Amidst Western Australia’s stunning Karijini National Park, Rural Health West orchestrated a unique medical wilderness challenge for rural doctors.
Over three days, 20 rural doctors performed simulated emergencies in scenic gorges, enhancing their skills for non-hospital settings. Led by senior specialists, they honed critical thinking, leadership, and improvisation abilities.
This event empowered rural doctors to manage emergencies in remote locales, fostering connections and practical insights.
The immersive experience promoted adaptability, teamwork, and rapid response enriching their medical toolkit. This annual event transforms doctors’ perspectives, equipping them for vital roles in rural and remote care.
16 August 2023
No matter where you are
Rural & Remote Australia
The magnificent red gorges of Western Australia’s Karijini National Park were the backdrop for a series of medical emergencies during Rural Health West’s inaugural Rural and Remote Retrieval (RRR) event.
Fortunately, they were only simulated emergencies, and 20 rural doctors were on hand to ensure the ‘casualties’ received the best treatment possible.
Rural Health West recently hosted a unique medical wilderness challenge for rural and remote GPs to help them think ‘outside the square’ when faced with emergency situations in non-hospital settings.
The unique three-day event saw four teams performing a range of simulated emergency scenarios among the stunning national park. Participants didn’t know what medical emergency were coming, or when, but they had to be ready to swing into action, work as a team and save ‘lives’.
Rural Health Wests’ General Manager for Education and Engagement said RRR was designed to prepare rural doctors to manage medical emergencies they may experience while working in rural and remote locations.
“Rural doctors are more likely than their city counterparts to play a role in managing emergency scenarios, and RRR provides them with an opportunity to upskill in this area under the supervision of senior emergency specialists from some of WA’s busiest emergency departments.
“During RRR participants take turns taking a leadership role within their teams. This gives an opportunity to test critical thinking and build confidence in leadership skills.
“The participants also appreciated the chance to connect with the medical educators and now know that these doctors are available to guide and support rural doctors treating critically ill and injured patients.
“We’ve also had feedback from participants that RRR provides unique insight into understanding the ‘mechanism of injury’, which is useful in determining how best to treat a patients’ injury and condition,” Leesai said.
Rotto Ramble creator and emergency medicine specialist Professor Tony Celenza said the uniqueness of the wilderness event enabled the doctors to utilise a wide range of skills.
“Participants responded to medical emergencies that happened without warning at various locations on the island, which for many was out of their comfort zone,” Professor Celenza said.
“They’re used to having access to medical equipment and monitors in a hospital setting. In these wilderness scenarios they had to improvise and think laterally under pressure as well as work effectively as a team.”
Rural Health West hosts the Rural and Remote Retrieval weekend in May each year.Learn More