Rural doctors don’t have the back-up of all the expert staff and facilities enjoyed by their city counterparts.
When major accident cases present at small hospitals it can fall to the doctor on duty to handle the situation.
Which means keeping up to date with the latest techniques and skills is vital.
On Wednesday 16 doctors from around the Central West and students from the School of Rural Health, attended the Rural Doctors Trauma Management and Skills Training day in Orange.
Nurse educators from the Sydney Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre (SCSSC) with the Northern Sydney Local Health District ran hands-on sessions to update the doctors’ skills.
Techniques included being shown how to inject directly into the marrow of a bone when a vein can’t be found in patients that have suffered massive trauma.
They were also shown how to correctly roll trauma patients with injuries using a mannequin and how to drain and decompress a chest, using a lamb rib cage.
VIDEO: DOCTORS’ SKILL SESSION
The one-day session was held at the School of Rural Health at Bloomfield.
Nurse educator Anne Starr said Orange was the second venue for the course after it went to Tamworth last month.
She said bringing the training to a central rural hub, like Orange, meant doctors could avoid having to take up to three days off work to attend training in Sydney.
“It is the ability to have some protected learning time,” she said.
“It is a good opportunity for them to network. We have doctors from all over the region.
“It is about getting them to get up to date with the current guidelines and practices.”
She said the SCSSC ran similar skill sessions for other critical care areas including cardiology and paediatrics.
School of Rural Health student Ben Ryall said the training was important for his future in medicine.
“This is a trauma training course for rural GPs,” he said.
“It gives me some basic understanding of trauma in a rural environment.”
Mr Ryall is one of eight School of Rural Health students who have been successful in gaining positions as interns with the Orange Health Service.
He said he was considering a career in rural medicine which might include being a rural generalist running a small hospital where he would need to deal directly with emergency cases.