To date AEAV has attended all 9 of the Student Placement Working Group meetings which have been convened by AV to develop a plan for the recommencement of student placements.
Stage 1 of the Pilot will commence on Monday the 19th of October with a small group of previously trained health care workers who are in the process of qualifying as paramedics at Federation University. Placement for this group will be spread across rural regions. Stage 1 will be used to identify any process issues before the expansion into Stage 2 which will involve students from other universities.
Although significant progress has been made and controls implemented AEAV still believes additional controls should be in place to support paramedics and students. The AEAV understands there is a necessity to resume Student Placements as soon as possible but we do not agree to shortcuts being taken which may increase the risk of physical or mental harm to staff, students and their families.
2020 has been very stressful for paramedics and students alike and many paramedics are feeling very fatigued by the additional pressures resulting from COVID-19. Students are feeling pressured to get their hours up in a short period so they can complete their course. We are conscious of the issues that could arise for students and paramedics if the placement occurs with staff or students who do not feel prepared or are mentally or physically fatigued. For this reason the AEAV has asked for the following additional controls:
Opt out facility for paramedics
AV indicates this is logistically too difficult
Paramedic to acknowledge in writing that their concerns have been addressed before placement occurs. If concerns not addressed an alternative paramedic crew should be sourced.
AV accepting word of TM or RCDC that paramedics concerns have been addressed. (AEAV believes this leaves room for misinterpretation)
Heat related temperature cut-offs for placement to decrease risk to students of dehydration and fatigue whilst wearing full PPE.
Heat processes being developed which will mitigate the risks. (AEAV believes these processes need to be reviewed for effectiveness before we can be confident they will mitigate the significant risks associated with student placement in heat).
Students or paramedics who feel their health and safety has been compromised or that they have not been adequately prepared should respectively submit a HSCS or direct their concerns to their university liaison in addition to notifying AEAV at [email protected] or call us on 9287 1713.