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March 2011

Group of people in front of ambulance jpeg
Ambulance Victoria Vocational and Graduate Education Manager Tina Ivanov and Deakin University-Northern Health Senior Research Fellow Julie Considine (centre) with Inter-Professional Graduate Program participants Nathan Greenland, Emma Bywater, Katrina Born, Sam Jones, Lisa Smoorenberg, Carly Bearder, Melody Bearder, Anna Kioltzitzis, Emily Hartwig and Claire Giddings.

Paramedics and nurses join forces

A partnership between Ambulance Victoria and Northern Health will allow graduates with nursing and ambulance qualifications to work in both areas when they finish university.

The Inter-Professional Graduate Program (IPG) has begun with 10 participants.

‘This Australian-first initiative will enable graduates who complete a double degree in paramedicine and nursing to work as nurses and paramedics over an 18-month period,’ said Northern Health Chief Executive Officer Greg Pullen.

‘The current graduate models (before IPG) have not allowed for working across both disciplines – you either had to choose a nursing graduate year, which meant you were not using your paramedic skills for 12 months and vice versa.

‘IPG is about allowing participants to get graduate experience in both fields concurrently so they can make the most of skills that overlap and consolidate the skills that are different.

‘This could be one of the greatest changes in the way we use our health workforce.’

‘The IPG program graduates will develop a greater understanding of the management of a patient across the health continuum, from pre-hospital to emergency department and beyond,’ said Ambulance Victoria CEO Greg Sassella.

‘They will see first-hand how the interventions they apply cascade across the ongoing management of a patient.

‘This will benefit the community as it will promote greater empathy between the disciplines, resulting in greater collaboration and cooperation to provide the best care for the patient.

‘The program has been developed to make the most of the similarities between working as a nurse and paramedic and also being careful to maintain the special features of each profession,’ Mr Sassella said.

The 10 graduates were selected from 16 interested candidates at Monash University.