Firstly, I would like to thank Rustica for awarding me the scholarship for my rural GP placement in Oatlands. I spent 5 weeks in Oatlands and it has been an absolutely wonderful experience. The Oatlands Surgery is a small GP practice with just 1 GP and 1 receptionist. It is attached to a small community hospital with 4 beds and a well-equipped resuscitation room and a nursing home.
During my stint there, I saw a variety of different presentations at the GP practice ranging from mental health to heart problems. I did all my own consults under the supervision of the GP and it has been a great learning experience working alongside the staff. I also got a lot of practical experience, having to do all the procedures such as venepuncture and injections. I was also in charge of assessing all patients presenting to the emergency room, from the initial primary survey to history taking, examination, conducting investigations and instituting appropriate management.
My most memorable experience would be going out with the ambulance crew to retrieve an elderly patient. He was found by his neighbor very breathless in his chair in the lounge room. He was conscious but he was in respiratory distress and this was on a background of COPD and heart disease. He was also febrile and very unwell. I did an initial primary survey, took a quick history and examined him. He seemed to be septic and I gave him oxygen and fluids and made sure he was stabilized before transferring him back to the
Oatlands hospital for further assessment and management. All in all, it has been a wonderful 5 weeks spent in Oatlands doing my rural GP placement. I am very grateful to be given this opportunity to help this small and lovely community and I definitely hope to come back again in the future.