Anaesthetic registrars will be able to spend longer at Mackay Base Hospital thanks to new accreditation from the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.
Clinical Director of Anaesthetics Dr Danny Bartlett said trainees could now spend 104 weeks in Mackay, an increase from 52 weeks.
The accreditation for Vocational Training in Anaesthesia is until 2026 and follows a rigorous assessment by the College during a visit to Mackay on 19 October 2020.
Dr Bartlett said the accreditation was recognition that the department provided a high level of education and supervision for junior doctors.
“Mackay Base Hospital not only trains hospital anaesthetists but we are also one of the biggest providers of training and upskilling for GP anaesthetists in Queensland,” Dr Bartlett said.
He said 2020 had been a successful year for the department with a record amount of elective and trauma surgery performed in the health service.
Another highlight was developing a training program to support rural doctors to care for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
“COVID-19 patients who are severely ill need to be intubated and ventilated so the question is how do we reduce harm to staff while doing this,” he said.
“It is a new virus that spreads through aerosolization so there was a need to look at airway management processes for the critically ill.”
This training for rural hospitals was provided by Senior Staff Specialist Anaesthetist Dr Deborah Simmons.
She provided this training in Sarina, Dysart, Clermont, Moranbah, Collinsville, Bowen and Proserpine hospitals.
It was after providing this training in Moranbah that Dr Simmons remained in the area and was able to assist with the care of four miners badly burned in a mine explosion.
Anaesthetic Registrar Dr Matt Walker is the first trainee to benefit from the new accreditation term.
He was on the cusp of applying to continue his training at another hospital location when news of the accreditation arrived.
“I was really pleased to know I could stay in Mackay. It offers me stability and it’s a great department for learning and teaching,” Dr Walker said.
After another year in Mackay completing his basic training, Dr Walker will only be required to complete a further two years of advanced training in a larger facility.
“Mackay offers a great variety of procedures that trainees need to become proficient in, whether it’s obstetrics, general surgery, orthopaedics, procedural sedation, ENT or dental. There are a variety of cases and a continual opportunity to learn,” he said.