Emergency departments receive trauma training boost
RURAL doctors deal with some of the most traumatic situations, and innovative training and services will help emergency departments in isolated regions better manage high pressure situations.
Hospitals at Bowen, Collinsville and Proserpine - and Queensland Ambulance Service paramedics - took part in simulation and virtual health technology training to ensure the skills required to adapt to critical instances were fine-tuned.
While rural doctors are trained in general practice, 'tele-health' technology allows them to connect to an emergency medicine specialist with Retrieval Services Queensland.
By doing so, doctors operating in these rural emergency departments are provided guidance on how to best tackle critical cases as they arise.
Bowen Hospital senior medical officer Dr Michael Reinke said the training took them through scenarios doctors regularly saw. These included such as car accidents and industrial injuries.
He said, given the hospital tended to have a regular rotation of junior doctors, these resources would prove invaluable for their practice and the community.
Dr Reinke said simply doing the training once was not an efficient way to be prepared - those skills needed to be used regularly to maintain them.
"Tele-health has been around for a while, but it's like our resuscitation skills - it's something you need to practice and keep on using all the time,” he said.
"Before that, people were isolated, so they had to make those decisions themselves. If someone is doing a resuscitation they can't stop, get to the phone and talk.
"With the system in place it's hands-free and they can see and assist as required as we continue to do our job.”
The training was conducted in partnership with the Mackay Institute of Research and Innovation and Glencore - the sixth round of training provided.
During the trauma simulations, high-tech mannequins were used and scenarios were given in real-time for doctors to respond to. They were also provided with video support from experts at Mackay Base Hospital and Retrieval Services Queensland.
Dr Reinke said the larger hospital had the luxury of general surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons and intensive care specialists readily available to jump into these situations.
Bowen Hospital Director of Nursing Julie Minogue said staff needed to be prepared to meet the varied demand of presentations, and the education sessions had resulted in real benefits for the community.
"Our staff have been able to respond well with five major traumas this month where patients had immediately life-threatening conditions and another 34 patients have had imminently life-threatening conditions,” Ms Minogue said.
"While our doctors and emergency nurses are highly skilled, the rural trauma training can only improve our ability to provide people with high quality care.”