of being a Paramedic, is just getting to the scene. Unfortunately, not everyone is paying attention when they are on the road. Too busy thinking about life and love and are oblivious to the wail & yelp of our sirens. This lack of attention, does not seem to be classified to one stereotype either. For the younger generation it appears to be loud music, texting whilst driving, or they have their headphones on. For the elderly, it could be that they just can't hear the approaching Ambulance. Or more simply, people are desensitised to the sounds of the sirens which now seem to be apart of the melody in some of today's music. No matter the age or circumstance, every second counts, and paramedics frequently run the gauntlet during a code 1 emergency.  So how do we fix this problem? There are more and more vehicles on the road each and everyday! My suggestion is for the Ambulance to have some means of overriding/scrambling car stereo systems in order to broadcast their approach. Perhaps in a similar fashion that inner-city bypass tunnels do when there is a blockage ahead. Not being all that tech savvy myself, do you think I am being ridiculous? If it was my child they were attending, I would want everyone to get out of the way!

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Health and Safety information - Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland provides services to support a safe working environment
Amy Weise's insight:

After all that I have been reading about the safety concerns for paramedics, I turn to the Queensland Government website and attempt to look at the 'Key health and safety tips for ambulance officers and paramedics'. On opening the page, I was advised that the page I was trying to access, 'does not exist'. Where is the government support in providing a safe work environment?? Food for thought?

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Stabbing accused 'drove car at ambulance while victim was being treated inside' at Sarina

Stabbing accused 'drove car at ambulance while victim was being treated inside' at Sarina | Saving the lives of others whilst protecting our own... An emergent look into OHS within the Ambulance Services! | Scoop.it
A 36-year-old Queensland man has been charged with six counts of attempted murder after he allegedly drove his car into police and ambulance vehicles as another man was being treated for stab wounds.
Amy Weise's insight:

The old saying that you "need to be prepared for anything", couldn't be further from the truth as Paramedic. One day will never be the same as the next, but you never dream when you sign up for the job that incidents such as this could happen to you. There are many articles on the web regarding this story, but its significance to me is that one of the Paramedics involved is my current mentor on-road. As he recounted the story to me, I remember thinking to myself, what would I do in a similar circumstance. The answer being, 'I don't know'. Questions such as 'would I be strong enough?' and 'would I think quick enough?'. Whilst safety is paramount in any industry, can we prevent and/or be prepared for all incidents/accidents that may come our way?

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Protecting the protectors

Protecting the protectors | Saving the lives of others whilst protecting our own... An emergent look into OHS within the Ambulance Services! | Scoop.it
New push to keep emergency responders safe from infection
Amy Weise's insight:

This is a very poignant reminder about protecting paramedics from dangers that we can't see. Infection control is extremely important considering how many paramedic lives were lost due to the SARS virus in 2009. I personally don't think that we protect ourselves enough from airborne diseases in Australia and unfortunately this is something that we can take home undetected and risk exposing our family and loved ones to. We need to learn from past mistakes in order to protect our future. They call Australia 'the lucky country'; lets show the world that we are smart too and serious about keeping it that way!

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Justin Stewart's curator insight, March 12, 2014 10:39 PM

Airborne diseases are a relatively rare thing in Australia. Should their ever be reason to consider protection against an airborne pathogen, paramedics should take extra care in their infection control and PPE. Being on the front line, they are exposed to many times more diseases than a lot of health professionals, and must ensure that they practice infection control to ensure the spread is minimized, not to mention to protect themselves so they can continue to be available to help others.

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Celebrity chef Matt Golinski fire tragedy: Was ambulance response bungled, then covered up?

Celebrity chef Matt Golinski fire tragedy: Was ambulance response bungled, then covered up? | Saving the lives of others whilst protecting our own... An emergent look into OHS within the Ambulance Services! | Scoop.it
AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into allegations of a bungled ambulance response and possible cover-up relating to the house fire that left celebrity chef Matt Golinski waiting almost 30 minutes for a paramedic while suffering severe burns.
Amy Weise's insight:

Wow! What a tragedy this was, and no amount of probing investigation is going to bring back this beautiful family. It did however make me realise why it is so important to document every single step in our management of a patient from before we set foot out of the vehicle until we have handed over to the emergency department. Whilst it is imperative for accurate records, it is yet another added, perhaps somewhat underlying pressure that our Paramedics face on a daily basis.

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Spate of paramedic suicides rocks ambulance service

Spate of paramedic suicides rocks ambulance service | Saving the lives of others whilst protecting our own... An emergent look into OHS within the Ambulance Services! | Scoop.it
Victorian ambulance workers have been left reeling after an increase in the number of paramedics committing suicide, with eight paramedics in the past three years taking their own lives.Ambulance Emp.
Amy Weise's insight:

This article, written quite recently, highlights the alarming trend of paramedic suicide. Whilst the cause cannot be solely attributed to the job, it could certainly play a major part. OHS within the Ambulance Services, needs to take a holistic approach to the health and safety of all paramedics, including their mental health. It is the nature of the job to be subjected to some horrific images, abuse and assault, to name a few. This, coupled with fatigue and exhaustion can have a profound effect on any individual. Unfortunately, not everyone has adequate coping strategies and it can all become too much for some to bare. Whilst I don't know a great deal about mental health issues, I know that they are very real. It is in our role description to help those in need, but sadly we obviously overlook what's right in front of us. We should be mindful of this, each and every day.

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Threat of violence won't deter female paramedics - Central Western Daily

Threat of violence won't deter female paramedics - Central Western Daily | Saving the lives of others whilst protecting our own... An emergent look into OHS within the Ambulance Services! | Scoop.it
Threat of violence won't deter female paramedics
Central Western Daily
exit.
Amy Weise's insight:

Whilst the threat of violence certainly won't deter me from fulfilling my dream, I do hope that the trends are correct and women are less likely to be assaulted. I agree with what Tracey writes in that women would tend to take a more softly, softly approach in an attempt to deescalate a situation, and this has shown to be successful in the past. The statistics however state that episodes of violence are on the increase. The causes are many and varied, such as drugs, alcohol and mental health issues, and/or a combination of any of them. So what protection do Paramedics have? A Police Officer can at least don a bullet-roof vest and carry a weapon for self defence. A paramedic just has to rely upon their intuition and quick reaction to remove themselves from harms way. Perhaps if the penalty for assaulting a Paramedic was the same as is for Police Officers, it may prevent some of the attacks. At the end of the day, Paramedics are unarmed and ready to help, but this unfortunately also makes them vulnerable and an easy target. Sad but true!

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What I Want To Be When I Grow Up (A Wanna-Be Medic) » Least ...

What I Want To Be When I Grow Up (A Wanna-Be Medic) » Least ... | Saving the lives of others whilst protecting our own... An emergent look into OHS within the Ambulance Services! | Scoop.it
These are all things that many an aspiring paramedic dream of–and I'm not exempt–but I am sure that they all lose their novelty eventually. These are not the reasons I want to be a paramedic. Saving lives is one, but it's not ...
Amy Weise's insight:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog. Whilst I have taken a little longer than most to decide on what I want to be when 'I'm a grown up', I can relate to this author's justification for the motivation to become a Paramedic. At no point when I was making the decision to study for this profession did I take into consideration the possible safety concerns that I may need to be aware of during this career. It never entered my mind that I may be assaulted and/or injured in the line of duty. For me this job was about having the ability to help someone in a time of crisis. The warm fuzzy feeling that you get from knowing that you not only have the tools, but the knowledge to bring a person back to life. It was never about the lights and sirens, actually I would cringe hearing them, knowing that someone was in dire straits, but thankful at the same time that help was not too far away. I certainly do hope that I don't lose sight of what this profession is all about!

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Emma Petersen's curator insight, March 10, 2014 3:32 AM

Describes the field of Paramedics brilliantly! Well worth a read. "The flashing lights and sirens aren't even the wrapping on the package–they’re the tag. Inside, is the chance to make a difference... We may cure seldom, but we can relieve often, and we should comfort always.”

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Quebec paramedic argues about language

Wed, Oct 24: A Quebec father is upset after calling 911 for help for his daughter, only to end up in argument with a paramedic about whether to speak English...
Amy Weise's insight:

I found this clip very interesting. As we live in a multicultural society here in Australia, and are therefore linguistically diverse, the language barrier between patients and paramedics can, and is more than likely already a major problem. Not being able to communicate, could, and would potentially put lives at risk. In a discussion with my mentor, she claims working in Melbourne was extremely challenging and you constantly needed to "keep your guard up". "Situations could develop around you that you weren't aware of", she said. It just goes to show that OHS is an ever-expanding umbrella and taking steps to protect someone, can become a 'how long is a piece of string' type scenario. As a sidebar, I know how I feel just getting my nails done (picture shopping centre location, Asian owned & operated) where no-one in the shop seems to speak English. Just portraying what services I would like can be fraught with many puzzled looks before we get underway. Thankfully this is not a time critical situation, and a person's life is not hanging in the balance!

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