SMACC 2014

There has been some chat on Twitter over the last day or so about the involvement of Paramedics in the SMACC Conference.  Specifically about how we can encourage more paramedic involvement.

As you are aware I dragged myself up to Sydney this year for the inaugural SMACC conference with some degree of trepidation.  I was apprehensive that I would be out of my depth; that it would not be relevant to me; that no-one would talk to me; that I would sit in the corner being sad, confused and lonely (basically I was worried it would be like a typical Friday night in town, but during the week)

I needn’t have worried: the conference was inclusive, interesting and absolutely relevant to paramedic practice.  I met some fantastic people and it has opened up opportunities for me in my professional and FOAMed life that would otherwise not have been available.  Every other paramedic and paramedic student who I know that attended feels the same.

Having realised what value there is in this conference I want to encourage anyone and everyone who reads my blog to make the effort to come up to Queensland next year and join me at SMACC2014.  The conference will be fantastic for the individual paramedic, but I believe there is a further benefit to be had professionally: by taking part in SMACC and other such conferences, we help to demonstrate that the paramedic profession has come of age.  We are not ambulance drivers any more, we are educated, dedicated professionals and we should be proud to be involved in the care of the same critically ill patients that the ED and ICU docs manage.

There was some discussion about creating a separate stream for paramedics at SMACC2014.  I am vehemently opposed to this idea as I believe we should be holding ourselves to the same standard as everyone else involved in the care of the critically ill.  The head injured patient with a soiled airway and trismus doesn’t care whether it is an anaesthetist, retrieval physician or paramedic that intubates him.  He cares that the intubation is done well with no desat/hypotension/hypoxia/hypocapnia.  The concepts and specifics of care of the critically ill are the same wherever you practice or whoever you are.

So please, take the opportunity to register for SMACC2014 when it becomes available and take the trip up to the Gold Coast for the most amazing conference experience you will ever have.  I guarantee you will be blown away and spend months jonesing for another hit of SMACC when it is all over.  Paramedics get a reduced rate to attend and for most of us the entire trip should be tax deductible at the end of the year.  If nothing else you’ll get a week on the sunny Gold Coast for a bit of break.  How can you go wrong?!

I hope I’ll see plenty of medics and students from all over the world next year.  Let me know if you will be attending, either here, via email or on twitter and maybe we can organise a little medic get together.



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4 Responses to SMACC 2014

  1. Roger harris says:

    Hey Robbie
    I fully agree that there should be no streams for different members of the crit care team whether they be Paramedics/ docs/ Nurses/ students etc. we should all share the same program! If there’s some separate professional issue for any group then they can hold a lunch or breakfast catch- up.
    Looking to catching up at #smaccgold on the Goldcoast March 2014

  2. Sarah Werner says:

    I agree too. Education is moving towards inter-disciplinary learning, and although I didn’t go this year, a colleague did, and nothing but good things to say about it. Better start saving my pennies…

  3. Ben Lawson says:

    Hi Robbie,

    I only heard of SMACC after it had happened and I was getting more in to the LITFL blog. Am definately going to go next year; some of the ED consultants from our local ED go and say it is worth it, and from everthing I’ve read/heard since, it certainly is, so I’m going to pull whatever roster change (and spare change) I have to pull to get there!

    Agree with your comments re not having a paramedic stream; there are paramedic conferences for this. Going to conferences like SMACC challenges us to read more widely, think more deeply and lift our clinical expertise beyond what our patients would normally expect of us.

    (ICP Student, Qld)

  4. Graeme Dalziel says:

    Hi Robbie

    Absolutely agree with your comments. Since the advent of the FOAM initiative, what I’ve really enjoyed is broadening my educational perspective by dipping my toe into international critical care. As the old saying goes ” the more you learn, the less you know”. I readily accept that “we are not doctors”, but I view emergency and critical care specialists as kindred spirits, all of whom want to improve patient outcomes. We need to raise the bar, not lower it. For far too long we have dined on a dumbed down version of emergency care tailored for the lowest denominator promulgated by our ambulance instituitons. FOAM is an educational revolution…..vive le foam!! Loving the commentary.


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