Medical staff doing the COVID-19 training at Stanthorpe Hospital.
Medical staff doing the COVID-19 training at Stanthorpe Hospital.

Chinchilla, Dalby hospital staff undergo COVID-19 training

STAFF in hospitals around the Western Downs have begun designated COVID-19 training in preparation for the virus to spread to the region.

Emergency specialists from Darling Downs Health are travelling throughout the region to deliver training to rural hospital, including Dalby, Chinchilla, Kingaroy, Oakey, and Tara.

Health and Ambulance Services minister Steven Miles said this is another great example of how our health heroes on the frontline are preparing for the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ensuring our rural facilities are prepared for COVID-19 is so important and this training is helping to achieve just that,” Minister Miles said.

“Our doctors are doing a tremendous job providing this training at what is an extremely busy time.

“I would like to thank the staff at Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service for their dedication to their peers and their extended communities to ensure we are all prepared.”

Darling Downs Health Director of Clinical Training Dr Sheree Conroy said the Emergency Medicine Education and Training (EMET) courses were aimed at helping rural facilities to be prepared for COVID-19 coronavirus.

“A successful funding application to the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine in the latter half of 2014 allowed us to start the EMET program in February 2015 and we’ve been providing EMET refresher training to our rural facilities for the past five years,” Dr Conroy said.

“In the last few weeks, we’ve ramped up efforts and tailored the training in light of the current pandemic, so we’ve been able to deliver a COVID-19 module to our rural teams.

“We’ve had 202 people attend the training, including doctors (79), nurses (111) and patient support staff (12), who’ve been doing four-hour sessions dedicated solely to dealing with COVID-19 coronavirus.”

Dr Conroy praised the efforts of the ED specialists who were delivering the training.

“We need to remember that while we’re dealing with this pandemic, we are still seeing up to 150 people a day who come through the doors of our ED at Toowoomba Hospital,” she said.

“Now more than ever before, we need to ensure our ED staff and all frontline medical and nursing staff are available to attend to the work at hand, so I implore everyone in the community to do their part in stopping the spread of the virus.

“The best chance we have is to maintain good hand hygiene, minimise unnecessary contact inside and outside the home, maintain social distancing of at least 1.5 metres when you are around people, and above all, stay at home.

“Staying at home really will save lives, so please avoid going out as much as you possibly can.”