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Students impress at Paramedics comp

Paramedic Science students from the University of the Sunshine Coast showed they were a force to be reckoned with at an international emergency simulation competition in Melbourne recently.

A team of third-year students – Cassie Luck, Fran Watt and Laura Bitcon – finished second out of 10 teams in the annual Ferno Australian Simulation Challenge.

USC’s second-year team of Luke Humphries-Opzeeland, Joanne Cairns, Natalie Vandebaan and Karina Hyland also did well.

The challenge is run as part of the Student Paramedics Australasia International Conference, and sees student paramedics enter simulated emergency scenarios ranging from a heart attack to a trapped and injured patient.

A panel of judges assesses teams on their ability to quickly assess a scene, manage risks and treat patients using best practice.

USC Paramedic Science student Cassie Luck said her team was thrilled to have taken out second place in the demanding competition.

“It was pretty amazing to receive that recognition,” Cassie said. “We dealt with a scenario of a campfire explosion and our team communicated really well throughout the challenge.

“It was obvious that all our effort in preparing and practising for the event paid off.”

Lecturer in Paramedic Science Belinda Flanagan said all USC students involved had worked hard to master their skills in the lead-up to the competition.

“It’s fantastic to see our students stack up so well against teams from universities around Australia and overseas,” Ms Flanagan said.

“A lot of training goes into it for them, because they have to deliver spot on, evidence-based practice in the simulation settings.

“The students need to have a level-headed approach, excellent communication skills within the team and quickly develop a plan of attack.”

Ms Flanagan said it was critical that students had hands-on, practical experience in working as paramedics.

“At USC, the Bachelor of Paramedic Science includes practicum opportunities in each year of the three-year degree, which is really important for their transition to the workforce,” she said.

“Many of our courses offer simulation as an additional learning activity to help develop students’ clinical decision-making skills.”

— Gen Kennedy

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