Monday, 7 September 2015

Skills weekend gives students a Bendigo taster

First and second year Monash University medical students had a taste of what’s to come in their course, thanks to fellow students at Bendigo.

A clinical skills weekend at the School of Rural Health Bendigo exposed them to a range of practical procedures.

It was organised by WILDFIRE, the university’s rural and indigenous health club for medical, nursing and allied health students across the university’s campuses and rural clinical schools. A group of interns and resident doctors from Bendigo Health also volunteered for the weekend.

Practice: first and second year medical students got a taste of studying in Bendigo
at a clinical skills weekend.

Interim Director of the School of Rural Health Bendigo, Associate Professor Chris Holmes, said the WILDFIRE clinical skills weekend was a welcome student-led initiative.

“Many of the attendees have had no previous contact with rural centres and the program showcases the student experience in Bendigo, which we hope leads some to consider study and a future in rural areas,” Associate Professor Holmes said.

Bendigo WILDFIRE sub-branch president and third year medical student, Dan Hogarty, helped organise the event. He attended the skills weekend last year as a second year student and found it “a great experience”.

“These 42 students from Clayton get a country experience with a chance for some hands-on learning,” Dan said. “It helps give them a taste for what is to come next year.”

Most of the students are part of the Extended Rural Cohort program, a stream within the Monash medical course.

These students undertake the majority of their clinical education within hospitals and community-based practices in northern rural and regional Victoria. This extended rural training option is provided for students interested in practising medicine in a rural or regional location.

Interns and resident doctors from Bendigo Health ran six stations throughout the weekend.

Stations included looking at a chest x-ray, practising eye examinations, performing a nasograstric tubing procedure, suturing, oxygen therapy, cannulation and performing an electrocardiogram (ECG).

“One of the most interesting parts of the weekend for the students was spending time in the school’s simulation laboratory,” Dan said. “The lab in Bendigo is amazing.

“We find the students get a lot out of the weekend. The first two years of medicine are highly theoretical so it is great for them to come here and see what it is like.”

Associate Professor Holmes complimented the students on a successful event.

“The WILDFIRE students in Bendigo have done an outstanding job pulling together colleagues, junior doctors and clinical skills staff to provide an entertaining and informative experience in Bendigo, and the weekend helps to reinforce the very strong medical education program here,” he said.

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