COVID medical boost for Western Sydney hospitals

Westmead Hospital Assistant in Medicine Rojina Mansour and nurse educators Akshaya Thanajeyan and Mathew Han.

Fifty-nine final year medical students joined Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) as part of a new program, in newly created roles to boost our workforce during COVID-19.

This boost of medical professionals will provide medical care and support for the current clinical, mental health teams and the non-COVID wards across the district for at least six months.

WSLHD executive director Emma McCahon said the students are working as Assistants in Medicine and will provide support to departments to free up other staff to allow them time to perform other duties.

“We have implemented this program to help the current medical workforce should we experience a second surge of COVID-19 cases,” Emma said.

“The students will be involved in the assessment and management of patients across a range of clinical areas, while still working under supervision.

“They will work in a variety of specialities for two or three months in the Emergency Department, medicine, surgery, neonatology, mental health, Women’s Health, Palliative Care and Integrated Care.”

Westmead Hospital educators run simulation training for the new Assistants in Medicine staff.

Westmead Hospital anaesthetic registrar and advanced trainee Melissa Chin gave the students a basic and practical introduction around cannulas and fluids because they will be exposed to this on a daily basis.

“My training session focused on types of cannulas, insertion and assessment techniques, intravenous therapy and patient consent and care.” Melissa added.

“It’s important for them to have a practical and safe approach for patient care. 

“It also gives them a chance to ask questions, explore concerns and troubleshoot which will help them in their clinical roles once they graduate as doctors.

“My advice to these students and other students is to enjoy the clinical journey, you will learn a great deal and grow not just as a doctor but as a person. You will always have help around so don’t be afraid to ask and make it a learning opportunity. Be kind always – to your patients, your colleagues and yourself.”

Westmead Hospital anesthetist Dr Melissa Chin conducts a workshop for Assistants in Medicine staff.

This program was an initiative of NSW Health to help meet the health needs of the community and provide a new way to educate and support incoming junior medical staff.

People who are looking for employment at WSLHD, please click here.