Whitireia hosts Australasian student paramedic conference

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Whitireia is currently hosting the inaugural Student Paramedics Australasia (SPA) conference at its Porirua Campus.

SPANZ16 kicked off last night with an open panel forum featuring some of the key players in paramedicine provision within New Zealand. Dr Craig Ellis and Dr Andrew Swain, Medical Directors for New Zealand's two ambulance service providers (St John and Wellington Free Ambulance), were on hand to answer questions from the audience regarding the future of clinical practice in the paramedic sector. They were joined by Sarah Hoyle, Senior Portfolio Manager for the National Ambulance Sector Office at the Ministry of Health, who spoke about the future of paramedicine within the New Zealand health sector.

SPANZ participants

Participants gather in the Learning Street of Wikitoria Katene for the conference

Whitireia Programme Leader Glenn Mitchell and AUT Senior Lecturer Stuart Cook represented the country’s two paramedic tuition providers on the panel, while Matthew Simpson, Director of Paramedics Australasia and an Australian extended care/intensive care paramedic, was on hand to provide information from across the ditch.

This was the first time a group of key decision makers in the field of paramedicine and ambulance service provision in New Zealand had come together, offering insight into the future of emergency medical care in this country and providing attendees with the opportunity to get involved in the discussion.

SPANZ Renee

Paramedic tutor Renee presenting

The remainder of the conference, which continues today and tomorrow, will feature a host of speakers from around Australasia and will focus on the changing culture and clinical face of paramedicine. Hon. Annette King will present to the conference on the vital role of paramedicine within New Zealand’s health system, while other topics include the protection of paramedics’ mental health and physical safety, and the use of virtual reality technology in paramedic learning.

Student Paramedics Australasia (SPA) is a special interest group of Paramedics Australasia (PA) which provides student paramedics with networking opportunities between universities and relevant stakeholders in the industry through social, academic and professional activities.

For more information, visit www.studentparamedic.org.au​

For more images from the conference, see the gallery on the Whitireia Facebook page.

SPANZ sign