A patient continuously fainting, diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and managed for troubled breathing. Another patient unconscious as a result of a seizure, saved from certain death.
The skills to treat these patients successfully were developed through the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine’s (ACEM) Emergency Medicine Education and Training (EMET) program which is helping to boost quality and access to emergency care across Australia.
The program was showcased recently at the 14th National Rural Health Conference in Cairns.
In a Conference session on Emergency Care, FACEM Associate Professor Sally McCarthy, Program Support Officer Lydia O’Meara and FACEM Dr Russell Young discussed the impact that the program has on regional and remote communities.
"EMET's a… unique program that’s really networked emergency services like no other program has before,” Sally said during the presentation. “There are still a substantial number of remote and rural settings that the program doesn’t reach so we continue to advocate for funding."
In smaller emergency department settings, doctors are often not specifically trained in emergency medicine and do not always feel adequately skilled to deal with the range of critically ill, or complex trauma presentations.
In 2012 ACEM – aided by Australian Government funding –established and developed the EMET program to support these doctors.
The program provides training and professional support to medical staff caring for patients in regional and remote EDs and other emergency care facilities throughout Australia.
Since the start of the program, in 2012at least 300 regional, rural and remote hospitals have been provided with training sessions in emergency medical care. More than 8,000 training sessions have been conducted with more than 67,000 attendances by doctors, nurses and paramedics. There are now over 360 Emergency Medicine Certificate, or Emergency Medicine Diploma graduates at EMET sites.
The program is delivered through EMET Hubs, which are hospitals with an on-site Fellow of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (FACEM) – which have been funded to deliver emergency training and supervision to hospitals. These hubs oversee training and support to ACEM EMET Training Sites, which are hospitals, or clinical services that have staff who manage emergency presentations.
Program Support Officers are positioned at most ACEM EMET Hubs and are crucial to the program, as they coordinate and promote activities relating to outreach and training, as well as the operation of the Emergency Medicine Certificate and Diploma (EMCD) program for their region.
The EMCD programs are made possible by the Australian Government funding and provide doctors working in emergency departments with adequate knowledge and sufficient clinical experience to be safe, efficient practitioners.