Dr Kevin Govender of the Durban University of Technology’s department of Emergency Medical Care and Rescue is the overall winner of the 2017 Emergency Care Society of South Africa research competition.
Dr Govender was awarded with this prestigious award during the 2017 Emergency Care Society of South Africa (ECSSA)/ER24 Annual Research awards held at Sun City last month.
ECSSA is a professional society and non-profit organisation representing pre-hospital emergency care workers in South Africa. ECSSA’s aims are to solely dedicate itself to pursuing the well-being of patients in this environment and the interests of those caring for them.
Talking about his award, Dr Govender said it was least expected. “To be honest, I was actually quite surprised. The University of Cape Town had submitted the work I had done for my PhD as a contender for the award. I was asked to accept the nomination in July this year and after that, I had completely forgotten about it,” he explained.
Dr Govender was first introduced to the competition by a twitter feed from the event and a formal email from the president of the ECSSA, Professor Chris Stein.
“It is really a great honour to be recognised at this level and with producing the best doctoral research in your field, especially by people you admire and hope to emulate,” said Dr Govender.
Speaking about Dr Govender’s award, Prof Stein said the award recognises researchers who had produced meaningful work of the highest quality in the field of pre-hospital emergency care. The judging process involved assessment of criteria such as how the research meets or exceeds the relevant NQF level descriptors (for qualification research), complexity and rigor of the research design and methodology that was used, relevance and potential impact for the pre-hospital emergency care profession, and publications arising from the research.
Dr Govender’s winning thesis investigated investigated whether, and if so, to what extent the quality, effectiveness and consistency of paramedic-delivered CPR was impacted by training designed and tailored specifically to the operational role, scope of practice, educational background, and learner preferences of paramedics. The results of the study revealed that while the proportion of CPR performances rated as competent was significantly higher when training was received from the tailored CPR training intervention designed in this study. Degeneration in skills occurred as early as three months after, and in a similar manner to generic non-tailored training interventions. This provided a clear indication that despite the type of training paramedics received, the traditional and globally prescribed two-year period before retraining is too long.
Head of Department, Mr Simphiwe Sobuwa congratulated Dr Govender’s on his achievement. “This award asserts that Dr Govender’s impeccable quality as an academic who adds great value to the department. I have no doubts that this will not be the last award that he will be receiving,” he said.
Pictured: DUT’s Dr Kevin Govender from the Department of Emergency Medical Care and Rescue, with his award.