A unique training exercise sees 60 nursing and paramedicine students test their remote access emergency responses in the heart of Victorian bushland.
Australian Catholic University (ACU) paramedicine students have returned from central Victoria’s regional bushlands as part of an industry-leading training exercise that places the Ballarat-based third- and fourth-year students at the forefront of remote access emergency response.
The Digger’s Trail Wilderness Exercise training activity involved 60 Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Paramedicine students from ACU’s Ballarat Campus, who embarked on a two-day program of emergency response simulations in the Wombat State Forest in the heart of the Macedon Ranges.
The training exercise has become a key pillar of the Ballarat paramedicine course, partnering with Ambulance Victoria, Victoria Police and the State Emergency Service to deliver the only training of its kind.
ACU Paramedicine Senior Lecturer Dr Helen Webb has been the driving force behind Digger’s Trail, seeing the event as providing students with a unique insight into the challenges facing paramedics in emergency response situations in regional and remote areas.
“Many of these students will become paramedics in regional areas of Australia, often working closely with ambulance and emergency services to attend situations in remote locations, where accessibility and terrain provides significant challenges,” Dr Webb said.
“To have exposure to this working environment as part of their studies is priceless experience for our students – an opportunity that is unique to those studying at the Ballarat Campus.”
Accredited by Ambulance Victoria, the training exercise also plays a vital role in helping the students reach the 360 hours of clinical practice required to graduate the Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Paramedicine course.
“The Digger’s Trail Wilderness Exercise was developed to address the gap in supply of on-road clinical placements for senior undergraduate paramedicine students at a regional university in Victoria,” Dr Webb said.
“With the support of Ambulance Victoria we have been able to ensure this program counts towards the clinical placement requirements, which is significant for our students and the course.”