Students enact emergency simulation

AmbulanceThe event will be run from 10.00 am to about 12 noon on Wednesday 29 May, in the new paramedic simulation spaces and the nursing labs at La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus.




Sites around La Trobe University Bendigo campus (as detailed below), including simulation lab and residence, HHS 210-212 nursing labs


nursing and paramedic students


The town of Nurpara is situated in rural Victoria. Its primary industry is wheat farming, and although it is a small town, it provides a stop-over point for travellers heading to Sydney.  

There is a small local hospital (level 3) that services a population of approximately 8000 people. The hospital mainly deals with low acuity patients, and incorporates an aged care hostel and rehabilitation unit.  There is also a 10 bed emergency department, however higher acuity patients are generally rapidly transferred to the next major facility, a level 2 hospital in Fawketup, Victoria.  

On the day of the exercises the following occurs:

There has been a heatwave in Nurpara and surrounding regions, and bushfires have broken out on the road leading to Fawketup.  Access to the nearest town has therefore been blocked.  Due to high winds, helicopter (HEMS) transport is not an option.  Fixed wing aircraft are prevented from landing due to fires that have started close to the aerodrome.  

The town of Nurpara is not at risk of fire at this stage, but access to a major hospital is not possible until the fire in nearby Fawketup has been controlled.  

The current medical services are:

Nurpara local hospital:  10 beds (one of which is currently occupied by a patient awaiting an interhospital transfer to the palliative care unit in order to free up beds)

Nursing staff number: 8

Doctors:  there is one doctor on call in Nurpara.  This morning the doctor travelled to Fawketup where he currently remains due to the closure of Fawketup-Nurpara road due to fires.  He is accessible only by phone.

Ambulance:  Yesterday was the final day of the rural ambulance seminar in Nurpara.  As a result, there are currently 6 crews in Nurpara, each with their own emergency ambulance.  They are also cut off from leaving the town in the short term.

The goals of the simulation are to get nursing and paramedicine students working together in a stressful situation, and particular attention will be paid to handover and general communication and team work skills. Paramedic crews will clinically manage their patients and then handover those patients at the hospital.  They may need to stay at the hospital and assist the nursing staff to manage patients dependant on the patient presentation and requirements.


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