Clinician Profile – Drew Hebbron, Acting Director, Queensland Ambulance Service Education Centre (QASEC)

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The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) is an integral part of the primary healthcare sector in Queensland through the delivery of timely, patient-focused ambulance services. The QAS operates as a statewide service with a significant presence throughout Queensland, delivering services from 290 response locations through 16 Local Ambulance Service Networks (LASNs) based around Hospital and Health Service boundaries. QAS’ role is varied and pivotal, accountable for the delivery of pre-hospital ambulance response services, emergency and non-emergency pre-hospital patient care and transport, inter-facility ambulance transport, casualty room services, and planning and coordination of multi-casualty incidents and disasters. 

Underpinning QAS is a culture of ongoing training and education facilitated by the QAS Education Centre (QASEC). Today we speak with Drew Hebbron who is the Acting Director of Education for the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS). Drew has extensive experience within the ambulance service, including his current substantive appointment as Director of West Moreton Local Ambulance Service Network (LASN), and formerly the Executive Manager, Office of the Commissioner QAS. Previously Drew held the roles of Senior Clinical Educator, an on-road paramedic and as a Communications Officer. Drew is currently completing a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) through Griffith University and recently graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors course. In addition, Drew holds a Graduate Certificate in Policy Analysis (Public Policy) and was awarded the QAS Distinguished Service Medal in February 2011.

The role of the QAS Education Centre is to prepare operational staff for service in the QAS, and is the Service’s “centre of excellence” for training and education. At QASEC, we believe that innovation is crucial to be at the cutting edge of ambulance education delivery. QASEC is the focal point for all education related matters for all operational staff, volunteers, managers and our valued public service support staff.

QASEC works closely with the 16 individual Local Ambulance Service Network training and education units to ensure that the training, education and development needs within the Service are being met. We cover everything from clinical, technical, managerial and professional development to enable QAS personnel to function in an emergency medical multi-systems environment across the state. 

For our frontline clinical staff, one of the key challenges we face is being able provide the very latest available research and data trends to a workforce that is highly mobile that operates in a dynamic 24/7 emergent environment. We provide all frontline clinical staff with iPads and the intent is to maximise the mobile platform to meet as many business and staff needs as we can. As mobile technologies change and improve, our intent is to grow and enhance our use of these media.

Evidenced-based practice is key to the future of clinical development in the QAS. It’s the foundation of our clinical practice and it will continue to inform our strategies going forward. Accordingly most of the QASEC educators and clinical staff utilise CKN frequently. The research databasesjournals and e-books housed on CKN provide QAS staff with access to a range of relevant journal articles to inform their own clinical practice, organisational clinical guideline development and research activities.

A large number of QAS employees currently undertake further tertiary study across a broad range of disciplines and CKN resources play an important role in supporting these students, and the subsequent development of our officers. As a professional trainer I find that the training tools offered on the CKN site are useful and certainly help users to understand where all the information is located and how to drill down to detailed results.

In addition to our clinical workforce, QAS has dedicated research staff (QAS Information Support, Research and Evaluation unit) who use clinical information resources to review literature, and conduct independent research studies that contribute to the growing evidence base in pre-hospital care. The team regularly utilise the databases and journal articles to inform their significant research agenda. 

CKN provides a useful portal for all of our staff across the state to access the latest available information for specific clinical issues, general knowledge, further study and to inform research activity and decision-making at the executive level.

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