Graphic: Flying Doctor training helps prepare rural GPs
Working in regional and remote communities across NSW, Flying Doctor medical staff know they have to be ready for anything they face.
Recently members of the South Eastern Section team were able to pass some of their vast experience on to more than 40 general practitioner doctors from across Western NSW with a Farm Safety Workshop training event.
RFDS Medical Officer Dr Kiri Oates created a number of realistic simulations to get the doctors thinking about how to treat patients in unfamiliar surroundings with limited medical equipment at hand. To ensure the event was realistic, it was held on a working farm just outside Dubbo.
GPs from Dubbo, Broken Hill, Orange, Bathurst and across Western NSW took part in the day-long workshop which included a quad bike accident, a shooting, an auger incident, a goring by a bull and a poisoning.
Without access to full medical supplies, the doctors had to repurpose tarpaulins as stretchers, sticks as splints and be resourceful to treat patients and keep them comfortable.
"These are the kinds of emergencies that GPs could be called on to handle until the RFDS arrives to assist, so we wanted the scenarios to help prepare them in case they find themselves in that situation,” Dr Oates said.
RFDS doctors oversaw the scenarios and provided advice and guidance while other staff used their acting skills to play victims and bystanders.
This year was the third time the RFDS and GP Synergy have come together to host the workshop, with COVID stopping the event from going ahead for the last two years.
Dr Vanessa Moran, the Director of Education and Training ACT & NSW for GP Synergy said it was important for doctors working in rural areas to understand the communities that they live and work in.
“The registrars come from a variety of backgrounds and some have never been on a farm before, so it allows them to better understand the farm injuries or health issues they may see, as well as appreciate some of the stresses farmers experience,” Dr Moran said.
“Working in regional and remote communities across NSW, Flying Doctor medical staff know they have to be ready for anything they face.”