In this 25 minute podcast Dr Cliff Reid talks with Cameron Edgar, a senior helicopter critical care paramedic. Cameron has been a paramedic for 23 years, qualifying as an intensive care paramedic, then a special casualty access team paramedic, and then a helicopter critical care paramedic where he has a management and leadership role.
- Critical Care Paramedics are relatively new in Australia in terms of formalising the role.
- In New South Wales CCPs work with physician. The helicopter paramedics have medical, rescue, and aviation skillsets
- As well as emergency (‘triple zero’) response, they also conduct interhospital critical care transport as part of a medical team.
- Examples of other skills that Helicopter CCPs must train in include: patient access, winching, survival, land based navigation, water rescue via winch, abseiling and rope rescue skills.
- Staying sharp in all these areas along with clinical work is achieved by appointing highly motivated individuals to start with, and providing ongoing regular training ‘recencies’ eg. winching every 60 days, RSI currencies, and others.
- On managing high performing type A personalities: they don’t need to be managed, they need to be led. Listen to them – they are experts in their field
- Biggest challenge with high performing individuals is when they’re not busy. Fill time on base with clinical training, rope rescue training, coffee and cases
- Working with physicians: paramedics and doctors together are synergistic – combine the logistic and prehospital expertise of the paramedic with critical care expertise of the doctor
- Tips for paramedics who want to become helicopter critical care paramedics. Hone your skill set before taking on new skills. Be patient and be very good at what you do. Develop your non-technical skills.
Follow Cameron on Twitter – @CammoEdgar