Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Clinical skills showcases in Latrobe Valley

Efforts to showcase rural living and learning to a group of Monash medical students over a recent weekend in Traralgon were well rewarded.

Monash University’s Rural and Indigenous Health Club, WILDFIRE, initiated a clinical skills weekend at the Monash School of Rural Health's Latrobe Valley site at Latrobe Regional Hospital, for 30 medical students.

The student group included those enrolled in the metropolitan based Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and graduate entry students based at the School of Rural Health in Churchill.

Students learning aseptic technique
and cannulation
WILDFIRE’s Gippsland President, third year medical student Lisa Guion, said this was the first time the student-led cub had initiated a clinical skills weekend in the Latrobe Valley, with previous events being run by the School of Rural Health East Gippsland and Bendigo.

Held over two days, the event showcased the benefits of living and studying medicine in a regional or rural setting, while exposing metropolitan students to local Monash School of Rural Health facilities and clinical settings.

The recent WILDFIRE South East Clinical Skills Weekend included a trip to the Tyers lookout, where Ms Guion said the students had an opportunity to observe the impact of industry and natural disaster in the Latrobe Valley.

Social activities were also incorporated into the weekend but, critically, students participated in skills-based learning across five stations of rotating activities, covering laparoscopic simulation, cannulation, obstetrics scenarios, trauma cases and airway management on Saturday.

Monash medical students learn to suture,
using donated pigs trotters,
Ms Guion said a comprehensive two-hour suturing workshop, using pigs’ trotters donated by a local butcher, was facilitated by local GP Dr Michael Kunze and assisted by students based at Traralgon and Warragul.

“It was so important for these students to see how our clinical settings operate and to understand the benefits of the near-peer teaching that happens here, where the student to consultant ratios are often so much better than in metropolitan areas,” she said.

Ms Guion said a dinner held at Century Inn on the Saturday night surpassed her own expectations, with high levels of interaction between students and guest speakers, including Breed Street GP and obstetrician Dr Brougham, LRH intern and former Monash medical student Dr Mitchell Kraan, fifth year student Ms Kym Clemence and Dr Matthew Carroll who is a researcher with the Monash-led Hazelwood Mine Fire Health Study.

School of Rural Health Latrobe Valley & West Gippsland Director Associate Professor Joseph Tam said it was pleasing to have so many local professionals dedicate their time to contribute to the clinical skills weekend.

“These sorts of initiatives are underpinned by the goal of encouraging the long term commitment of medical practitioners to living and working in rural and regional areas.

“Ultimately, developing a sustainable rural health workforce is in the best interests of all of us and WILDFIRE is to be commended on the work it does to contribute to this outcome,” said Associate Professor Tam.

Ms Guion said feedback from students who participated in the recent weekend had been positive, with some students already indicating their interest in studying in Gippsland.

The event was partially sponsored by Medical Indemnity Protection Society (MIPS) and Southern GP Training.

Monash medical students gathered in the Latrobe Valley for a recent clinical skills weekend.

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