The vessels can range in size, and persons on board (POB), from small outfits with less than 50 people, up to large vessels with up to 1000 POB.
In terms of the work, it can be a real mix between primary healthcare, and emergency presentations. You’ll need to have strong primary care skills, as well as a solid background in emergency. In some cases, you’ll also be part of the work health and safety team, and deliver training such as CPR or first aid. Naturally, you’ll require the right to work and current registration in Australia.
The benefits are many:
Exposure to new and unique environments and cases
FIFO work allows you to pursue other interests in your time off
Usually above-average pay and benefits
Travel and accommodation is taken care of
You may get to visit new locations
There can be some down-time adventures – swimming, fishing, snorkelling (on some deployments)
There are some drawbacks, though:
You are often quite isolated from other healthcare facilities. If you are outside of helicopter range, the vessel may need to sail into port. You may be with a critically ill patient for many hours, with limited facilities.
If you suffer from sea-sickness, it can often take at least a few days to habituate to the motion of the vessel
You may be the only medical person on board (but not always), so on-call 24/7
Depending on the type of vessel, the actual role can vary quite significantly, and there is no ‘typical’ job description.
To be qualified for the roles, aside from the requisite clinical skills, you will often require BOSIET and a MSIC.
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