Paramedic Corey Gibson picked up “tips and tricks” when invited into a theatre at Dubbo Hospital to practise and improve life-saving skills.
The Wellington-based NSW Ambulance paramedic grabbed the chance to undertake maintenance training in advanced airway procedures and venepuncture.
“I certainly learned a few tips and tricks to enhance what I already know,” he said. “You’ve always got to maintain your skills because you never know what will happen.”
NSW Ambulance Central and Far West Zone 2 paramedics were asking for the refresher course with the Western NSW Local Health District and Dubbo Hospital enthusiastic about meeting their needs.
Director of the hospital’s Department of Anaesthesia, Dr Namrata Singh, said the paramedics were learning advanced airway skills using supraglottic devices, intubating patients and enhancing their skills to maintain oxygenation “via simple techniques of using Ambu bag and mask” .
“They are well trained and we are just basically upskilling them,” she said.
“We’ve had Corey with us today and he’s already put in two supraglottic devices and done one intubation.”
Mr Gibson will return to the hospital at the end of this month for a second session with the “airway experts”.
By June 18 about 11 paramedics will have completed the two-day and non-compulsory maintenance training.
Dr Singh expects many more to take advantage of the training that the hospital will continue to offer.
“We teach the medical students, registrars and residents and think it’s good to teach the paramedics who are the first point of call for every patient in a crash or emergency,” she said.
About 135 paramedics work in the zone that stretches from Wellington to Broken Hill and Lightning Ridge to Wentworth.
The zone’s Superintendent Stewart Clarke, who approached the hospital to conduct the training, reports that “uptake has been fantastic”.
“Their motivation is to ensure that their skills remain as high quality as possible so they can continue to provide the people in our community the very best standard of care in time critical situations,” the superintendent said.
He has welcomed collaboration with hospital staff who “acknowledge that one day their assisting our clinicians with advice and guidance may very well help save a member of their family”.