CareFlight gig puts Coolum doctor on a high
HE IS the doctor you hope you will never need to see.
But should the worst happen, he and his colleagues are the airborne first response that could save your life.
Dr Robert Giles punched in for his first day as retrieval registrar at RACQ CareFlight yesterday, relishing the challenges that lay ahead.
"The most exciting and challenging bit will be being on the side of a mountain or the roadside with just you and the highly trained paramedics dealing with the situation," Dr Giles said.
"It's a long way from being in an emergency department with all the back-up at your disposal."
The 33-year-old Coolum resident recently finished his emergency medicine training, mainly at Nambour General Hospital, and has been undergoing specialist winch drop and hover exit practice.
"The hover entry and exit is where you hop off the helicopter while it's still flying," Dr Giles said.
"We did one on Mudjimba Island to simulate being dropped on a mountain."
The role at RACQ CareFlight is a highly desirable position in the medical field and attracted numerous applications. Dr Giles is delighted to have secured the position at Sunshine Coast Airport, which is a mere 10-minute drive from his home.
He said, however, the retrieval registrar position had specific challenges.
"The aviation side of medicine is completely new to me and pre-flight and on the way to an emergency, I will be working out what could be wrong with the patient, how to deal with it at the scene and plan for what could go wrong," Dr Giles said.
"We may need to do a lot at the scene before getting into the chopper, as in the back of a cramped helicopter you are quite limited with things you can do."
Impressed with the people he had met so far at RACQ CareFlight, Dr Giles said: "Everyone seems quite amazing."
A 24-HOUR SHIFT IN THE LIFE OF AN RACQ CAREFLIGHT RETRIEVAL REGISTRAR
6am - On call at home.
8am - Arrive at Sunshine Coast Airport base.
Work day - Rigorous checks on all equipment.
Go through drills with paramedics.
Simulated training with paramedics.
Grab some sleep when you can.
In Emergency - Hot line rings, team scrambles and aim to be airborne in 10 minutes.
Deal with emergency until safely at hospital.
Arrive back at base, re-check equipment and replace used kit.
Mission debrief and lots of paperwork.
6pm - Leave Sunshine Coast Airport base.
6pm-6am - On call through the night.