With winter around the corner, Casey prepares the station, celebrates a fun St. Patrick’s day with an impressive array of green food and drink, and the lay surgical team trains for emergency.

Winter is coming

This week saw the arrival of Steve and Cary (and Matt’s return) after finishing the Wilkins Aerodrome pack down, completing the Casey winter group for 2014.

The weather over the past few weeks has clearly changed highlighting the fact that winter is not far away. Daytime temperatures are now around −10C and we have almost 12 hours of darkness every night.

The fresh snow around station combined with the freezing of the sea water makes for some great sights around station.

We are all trying to make the most of the remaining daylight and decent weather before winter truly sets in.

Food and celebrations

A station’s morale is often linked with the food on offer and once again our chef, Eddie, has outdone himself this week.

Friday night saw the return of Splinters Bistro offering a traditional bar menu, which always goes down well on station.

Saturday night took it up a notch with an Italian themed formal dinner comprising of four courses of exceptional Italian food.

Celebrations then continued on Monday with St. Patrick’s Day — an evening of Irish music, questionable dancing and colourful finger food washed down with a few green beverages. 

Lay surgical assistants

The position of Lay Surgical Assistant is a challenging but hopefully rewarding one.

With little or no medical background, Ian, Steve B, Dan and Nick volunteered for the position in addition to their normal duties on station. Their training started prior to departure at the Royal Hobart Hospital where they learned the basic skills and knowledge required to assist in surgery or in any other medical emergency on station.

Once in Antarctica, the training continues with regular sessions focusing on improving or developing new medical skills, teamwork and communication as well as a series of scenarios to test how we all react under pressure.

This week we revised our management of an unconscious patient, practiced CPR and finished off with a mock surgical scenario. As the only doctor and health professional on station, it is a reassurance to have the support of such a dedicated and professional group.