The next generation of Northern Territory paramedics have begun studying at Charles Darwin University this week, with 36 paramedicine students aiming to hit the local workforce within three years.
Almost 70 per cent of students enrolled in the Bachelor of Paramedicine course are Territory residents, with more than 10 per cent of enrolments identifying as Indigenous.
Many of the students have come from a variety of regional NT towns including Katherine, Oenpelli and Jabiru.
The course is in partnership with St John NT and will cater to the unique conditions of the Territory, providing a much-needed boost for local paramedic recruitment and retention.
It is the first time in the NT’s history that paramedics have had the opportunity to train locally.
Paramedicine student Laanie Wright, from Darwin, said she was excited at the prospect of becoming a trained paramedic in the NT community.
“I’ve always wanted to get into paramedicine and when I moved up to Darwin last year to be closer to my parents, I saw CDU advertise the course and it seemed like perfect timing,” she said.
“I can’t wait to learn about being a paramedic in the NT, which I think will contain unique challenges compared to other environments down south.”
Studying at CDU’s College of Health and Human Sciences, the students will cover a wide range of topics including Anatomy, Physiology, Perspectives in Paramedicine Practice, Health Care Systems, Policies and Indigenous Health.
The NT is considered one of the country’s most diverse locations for paramedics, giving students the opportunity to develop skills and experience with complex medical cases, high speed trauma, and delivery of care in extreme and isolated conditions.
College Dean Professor Dominic Upton said the course was uniquely positioned to explore issues of national and regional importance such as Indigenous health and mental health.
“The course offers a unique focus on Indigenous health perspectives, mental health, maternal and paediatric patients, to prepare students to work in a wide range of settings across Australia,” he said.
“We are excited to train people in the NT, for the NT and with the NT.”