While the number of registered paramedics continues to grow (nearly 24,000), so too does the diversity of their role as an important part of the health workforce. The Paramedicine Board notes the continuing high demand for health services across the sector and acknowledges the continuing contribution of paramedics together with other healthcare practitioners to meet community needs.
The Board supports paramedics practising at the highest level and in a variety of practice activities where they have been appropriately trained to be safe and competent in what they’re doing. Engaging with your insurer, professional body, employer and peers can be helpful when making sure you have adequate knowledge, training and indemnity cover to carry out a particular practice activity.
We are seeking to enhance our engagement with the profession by establishing several reference groups of stakeholders for two-way communication on important regulatory issues. This includes expressions of interest from employers in the private sector to join a reference group to complement existing arrangements. More information is in this newsletter.
As always, take care and continue to support each other in safe professional practice.
Professor Stephen Gough ASM
Chair, Paramedicine Board of Australia
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We are seeking expressions of interest from employers of paramedics in the private sector to become members of a new reference group.
The reference group is being established to communicate and engage with a representative group of private sector employers of paramedics across participating jurisdictions in Australia.
The reference group will function as an engagement forum to discuss current or emerging matters related to the registration and regulation of paramedics practising in the private sector.
Interested? For the terms of reference, expression of interest form and more information, see our news item.
The expression of interest period for this reference group is open until Thursday 23 March 2023, 11:55pm AEDT.
There are multiple practitioner member vacancies and a community member vacancy on the Board.
The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) has an important role in ensuring the development of a culturally safe and respectful health workforce that is responsive to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ health and contributes to the elimination of racism in the provision of health services.
To achieve this, we have committed to increasing Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander leadership and voices on National Boards and warmly invite Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to apply.
We are also committed to increasing diversity and social inclusion on National Boards. Applications are encouraged from people with a disability, people who identify as LGBTIQA+ and people from culturally diverse backgrounds.
For more information, read the news item. Applications close on Monday 10 April 2023, 11:55pm AEST.
The paramedicine profession has completed its fourth renewal of registration as a regulated profession under the National Scheme and each year we’re seeing fewer paramedics who have overlooked some of their professional obligations at this time. It’s important to remember that registered paramedics have professional and legal obligations throughout the whole year of registration, these include ensuring you:
In addition, there are other professional obligations you have under section 130(3) of the National Law that require you to notify the Board within seven days if:
The National Law also requires you to notify the Board within 30 days if you change your principal place of practice, name or address.
Failure to meet these requirements may result in health, conduct or performance action being taken under Part 8 of the National Law.
There are forms to help you make these declarations when required − see the Common forms page on the Ahpra website.
You may have already noticed the refreshed design of our website homepage, which went live in February. The vibrant colour and images are designed to make the homepage more engaging, and dropdown menus at the top of each page should make it easier for people find what they’re looking for. Any links you had bookmarked will continue to work because all addresses for webpages, documents and forms remain the same.
Your thoughts on this change are important and all feedback is welcome. Please tell us what you think via this quick survey.
The Board’s latest quarterly registration data report covers the period 1 October to 31 December 2022. At that date, there were 23,969 registered paramedics nationally. Of these, 23,292 had general registration and 677 had non-practising registration.
For more information, including registration by principal place of practice, gender and age group, visit our Statistics page.
Building trust is fundamental to safe healthcare, as is responding effectively when a practitioner breaches that core responsibility to a patient.
In the first Taking care podcast for the year we look at building trust in healthcare, how do we keep it, how can patients be better supported if things go wrong?
International guest Professor Rosalind Searle unpacks the impacts on patients when trust isn’t prioritised.
Rosalind Searle is a Professor of Human Resource Management and Organisational Psychology at the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow. She is inaugural director of the European Association of Work and Organisational Psychology (EAWOP) Impact Incubator.
Pointing to examples in Australia, Professor Searle provides a guide for strengthening processes and support mechanisms to boost trust in healthcare.
Our latest podcast is Racism makes us sick, with Associate Professor Carmen Parter discussing the impact of racism in healthcare. She points to her nursing days when there were almost no Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander faces seen working on the hospital ward and very little time given to the health needs of Indigenous people.
She talks about the cultural safety work being done and the challenges to make these policies a reality in our healthcare system.
Assoc. Prof. Parter has also seen intentional and unintentional racism in the system, which she is committed to helping reform.
'Racism makes us sick. Discrimination of all forms impacts the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,’ she said.
'We've seen it. We’ve felt it. But now we actually have evidence to demonstrate that is the case, and it is now time for health policymakers and services to actually do something about discrimination or prejudiced practices in the workplace.’
In her work on Indigenous health and as a member of the Ahpra Board, Assoc. Prof. Parter is rolling out culturally safe policies across health and calling all to walk with her while tackling racism.
Our Taking care podcast series covers a wide range of current issues in patient safety and healthcare in conversation with health experts and other people in our community. We also publish transcripts of our podcasts. Listen and subscribe by searching for Taking care in your podcast player (for example Apple Podcasts or Spotify), or listen on our website.
Ahpra has recently established a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement and Support team (the support team) to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants, registrants and stakeholders through the registration process.
The support team forms part of Ahpra’s commitments to providing culturally safe services to its applicants, registrants and stakeholders.
The support team will focus on helping recent applicants and new graduates who have identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander on their application form. The team’s one-on-one services range from providing helpful tips and tricks for navigating the registration process to regular phone contact, updates and advice on disclosures made on application (for example, impairments or previous criminal history) that may require consideration by the National Board.
The team plans to expand its services soon, which will include helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners with the renewals process, starting from 2023.
The support team is committed to ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners, including paramedics, get registered or renewed promptly so they can focus on their contributions to safe healthcare and to their communities. Keep an eye out for regular emails from the team or reach out for help at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the team will be attending community events and conferences relating to paramedicine.
If you are a current student, contact your Indigenous Student Support Centre for information.
Click on the image below to read the latest National Scheme newsletter. You can subscribe on the newsletter page.