Dr Tristan Henderson

Dr Tristan Henderson

Honorary Lecturer - Paramedic Science

School of Health Professions (Faculty of Health)

Dr Tristan Henderson can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • Ambulance service
  • Paramedic
  • Emergency care
  • Clinical skills
  • Prehospital care


I joined the ambulance service in 1997 working in a non-emergency role (Ambulance Care Assistant) at Liskeard ambulance station in Cornwall. In 1999 I completed my Ambulance Technician course and began my qualification year working on emergency ambulances in Exeter; this year saw a move back to Cornwall (Liskeard) where I qualified. Following a post qualification year I was successful in applying for a Paramedic position at Liskeard and underwent my Paramedic course in 2001.

After several years consolidating my Paramedic skills I successfully applied for a place on the Cornwall Air Ambulance in 2005; the same year I also started working toward my BSc (Hons) in Emergency Care. Around the same time as this I achieved promotion and became a Clinical Support Officer, responsible for a local ambulance station; this promotion also led to regular spells of 'standing in' for the Operational Locality Manager - responsible for the operational management of stations within East Cornwall.

In 2008 Plymouth University started the Paramedic Practitioner BSc (Hons) programme; following my involvement in the Emergency Care programme I was asked to come and teach pre-registration paramedic students on an ad hoc basis. Over the next couple of years I became more involved with teaching and in 2010 left my full time employment to lecture on the Paramedic Practitioner BSc (Hons) programme. 

As a lecturer on the Paramedic Science BSc (Hons) at Plymouth I have run various modules and lead the Medicine in Hazardous Area Response MSc pathway. In addition to this, I am Chairperson for the School of Health Professions Service User Group.

In Summer 2020 I completed my PhD, exploring clinical skills and clinicians perceptions of their own performance. More recently, in the Spring of 2021, I began working two days a week in a clinical role within general practice.


2021 PHD - The skills maintenance, competence paradigm for the evolving role of a Paramedic 
2013 Graduate Diploma - Emergency Care
2012 Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice
2008 BSc (Hons) Emergency Care
2005 HEMS Aircrew Course
2004 Prehospital Trauma Life Support Instructor
2002 Prehospital Trauma Life Support Provided - Advanced
2002 IHCD - Paramedic Award
1999 IHCD - Ambulance Technician (inc. Advance Driving)
1997 IHCD - Ambulance Care Assistant (inc Standard Driving)

Professional membership

Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (reg no. PA09607)
College of Paramedics
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Roles on external bodies

College of Paramedics University Liaison 
Health and Care Professions partner (educational visitor and FTP panel member)



Teaching interests

My primary teaching interest is patient care and clinical skills. I have run various modules relating to technical and non-technical skills, both of which are required to provide high quality prehospital care. I am also passionate about communication and this is something that here at Plymouth, we fully integrate into the programme.

I am also pathway lead for the Medicine in Hazardous Area Response MSc, a unique degree designed specifically for paramedics working in hazardous areas. 



Research interests

I initially became involved with research during a teaching qualification; I undertook a qualitative study exploring student paramedics life experience and engagement in placement. This was published in the Journal of Paramedic Practice, the experience of completing this spurred me on to consider a PhD. 

In 2013 I began to consider potential areas of interest for further research and kept coming back to the same thing' competence and perception of competence. This led me to propose a PhD exploring clinical skills used by Paramedics and perception of performance. I completed this PhD in 2020. 




Henderson, T., Endacott, R., Marsden, J. & Black, S. (2019) 'Examining the type and frequency of incidents attended by UK paramedics'. Journal of Paramedic Practice, 11 (9), pp. 396-402.

Henderson, T (2012) 'Influence of life experience on undergraduate paramedic students' placement. Journal of Paramedic Practice. 4 (10) 585-592

Conference Papers

Henderson T. A retrospective review of incidents attended and skills used by UK Paramedics - 6th International Clinical Skills Conference – Prato, Italy, May 2015.

Presentations and posters

Henderson T, Endacott R, Marsden J, Black S (2018) A Comparison of actual and Self-perceived competence in paramedics during a structured clinical scenario (poster). College of Paramedics National Conference 2018 (accepted Feb 2018)



Additional information

I work on an ad hoc basis for the Health and Care Professions Council as a registrant panel member in 'fitness to practise' cases and an education visitor, approving/reapproving paramedic programmes. In addition, I sit on the College of Paramedics, Educational Advisory Group. Two days I work clinically within general practice.