Fourth year Flinders Northern Territory Medical Program (NTMP) student, Rashmi Sirisena has recently completed a placement at the Gove District Hospital (GDH) in Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory.
Rashmi had initially planned to complete her Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) rotation in a tertiary centre like Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH), but due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, it was decided that she should stay in Nhulunbuy.
NTMP supervisor, Dr Katie Williamson, together with the visiting O&G specialist, eagerly thought of ways of how to best deliver a new teaching program between RDH and GDH.
‘The assistance from staff at Flinders NT and the hospitals has been tremendous’, Rashmi says. ‘Their aim, right from the beginning, was to determine how best to meet my learning needs and to ensure that I didn’t miss out on any learning opportunities otherwise available at a bigger hospital’, she explains.
Dr Jeremy Chin was integral in incorporating Rashmi into the O&G program delivered at RDH. She was included in the morning handovers and in all departmental teaching such as weekly case presentations and small group tutorials, via Zoom.
GDH also assisted greatly in Rashmi’s learning by including her in as many births and antenatal care appointments as they could, and allowing her to spend time with the visiting O&G specialists from RDH during the gynaecological theatre lists and clinics. She was also able to watch simulations like neonatal resuscitation via Zoom, and staff at GDH were very happy and willing to do their own tutorials and provide her with hands on teaching.
Rashmi’s supervisor also organised for her to spend a week with the community midwives allowing her to experience the antenatal care delivered in East Arnhem Land. ‘This was a very rewarding experience to get to know the antenatal women out in community’, says Rashmi.
Overall, it has been incredible to see how flexible and adaptive the teaching has been to accommodate the current climate.