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Personal profile

Personal profile

Sonja has a diverse background in emergency healthcare after working in ambulance services both nationally and internationally including various roles as a paramedic and an education manager. Sonja’s main area of interests are in policy development and evidence based guidelines for clinicians in the health field. 

Sonja has proven skills in project management, research and leadership. During the past four years Sonja was the lead of the paramedic team as Discipline Leader at Charles Sturt University and has been very busy with building the course which has gone through a recent review and subsequent successful reaccreditation with the Council of Ambulance Authorities.

In 2016 Sonja and her team won the Faculty of Science team teaching award for Paramedicine, in 2017 she won the Faculty of Science Leadership Award for her abilities to lead her team through several successful endeavours, and in 2018, she won the SBMS award for excellence for the new course, the Masters of Paramedicine. 

Her current projects include the development of the Australasian Paramedic Clinical Guidelines and completing her PhD.

Research Interests

Sonja is currently completing a PhD which investigates guideline use by paramedics. She is due for completion in 2019. Alongside study, Sonja has also been involved in several research projects over recent years. These notably included:

  • Leading a research team to research and establish additional placements for health science students through a NSW Interdisciplinary Clinical Training Networks and winning a grant for $100,000
  • Publications on paramedic practice in peer reviewed journals - see ResearchGate for specifics. This includes several which have been of significant influence upon the paramedic profession.
  • Investigations into clinical placements and the use of new technologies (Comptracker) with fellow colleague Adam Diamond (CSU).
  • An Australian wide research project with colleague Mark Colbeck (ACU) into the establishment of the Australasian Paramedic Practice Guidelines.

Sonja is a reviewer for several journals including the Irish Journal of Paramedicine, the Australasian Journal of Paramedicine, the Korean Journal of Emergency Medical Services, and the Australian Journal of Rural Health. She is also a member of the Biomedical Sciences Research Committee, Workforce Wellness Research Unit, the Network of Australasian Paramedic Academics (NAPA), Australian and New Zealand College of Paramedicine (ANZCP), Paramedics Australasia (PA) and also jointly hosts TRIP Podcasts on Paramedicine.com with fellow colleague Marc Colbeck.

From a clinical perspective, Sonja’s research passion is in two main areas of Clinical Decision Making and Paramedic Cardiology. Additionally she is currently supervising honours students with research into cardiovascular disease and decision making in cardiac arrest.

Teaching

Sonja has a keen interest in curriculum development and course structure management. Whilst at CSU she has redesigned the undergraduate paramedic course and added an additional online version, as well as created the Masters of Paramedicine articulated degree. Both of these courses are extremely innovative and offer a new dimension to the ability of paramedics to complete education. It's also these changes in education that then go on to drive industry change. With registration of paramedics now compulsory in Australia, these programs will become intrinsically essential to advancing the profession.

Sonja currently teaches into both the undergraduate and postgraduate courses at CSU. Her passion is cardiology and she has a special interest two subjects CLS300 – Advance Cardiology for Paramedics & APS501 – Advanced Cardiac Care. Both of these subjects use inventive and original curriculum design to engage students via online and on-campus. Sonja’s teaching style is fun, personable and interactive, she is very keen to use new technologies to assist students learning. Sonja has over 93K subscribers to her YouTube channel that hosts simulations of learning and videos that Sonja has made to demonstrate paramedic skills. Many of these subscribers work in environments that have limited access to paramedic education and Sonja is a firm believer of open access and global mentorship. 

Sonja also mentors international students on cardiology and has several currently in the UK who are working through her online programs within social media. 

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2013 2019

Creating a unique taxonomy for Australasian Paramedic Clinical Guidelines

Maria, S. & Colbeck, M., 07 May 2019.

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation only

taxonomy
New Zealand

Fundamentals of Paramedic Practice: A Systems Approach 2E: Assessing The Cardiac System

Maria, S. & Sutton, A., 2019, (Accepted/In press) Fundamentals in Paramedic Practice . Willis, S. & Dalrymple, R. (eds.). 2nd ed. United States: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 208-229 21 p.

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter in textbook/reference book

poster
examination

Paramedic and Emergency Pharmacology Guidelines 2E

Maria, S., Caffey, M. & Colbeck, M., Jun 2019, (In preparation) Pearson.

Research output: Book/ReportTextbook/Reference book

Emergency Medical Technicians
Emergencies
Pharmacology
Guidelines
Allied Health Personnel

Paramedic registration, scope of practice and paramedic guidelines: How is it all going to work?

Maria, S., 14 Sep 2019, (Accepted/In press).

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation only

interaction

Prizes

Emergency Services Medal

Sonja Maria (Recipient), 2003

Prize: Award

services

Emergency Services Medal

Sonja Maria (Recipient), 2012

Prize: Award

earthquake
services
leadership
innovation
programme
science
leadership
innovation
science

Faculty of Science Team Teaching Award

Sonja Maria (Recipient), Clare Sutton (Recipient), Georgina Pickering (Recipient), Lyle Brewster (Recipient), Amanda Hlushak (Recipient), Matt Caffey (Recipient), Margaret Adams (Recipient), Phillip Ebbs (Recipient), Adam Diamond (Recipient) & Tania Johnston (Recipient), 2016

Prize: Award

team teaching
Teaching
science

Activities 2015 2019

  • 1 Participation in conference
  • 1 Other
  • 1 Invited talk

Paramedic registration, scope of practice and paramedic guidelines: How is it all going to work?

Sonja Maria (Speaker)
30 Sep 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

International Conference on Emergency Medicine.

Sonja Maria (Participant), Lyle Brewster (Participant)
12 Jun 201915 Jun 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

CSU Amazing Race

Sonja Maria (Participant)
20152017

Activity: Other activity typesOther

Press / Media

Amazing Race at CSU for RDA

Sonja Maria

28/09/1530/03/16

2 items of media coverage, 2 media contributions

Press/Media: Press / Media

Violence won't deter paramedics

Sonja Maria

11/02/14

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media

Threat of violence won't deter female paramedics

Sonja Maria

11/02/14

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media

Community placements for CSU paramedic students

Sonja Maria

24/01/13

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Grant boosts paramedic capacity on mid north coast

Sonja Maria

01/01/13

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Impacts