Mackay Base Hospital doctors and nurses from the ICU, operating theatres, emergency department and paediatrics team will build on their critical care skills in a two-day training program.
Mackay Base Hospital doctors and nurses from the ICU, operating theatres, emergency department and paediatrics team will build on their critical care skills in a two-day training program. Supplied

Critical paediatric care offered in Mackay for first time

CRITICALLY unwell children in the region will be in even better hands as new training is provided at Mackay Base Hospital for the first time.

Every week at least one child is admitted to the hospital's intensive care unit, generally before being transferred to Townsville or Brisbane.

Now doctors and nurses from the ICU, operating theatres, emergency department and paediatrics team will build on their critical care skills in a two-day training program, which is usually only offered in Brisbane.

Organiser clinical nurse consultant Jeannine Gierke said 20 nurses and 10 doctors had registered for the Paediatric Basic training provided by the Queensland Children's Hospital and the Townsville Hospital Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

"Normally we can only send a few staff away each year to attend this training in Brisbane so to have them come to us is exceptional,” she said.

The training will cover topics such as sepsis, seizure management, airway management, multi trauma, cardiac conditions, ventilation techniques and neurological emergencies.

ICU consultant Stephen Luke said as a regional hospital staff had to be able to care for all patients.

"We need to be able to provide the best possible care for these children as they come in through the emergency department, to the operating theatre for some and then to ICU,” Dr Luke said.

"These can be children with anything ranging from severe respiratory infections, injuries from road traumas, animal bites or medical conditions.”

Ms Gierke said demand for the course was strong, with other regional hospitals also wanting to send staff.

While there is already on-line training for critical care paediatrics, Mackay staff wanted higher level training that involves simulated scenarios.

"Mackay's well-equipped simulation facilities and training rooms mean we have the ability to offer the training to a large group,” Ms Gierke said.

The visiting teaching team will also will also train local staff to deliver the course so it can be run regularly and offered at rural hospitals.


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