My exposure to prehospital care started with the Irish Red Cross in 1994 when I joined up as a volunteer cadet in the casualty service (aged 9!). I progressed through the various levels of first aid training, and eventually trained as an Emergency Medical First Responder and Instructor, then as a student nurse in University College Cork. I subsequently trained and worked as a Paramedic with the National Ambulance Service in Ireland. Since then I have gained experience in a variety of settings in Ireland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Denmark, the USA, the UK, Canada and the UAE. I hold current paramedic certifications in Ireland (PHECC registered), the UK (HCPC registered), and Ontario (AEMCA certified). My primary roles today are centered around entry-to-practice education and paramedicine research.
- Diploma in Emergency Medical Technology, University College Dublin, Ireland.
- Critical Care Paramedic program, Creighton University, USA.
- Graduate Certificate in Intensive Care Paramedic Studies, Charles Sturt University, Australia.
- MSc in Critical Care, Cardiff University, UK.
- Certificate in Disaster Management, Jamsetji Tata School of Disaster Studies, India.
- Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education (PGCME), Newcastle University, UK.
- PhD candidate, Department of Paramedicine, Monash University, Australia.
I worked as a paramedic in Ireland for several years, and then gained experience in several countries in Europe until moving to Canada. I trained as a Critical Care Paramedic in the USA, and after this I worked as a Paramedic Educator in both the UAE and the USA. There I was responsible for program development, and clinical governance activities, including on-road clinical supervision. Since returning to Canada from the Middle East, I have mainly focused on research and teaching activities, and now work casually as a paramedic when I get the opportunity.
I am Adjunct Associate Professor of Paramedic Science at CQUniversity in Queensland, Professor in the Paramedic programs at Fanshawe College, and a sessional academic at Charles Sturt University in NSW. I hold positions as a Paramedic Educator with the Centre for Paramedic Education and Research (CPER). I taught the US National Registry NREMT Refresher program for several years, and I’m still a volunteer instructor with the Irish Red Cross, most recently involved with the national EFR and EMT training programmes.
I am the research lead for the Paramedic Programs at Fanshawe College, responsible for the delivery of research education and the supervision of all student-led research. To date we have produced 62 student led research projects involving over 180 students, which have resulted in presentations at national and international conferences, and 40+ articles in peer-reviewed and professional publications. These projects have researched issues including empathy, lifestyle, stress and driving, mental health, literacy levels, attitudes towards vulnerable populations, and patient safety.
I am a Senior Fellow in the McNally Project for Paramedicine Research, a grassroots initiative designed to increase research capacity in paramedicine. I sit on the research committee of the National Association of EMS Educators, and I am a member of the Canadian EMS Research Network. I have current research affiliations with the Prehospital Care Research Forum in UCLA, and with Retrieval, Emergency and Disaster Medicine Research and Development (REDSPoT Medical International) in Ireland.
I am editor of the Irish Journal of Paramedicine, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal focused on Irish prehospital research. I sit on the Editorial Boards of Canadian Paramedicine and International Paramedic Practice. I perform peer review for several journals including Advances in Health Sciences Education, Australasian Journal of Paramedicine, Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, International Journal of First Aid Education, International Paramedic Practice, Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, Journal of Paramedic Practice, Nursing Ethics, and Trauma. I have also performed peer-review for funding and grant applications for several organisations, and I am an expert appraiser for the PEP Project at Dalhousie University.
My principal research interest lies in health professions education, specifically in the relationship between the complexities of clinical practice and the ability of education to prepare professionals for entry to practice. As a result, I also have an interest in education regarding vulnerable populations and social determinants of health. I am also interested in academic success factors, research capacity, empathy, patient safety, gender equity, paramedic well-being, and professionalisation.