Partnership to boost staff skills in rural facilities

Staff in rural communities now have access to more innovative trauma training and support systems thanks to a new partnership between the Mackay Institute of Research and Innovation (MIRI) and Glencore.

Glencore has invested $100,000 towards trauma care skills development for Mackay Hospital and Health Service (Mackay HHS) staff working in our most rural and remote facilities including Dysart, Moranbah, Bowen, Clermont, Collinsville and Proserpine communities.

The training provides staff with both theoretical and hands on training in the early recognition and stabilisation of trauma patients.

Dysart Hospital Registered Nurse Vicki Edie is one of 12 nursing staff to recently complete a two day Trauma Fundamentals Training Course in Mackay.

Having worked in major hospitals across Perth, Ms Edie understands the benefits trauma training provides for staff and patients in rural communities.

“Dysart doesn’t have a lot of the equipment you find in larger hospitals, so training such as this allows us to discuss certain trauma scenarios and how they can be dealt with in our facilities,” she said.

“We also see a lot of graduate nursing staff who have not yet had a lot of hands on experience in traumas or having patients come through emergency or surgical departments onto the ward.

“In our remote areas what comes through the door has to be dealt with immediately by nursing staff and training like this can help us better support our less experienced colleagues.”

In May staff will also gain hands on experience through the first rural trauma simulation using the Telehealth Emergency Management Support Unit (TEMSU).

TEMSU is a videoconferencing tool that can be used by remote, rural and regional sites to connect with specialists in major centres when needing advice and support.

Clinical Lead for Virtual Health and Mackay Base Hospital Emergency Department Senior Medical Officer, Dr John Hadok, is excited about using innovative technological advancements to enhance trauma capacity development across the Mackay HHS.

“Trauma is not always critical emergencies, on many occasions it can mean falls and fractures,” Dr Hadok said.

“Sometimes rural patients are transferred to bigger centres, when with the right virtual support, there may be no need to do this. In these situations, or when waiting for retrieval from a major trauma, technology can really support rural clinicians to achieve better patient outcomes.

“These systems allow definitive trauma care to begin almost immediately after a patient’s arrival to a rural hospital.”

Community Relations Manager for Glencore, Craig Strudwick, said “we’ve been supporting a similar initiative for a number of years in the NSW Hunter Region”.

“In partnership with the area’s major teaching hospital we’ve been able to develop trauma care capabilities at rural sites across the region.

“We’re hoping to achieve the same outcomes through this partnership with MIRI and Mackay HHS.”

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