Medical students' simulated emergency at Bathurst

CRASH: Medical students worked on two simulated accidents during a day on a local farm.
CRASH: Medical students worked on two simulated accidents during a day on a local farm.

THERE was a crashed ute and quad bike on a local property and patients needed to be treated, stabilised and extracted.

Luckily, though, it was only a simulation designed to give some recently arrived medical students from Western Sydney University some hands-on experience.

The simulation, held last Saturday, came at the end of the 16 students’ first week in Bathurst as they embark on a 12-month rural placement within the region.

They were joined by additional medical, nursing, paramedicine, radiography and social worker students for what WSU rural program co-ordinator Jane Thompson called “a huge day of training” on one of the district’s working farms.

EMERGENCY: The students had to treat and stabilise the victims in the simulated accidents.

EMERGENCY: The students had to treat and stabilise the victims in the simulated accidents.

“The objectives included an introduction to life on a rural property, the dangers and challenges faced by our farmers, workers and families on a daily basis, an insight into the individual roles in differing situations for each discipline, and interdisciplinary collaboration and communication throughout the patient’s entire journey from farm to hospital,” Mr Thompson said.

She said many of the students are from urban areas and would not have previously set foot on a working farm.

The morning was spent with hands-on activities including working with sheep, operating machinery and driving farm equipment.

As well, the students were given an introduction to gun and chemical safety.

ALL TOGETHER: The day also tested the students' ability to work with others in an emergency.

ALL TOGETHER: The day also tested the students' ability to work with others in an emergency.

This is a way for the students to gain an insight into injuries their patients might present with at the hospital or emergency doors, Ms Thompson said.

“With a broader insight and knowledge from the morning session, they moved into two ‘real life’ simulated situations involving a crashed ute and quad bike,” Ms Thompson said.

“Both scenarios involved a team of interdisciplinary students who managed the scene by treating, stabilising, extracting and then transporting the patients to our very rustic and life-like rural emergency department.

“We even simulated taking X-rays with our radiography students and had a social worker student on hand to support not only the patients, but their extended family.”

The fourth-year Western Sydney University students will undertake studies while they attend clinical placements across different sectors of Bathurst Base Hospital during their one-year placement at Bathurst.