The local headquarters of the Bairnsdale SES Unit was the venue for a busy morning of experiences for 14 second-year Monash University medical students during their recent regional placement.
The students were hosted by SES volunteers and Ambulance Victoria paramedics who provided an insight into the realities of emergency medical response in remote or isolated situations.
After an introduction to the role and function of the SES, wilderness paramedic, Andy Oates, supported by other local paramedics, confronted the students with the dilemmas and imperatives of the initial response to casualties in remote locations – be it road trauma, farm incidents or accidents in the bush.
“As part of the Monash Medicine curriculum, all students are offered the opportunity to spend time in a regional/rural area,” Monash Rural Health Bairnsdale academic coordinator, Robyn Adams, said.
“In year two, medical students are allocated to six sites around regional and rural Victoria where they undertake a range of structured activities.
“These activities provide students with insights into the lives and work of people in regional/rural areas.”
The paramedics encouraged the students to assess and approach casualties on a medical professional level but to also appreciate the personal experience of the patient, especially important when arrival at hospital might be delayed by remoteness and circumstance.
The students were then guided around the SES headquarters by SES unit deputy controller, Frank Carter.
Mr Carter showed the students the equipment and tools used in road rescue and other varied rescue situations and the equipment and methods used to bring casualties out from rugged or remote situations.
“We hope to give the students an appreciation of what people may have experienced before arriving at hospital emergency and an understanding of the role of emergency workers and volunteers in the field,” Mr Carter said.
“We look forward to an on-going relationship with Monash and with local paramedics in providing what we think is a valuable and effective program.”
PICTURED: Paramedics work with Monash students in a simulated patient-handling exercise.