Medical training and dental work

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This week at Mawson: 21 June 2013

Up until now, the Mawson Lay Surgical Assistants (LSAs) have had some piecemeal medical training every fortnight or so on various aspects of operating theatre protocols. This week, they put their training modules together for a mock-up surgical case.

One of the expeditioners happily volunteered to lend his body to science for the morning and act as the 'patient'.

The LSA team were first asked to set up the entire operating theatre as if for a real case in the absence of the doctor. This required them to have to set up all the anaesthetic equipment, all monitors, and all surgical instruments, as well as to scrub up in a sterile manner.

LSA training is a great privilege which is bestowed on a few select volunteers who are taken into the working operating theatres of Royal Hobart Hospital, where they are exposed to real live surgical cases. Under supervision, they are taught the skills of assisting at surgery and anaesthesia. This is a 'very big ask' to expect lay personnel to learn, in two weeks, many of the rudiments of a managing an operating theatre. This is a job which is so far removed from their everyday experiences. Indeed, our Mawson lads performed exceptionally well in this mock-up scenario, and credit is due to their hard work and their interest in, and understanding of, what they learned in those two weeks at the Royal Hobart Hospital. It is also a reflection of the dedication and hard work of the Royal Hobart theatre staff who trained them. Well done, all!

As soon as the 'operation' was over, a dental case was waiting outside theatre. The doctor attends specialist dental training before heading south so that expeditioners have access to treatment, fillings and more if needed during their winter at Mawson.

The surgery is full of interesting gizmos and test devices which rarely get used. A small study was conducted in the past month on the detection of carbon monoxide in combustion fumes to show expeditioners how testing is done and how these devices work.

Found in the station’s recreation room station was an old .303 calibre bullet from a bygone era when seals were occasionally shot and fed to the working dog teams.

A station news article would not be complete without a pretty 'sunset shot', especially now that our last autumn sun was viewed this week.

Medical training - a man lies in a hospital bed pretending to be a patient waiting for surgery
The 'patient' nervously awaits theatre

(Photo: Lloyd Fletcher)

Surgical and anaesthetic assistants prepare for theatre
Surgical and anaesthetic assistants prepare for theatre

(Photo: Lloyd Fletcher)

A mock operation that looks like the real thing with medical staff surrounding a pretend patient
The 'operation' is underway

(Photo: Lloyd Fletcher)

Expeditioners in scrubs stand around a mock patient in an operating theatre
The LSAs have a post-op discussion

(Photo: Lloyd Fletcher)

A carbon monoxide test kit shows the presence of gas as a purple colour change
A carbon monoxide test kit shows the presence of gas as a...

(Photo: Lloyd Fletcher)

A dental procedure takes place
A dental procedure at Mawson

(Photo: Lloyd Fletcher)

An old .303 cablibre bullet casing
An old .303 shell

(Photo: Lloyd Fletcher)

Sunset at Mawson featuring the large wind turbine, backlit by a multi-coloured sky
A rainbow-hued sunset in the final hours before its winter hibernation

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This page was last modified on 21 June 2013.