A revived education: Auburn operating theatre staff celebrate return of training

Staff from Auburn Hospital’s operating theatres have held their biggest education event ever with special on-the-job training making up for lost time and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Auburn Hospital operating theatres “Education Day” made its return this month and saw the entire third floor of the hospital dedicated to upskilling the nursing, medical and anaesthetic staff for a whole day.

Scrub Scout Simulation: Bleeding

Staff undertook team-building activities, mandatory training, and simulation sessions in both the operating theatres and recovery at Auburn Hospital.

“Since COVID-19, we have not been able to do in-person training with large groups of people,” said Dr Alpha Tung, head of the anaesthetic department at Auburn Hospital.

Dr Tung added the course was a nice change from the online modules and provided staff with a fun, interactive educational experience.

“When in an operating theatre, you are part of a large team and being able to train in this realistic environment has been sorely missed,” said Dr Tung.

“Thankfully, we had no elective surgeries booked on the planned day and were only undertaking taking emergency operations. This meant we could use a lot of the spaces that are used in the actual day-to-day situations.”

The sessions allowed various staff groups to work together to respond to the management of deteriorating adults and children in various scenarios.

“Bringing simulations to the actual workplace, with the actual teams, has always been the best way to teach crisis management,” Alpha said.

“Having the simulations linked to the team building and theory modules bought the learning into real-world scenarios.”

Scrub Scout Training: Medartis trays

The training and education modules were run by both Westmead and Auburn Clinical Nurse Educators, alongside Dr Tung and her anaesthetic team – with nurses, surgeons and anaesthetists all involved.

Dr Alpha Tung

“Days like this really bring the department together, and we achieved all that we set out to,” Alpha said.

“Feedback from staff has been overwhelmingly positive and they’re grateful that they work at Auburn, where we appreciate teamwork and camaraderie.

“We would like to thank our extensive team of medical and nursing instructors for the time and effort that they have put in for this event, and we cannot wait for Education Day next year!”