The Royal Flying Doctor Service STAR & RES Programs: Unique & Exciting Opportunities

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RFDS STAR: Specialised Training in Aeromedical Retrieval

Retrieving and transporting critically ill patients remains one of the most challenging aspects of modern medicine. To do this successfully, medical practitioners are required to possess a broad range of critical care skills, which they are usually called upon to apply in unpredictable and highly restrictive circumstances. The RFDS STAR program was created to address all of these issues, where STAR stands for Specialised Training in Aeromedical Retrieval.

The primary goal of this program is to educate and train medical professionals to deliver the best clinical care in aeromedical retrieval under some of the most challenging circumstances. 

Preparing for a Caesarean Section operation in Tanzania Key features of the RFDS STAR Program

Some of the key features of the RFDS STAR program include:

  • Basics and core aspects of aeromedical retrieval
  • Basic and advanced airway management
  • Pre-hospital anaesthesia
  • Ongoing, comprehensive in-house teaching and training program for RFDS personnel
  • Courses custom designed to meet the requirements and objectives of specific groups
  • A formal, academic University-based program in retrieval medicine, resulting in Diploma in retrieval medicine, Master of retrieval medicine or Postgraduate certificate in retrieval medicine

RFDS RESP: Rural Emergency Skills Program

The Rural Emergency Skills Program (RESP) provides training in the principles and the practical procedures for resuscitating and reviving injured and critically ill patients in rural and remote South Australia.

The aim of the RESP is to provide an opportunity for rural and remote healthcare professionals to hone their existing knowledge and skills in how to manage emergency medical situations.

Program Details

The Rural Emergency Skills Program provides a total of 18 hours of training. This is split into an online e-learning theory course and a 1 ½ day workshop for learning practical skills. The practical skills workshop includes mock clinical scenarios where students get hands-on training in procedural techniques. The e-learning is divided into two sessions – one is delivered before the workshop and the second is delivered after the workshop. The e-learning sessions deliver their lesions through audiovisual media and interactive clinical cases. Workshops are conducted by Emergency medicine facilitators and specialists from varied clinical backgrounds including pre-hospital care, education and rural practice.

As a course pre-requisite, before taking the workshop, participants are required to complete a 10 minute online survey and a 4-hour online pre-learning activity.    

Topics covered during the theory and practical workshops include:

  • Basic and advanced airway management
  • Non invasive ventilation techniques
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Resuscitation and revival of critically ill or injured patients
  • Cervical spine management in trauma
  • Cardiac pacing
  • Chest tube insertion
  • Options for complicated vascular access

Assessment Procedure

Before they can receive their certification for the completed course, all participants are required to satisfactorily complete 8 modules of online pre and post learning activities. They also have to satisfactorily complete the multiple choice written workshop assessment as well as mock scenario assessments. After all assessment requirements are satisfied, the participant receives a certificate of competency. This course and certification aims to help GP participants meet minimum competency requirements for clinical privileging for the SA Department of Health.

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