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Contemplating life.

Paramedics Australasia Conference #2

An evening with a view:

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darling_Harbour,_New_South_Wales

 

 

And an apparent poor choice of drinks which tempted my companions to register me for some gender realignment…ladybeer and cocktails.

They didn’t serve Bananenweizen (wheat beer with banana juice) like that when I lived in Germany…honest!

 

– ~ –

 

Day two in Sydney started off early, heading in to the city for the pre conference workshops “EMS Writing for Publication” and “EMS Reaearch Workshop. These two half day courses booked out quickly; I got in early and secured myself a place. Discussed were

  • “Writing Papers”. A introduction and general approach to how, what and why questions of research publication.
  • “Developing a research question and searching the literature”. Self explanatory really.
  • “Research Protocol and Ethics Submission”. Basically the frameworks, rules and regulations behind any research, giving it some structure and making sure that reasearch does not head down the path it took during the second world war under Josef Mengele.
  •  “What should we Research in Prehospital Care”. Well…what should we research then? Good question, with a rather simple and straightforward answer: Everything! Out of hospital care has only just woken up to the calls of evidence based practice – so much of our daily practice is based upon ancient dogma with no scientific basis. The take home message was: pick a page from your guidelines or protocols, and research their evidence base – more likely than not there will be insufficient evidence for a majority of them (have a read of RogueMedics blog for an idea what I mean). From there on it’s easy: pick a topic of interest, and come up with some research which will then support or refute current practice.
  • “Study Design”. Explanations of different evidence levels and study designs (cohort study, meta analysis etc).
  • “Statistics made easy”. Phew – 40 minutes of statistics at the end of the day were tough, but it actually made sense. Some good advice was given how to present your data in a positive light, for example using the median for response times – using the mean or mode would likely reflect bad on the times. Good to know these things when reading research/reports. ‘Don’t trust any statistic you haven’t skewed yourself’, as they say!

As complicated, academic and offputting the above paragraphs may be – once you sit down and let people in the know explain these things to you, it all makes perfect sense, and I would highly recommend considering the research pathway for anyone even remotely interested. The profession needs it, and your career and practice will only benefit. It has helped me to get on track for heading in the direction of research path. But more on research later, let’s stick with the chronological order.

My colleague went to the other workshop, the two day simulation workshop.  He reported back as it being a great part of the conference, both from a networking and a learning point of view. Topics covered included:

  • The state of clinical simulations: Simulations are becoming increasingly important in clinical teaching, one major factor being the limited quality practical placements available for students today. As many of you I’m sure have experienced, placement time is never long enough, and once you get there, you often stand around until your feet hurt.
  • The research and evidence base behind it.
  • How to structure clinical simulations.
  • How to run clinical simulations.
  • How to give feedback: Another point worth highlighting – the simulation must be seen in its entirety for maximum learning efficiency; from thinking about what may face the student, to doing the simulation, debriefing after the simulation and finally reflecting about the simulation – all crucial steps to assure the highest learning experience is taken from the simulation.

 

The evening was occupied with the pre conference drinks: networking, recognising old faces, meeting new faces, and finally turning some virtual twitter and email virtual acquaintances in to real in the flesh meetings.

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