Andrea Herring

Head of Clinical Operations Support, CareFlight

 Andrea Herring has been a Registered Nurse for over 35years, having graduated from Westmead Hospital in early 1985. Andrea has held a variety of clinical, educational and leadership roles at Hospital, District and State level in the NSW Health System and is currently the Head of Clinical Operations Support for CareFlight. CareFlight is a Charity that delivers Aero-medical Retrieval and Transport Services for a variety of Government and Non-Government contracts and services. CareFlight clinicians provide lifesaving treatment and transport in helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and jets and road transport vehicles.  Her clinical speciality areas of interest are trauma, critical care, aeromedical retrieval and disaster management and particularly systems, teams and human factors for patient safety. Andrea has published in international peer reviewed journals, was an original member of the Australian Emergency Nursing Journal Editorial Committee, has co-authored a book chapter on Trauma Systems and currently reviews papers for the International Journal “Injury”. Andrea has presented at and been an invited speaker at many local and national meetings on trauma systems/trauma management and education for clinicians, both in hospitals and within the aeromedical retrieval environment. Andrea has had a long-standing interest in simulation-based education, particularly team training, human factors and communication skills. Andrea is not an expert in infection prevention and control however she does have responsibility for ensuring the highest standards are maintained within CareFlight’s clinical operations and this includes protection for CareFlight’s clinicians.


As a health care worker with over 35 years’ experience, this year I have learnt about masks, respirators, reusable, disposable, the difference between N, R and P ratings, enveloped viruses, how to kill viruses, scientific details about particle sizes and respiratory spreading of viruses, airflows in aircraft that impact droplet spread, aerosolization, inconsistencies in the scientific evidence base, the National Standards for Respiratory Protection Programs, Occupational Hygienists, the TGA and the ARTG and masks/respirators, procurement channels, identification of counterfeit product, how to effectively clean your helicopter/plane/jet and all things COVID!……I am but a humble nurse, I wish I had known all this before COVID! This presentation will attempt to describe the realisation that Health and healthcare worker respiratory protection was perhaps not meeting the standards afforded other industries and how we rapidly had to adjust our thinking and our staff protection programs amidst a confusing, inconsistent and rapidly changing policy and regulatory environment.


Tuesday 1st Dec Day 2

That was then and this is now ? things I never thought I would know about but should have!