Intensive Care Flight Paramedic Matthew Shepherd wears many different hats. Starting his career as a Registered Nurse, Matt quickly gained a number of highly skilled emergency health and Paramedicine qualifications that led him to his current position as a MICA Flight Paramedic with Ambulance Victoria.
“All my qualifications have been achieved at Monash, and since becoming a Paramedic I was fortunate to get a job with Ambulance Victoria. I’ve been with them now for the past twenty years.”
After qualifying as a Paramedic, Matt successfully passed the selection criteria for the Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA).
“This was a massive achievement for me and I was very proud of what I had achieved at that point,” he says. “I had some of the best support, guidance and education during this period and it allowed me to develop very solid clinical skills, as well as a great work ethic.”
After five years in the job, Matt moved into his current position and still loves going to work after 10 years in the role.
“A day in the life of a Paramedic is never the same. You never know what you are going to be confronted with every time you turn up to work. It’s a very rewarding career.”
Not content with just having one occupation, Matthew also started teaching at Monash in 2003. And more recently has become involved in healthcare and paramedic research.
“I teach undergraduate and postgraduate paramedic students at Peninsula campus, and am the Course Facilitator for the Introduction to Aero Medical Retrieval subject and a Teaching Associate for other units.”
The best part of teaching in Matt’s opinion is the moment the ‘penny drops’.
“That moment when you explain something to a student who has been struggling to comprehend an illness or procedure and you are able to give them clarity is very rewarding. This is definitely the best part of teaching.”
More recently, Matt had the opportunity to appear on popular TV show ‘Paramedics’ and says that the experience was really no different to his normal daily role - except that he had a cameraman, a Gopro and four cameras mounted in the helicopter. He saw his appearance as an opportunity to shed light on the highly tuned clinical skills and professionalism of Paramedics, and to demonstrate how the job has evolved from the days of being ‘stretcher carriers’.
“Paramedicine is definitely evolving,” says Matt. “And paramedic education has grown significantly.”
The advice Matt gives to people thinking about becoming a Paramedic is to prepare for an amazing journey, and to have your eyes wide open as to what you are about to experience.
“You will have good days and bad days. It’s important to have something outside of work that takes your mind off the job. Also make sure you maintain a good healthy eating regime and a strong fit body as this is really important as your years advance.”
Look out for Matt at Peninsula campus, in the sky or on the next series of Paramedics!