The Australian Defence Force has deployed medical personnel to Melbourne to support the Victorian Government with COVID-19 testing as part of Operation COVID-19 Assist.

Aircraftwoman Victoria Daniels and Seaman Isaiah Lane are medical trainees from Army School of Health, who are currently in Melbourne.

Aircraftwoman Daniels said she was told on Friday that she would be deployed for Operation COVID-19 Assist on Monday. 

“It was daunting at first but I was also excited to use what I’ve been learning in the classroom,” Aircraftwoman Daniels said.

While working in the clinic, both trainees have had to make challenging decisions regarding patient care.

“On day one, my fifth patient was an older, non-English speaking lady who had her carer bring her into the clinic because she was unwell,” Aircraftwoman Daniels said.

“It was challenging to assess because we needed a translator for everything. 

“I realised this patient needed to go to the emergency department, not just be tested for COVID-19.”

Seaman Lane has also been working in a clinic with symptomatic patients, putting his learning to good use.

“I’m working with people who may be critically ill,” Seaman Lane said.

“I have to understand their symptoms and assess the level of care needed.

“This experience has been awesome to build on my own clinical confidence and skills.”

Aircraftwoman Daniels and Seaman Lane agree that the training they have received at the Army School of Health has been invaluable. 

“Working alongside doctors and nurses in a civilian hospital has been a fantastic experience,” Seaman Lane said.