Emergency Department, Bunbury Regional Hospital, WA

How to apply for this elective

This elective is coordinated by the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia (RCSWA) and it costs $220.

Approval for placement by Western Australia Country Health Service is required and can be completed by providing a current National Police Check, Working with Children Card and Immunisation Status.  

Apply in July for placement in December to January via email to RCSWA: electives@rcswa.edu.au

For more information visit The University of Western Australia website

About the hospital

Bunbury Regional Hospital is located two hours south of Perth and is a part of the Western Australian Country Health Service.

It is the main hospital in the South Western region and is the referral hospital for most of the smaller hospitals, including Harvey, Collie, Busselton and Margaret River. For complex cases which require specialist care, patients are transferred to the tertiary hospitals in Perth. Bunbury ED has approximately 37 beds over Resus, Acute, Mental Health, Paediatrics, fast track and short stay.

The department is separated into 3 teams, Fast track, Main floor and Short Stay unit, and during the day each of the departments is run by a FACEM doctor or senior doctor, at night an ACEM senior registrar will manage the department.

My elective experience

I was at Bunbury ED from 2nd Jan 2019 to 25th Jan 2019, I worked four 10 hour shifts per week which included days, evenings and nights.

Whilst on shift, I was buddied with one of the junior or senior doctors. Whilst working in Fast track, I would bring patients into the department and work the patients up with supervision from the doctor, performing full histories and relevant examinations.

During my time in fast track, I washed out wounds, administered IM injections, plastered fractures and sutured wounds. I saw patients with sexual health related issues, work injuries, sporting injuries, minor MVA injuries, cellulitis, abscesses, diabetic foot ulcers and toes with gangrene.

I think three of my most memorable cases were a man who had torn his rotator cuff by being bitten by a crab, assisting the doctor remove a fishing hook from a ladies lip and a young gentleman who had been bitten by a poodle.

Whilst working on the main floor, I would bring in patients, take histories and perform examinations, I would then present my findings back to the doctor. The doctor and I would discuss the investigations and management required and if I was with a junior doctor, I would present the case to the duty FACEM. I would insert cannulas and take relevant bloods as ordered by the doctor.

I also assisted on cases in Resus, a few rather tragic cases occurred and it was good to be able to debrief and discuss the cases after.

I was exposed to patients with strokes, head injuries, intoxication, emergency multiple births, initial diagnosis of cancer, back pain, gastrointestinal bleeding, NSTEMI and many more.

I feel that I have developed my clinical skills further and have more confidence in myself as a result of this experience.