Twenty-two doctors working in Arnhem Land – one of the most remote parts of Australia – recently convened in the region’s largest town – Nhulunbuy to learn lifesaving ultrasound skills.
Upskilling remote area doctors, who are often the only medical professional in their region, means the patient does not need to travel, often long and expensive journeys, for diagnostic ultrasounds.
The participants were trained over two, one day programs through a course organised by Flinders NT Regional Training Hub and the Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine.
The jointly hosted inaugural Introduction to Point of Care Ultrasound course for GPs and rural generalists will enable diagnosis of problems wherever a patient is being treated.
Ultrasound skills learned during the program include USS eFAST questions – extended focussed abdominal scan for trauma, identifying foreign bodies in wounds – such as metal, and doing nerve blocks – a method of producing anaesthesia to relieve pain.
The medical staff – 15 consultant doctors, five GP registrars and two trainee doctors from the NT Medical Program representing five health services of East Arnhem Land – Miwatj, Laynhapuy, Groote Eylandt, Gove District Hospital and Arnhem Family Medical Practice participated in the program.
The workshop held on 12-13 November enabled participants to upskill without travelling interstate to fee paying courses.
Gove District Hospital Dr Emma Kelly said it was an “immensely useful and practical skill for remote generalism, that I will continue to use”.
Flinders NT Regional Training Hub Program Manager Eliza Gill said the training had been invaluable for the staff living in East Arnhem Land.
“It will improve practices thereby benefiting the broader community and further enhance the high-quality medical care provided by generalist teams in East Arnhem Land,” Ms Gill said.
To find out about other training opportunities head to: www.flinders.edu.au/flinders-nt/postgraduates/medical/current-initiatives