Medical team hone skills during Operation FIJI ASSIST 2016

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Will Singer (author), LSIS Helen Frank (photographer)

Location(s): Koro Island, Fiji

Topic(s): HMAS Canberra (L02), Operation FIJI ASSIST

Royal Australian Navy Medics and Nurses from the Maritime Operational Health Unit and HMAS Canberra run a casualty drill onboard the ship during Operation Fiji Assist. (photo: LSIS Helen Frank)
Royal Australian Navy Medics and Nurses from the Maritime Operational Health Unit and HMAS Canberra run a casualty drill onboard the ship during Operation Fiji Assist.

The Royal Australian Navy's Maritime Operational Health Unit has continued to fine-tune their emergency medical skills, conducting aero-medical evacuation training onboard HMAS Canberra during Operation FIJI ASSIST 2016.

The simulation exercise provided an opportunity to rehearse patient handling from flight deck triage through to the patient resuscitation and transfer to the intensive care unit.

The prime focus of the training was to ensure efficient treatment of personnel in the event of an emergency.
Nursing Officer, Lieutenant Commander Melissa Cowling said the exercise was important for the diverse team of medical specialists.

“We have a specialised team of health professionals from both the reserve and permanent force, to be part of this the first operational deployment onboard Canberra,” Lieutenant Commander Cowling said.

“Exercises like the aero medical evacuation training, confirm that processes are in sync to best serve a patient.” 

The team consists of advanced medical assistants and two clinical managers, five nurses with skills ranging from emergency to intensive care, two doctors, a scientific officer and a radiographer.

Supplementing the ship’s health team, the medical services provided by the unit range from health promotion and education through to resuscitation and in-patient care.

Lieutenant Commander Cowling said Operation FIJI ASSIST 2016 had the Unit supporting a variety of tasks.

“We were busy during Operation FIJI ASSIST 2016,” she said.

We have cared for eighteen in-patients; conducted thirteen aero medical evacuations, undertaken simulation training and completed post-deployment medical screens for those involved in the relief efforts.”