An important step to building resilience and healthcare capability in partnership with the government and people of Tasmania

With a shared commitment to improving health, education and economic outcomes for Tasmanians, CareFlight and the University of Tasmania have signed a memorandum of understanding to deliver simulation-based training to the university’s clinical students, alongside emergency services and other service providers.

The aim of CareFlight’s contextualised, practical training in partnership with local services aims to give students, as future health providers, an appreciation of the challenges of providing care to patients in the pre-hospital setting. It will also create a foundation of respect for and understanding of the capabilities and experience of emergency and community service personnel. The partnership follows on from the recent success of a bespoke two-day trauma and pre-hospital course CareFlight delivered to more than 50 of the university’s medicine and paramedicine students.

CareFlight Chief Executive Officer, Mick Frewen, is pleased that CareFlight is partnering with the University of Tasmania to deliver the lifesaving workshops for students. “CareFlight’s mission is to save lives, speed recovery and serve the community by providing the highest standard of rapid response critical care. Coupled with the University of Tasmania’s aim of advancing knowledge and learning that promotes the socio-economic welfare of the community, the pre-hospital trauma workshops are perfectly aligned to boost community resilience and create a safer and healthier society.”

Designed specifically for University of Tasmania students and local emergency services, the workshops will feature high fidelity simulation-based practical training that will equip attendees with technical lifesaving actions, as well as non-technical skills, such as leadership, teamwork, situational awareness and communication skills that will help them respond to traumas that occur outside of a hospital environment.

Lifelike mannequins, simulated accident scenarios and unique simulation equipment aid in the recreation of a high-pressure environment, ensuring the training is realistic and improves participants’ ability to apply learning to real-world situations. Participants will undertake various practical skills stations, exploring how to manage catastrophic haemorrhage, airways management, suspected spinal injuries, splinting and packaging of patients, and assessment of trapped casualties. Each day of the workshop will culminate in a mass casualty scenario with live casualties and mannequins.

University of Tasmania Associate Professor in General Practice, Dr Jan Radford, is delighted to see the continued collaboration place students in hyper-realistic scenarios so that they can reenact their responses and priorities and learn how to engage with emergency services in intensely chaotic and overwhelming scenes. “University students will be challenged through the simulated immersion exercises so that they know what crucial role they and other first responders play in the chain of survival, from the scene of a trauma to the emergency room in a hospital.

“By facilitating these workshops, students can effectively and confidentially navigate their way around trauma incidents. I am excited to see how our strengthening relationship with CareFlight will position Tasmania as a leader in frontline emergency health and training,” said Dr Radford.

As CareFlight’s clinical education grows in the state, the charity will also continue to deliver its range of community education workshops through the MediSim program. This includes trauma care workshops and training focused on sick and injured children to urban, rural and remote health services in Tasmania. Participants will include emergency services organisations like the Tasmania Fire Service, State Emergency Service,  St John Ambulance, Tasmania Police, Surf Life Saving Tasmania, Mine Rescue and Parks and Wildlife Tasmania.

“Through CareFlight’s investment in local health education, training capability and infrastructure in Tasmania, we are reinforcing the state’s expertise in emergency response by arming clinicians and emergency services and local first responders with the skills to save lives,” said Mr Frewen.