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November 25, 2010
By Andrew Stackpool
HER work in ensuring the den-
tal facilities under her control were
operating in accordance with radia-
tion safety standards was publicly
acknowledged on September 30
when the Senior Dental Officer for
the ACT /Southern NSW region,
LCDR Katherine Bailey, received a
Commander Joint Health
Command MAJGEN Paul Alexander
presented the award at a special gath-
ering in Canberra for her "exceptional
performance, dedication and outstand-
ing work effort" .
"I commend you for your tireless
and outstanding performance in carry-
ing out your responsibilities as Senior
Dental Officer," MAJGEN Alexander
"Your hard work, determination
and enthusiasm have ensured all den-
tal departments are working to the
same standards of excellence."
In response, LCDR Bailey said she
was genuinely surprised at the award
and at the attention her work had gen-
"It was work that primarily arose
from a sense of self-interest, that is,
preparing my units for inspections by
the Australian Radiation Protection
and Nuclear Safety Agency," LCDR
"I am really proud of my staff
and am honoured to have worked
with them. I hope they continue to
apply their enthusiasm to all the other
aspects of dental practice in order to
maintain the extremely high standard
of dentistry to which our patients have
After joining the RAN, LCDR
Bailey was posted to HMAS Stirling
as a junior dental officer before join-
ing Fleet Mobile Dental Team 3 at
Fleet Base West where she underwent
a series of short-term postings aboard
A posting to Sydney as the OIC at
the HMAS Watson Health Centre fol-
lowed, after which she was offered the
role of Senior Dental Officer for the
ACT/Southern NSW region.
"This was an amazing challenge
but I feel very privileged to have had
the opportunity," she said.
Setting the standard
in ADF dental care
WELL DESERVED: LCDR Katherine Bailey proudly displays her
bronze commendation for outstanding work as Senior Dental Officer for
the ACT/Southern NSW region.
Photo: David McClenaghan
FORTUNATELY for this Navy
medic, and many others like her par-
ticipating in Exercise Bluestokes, the
scenario played out in the Sea King
above HMAS Albatross wasn't using
real people -- but it was about as real
as you could get.
Ex Bluestokes, a series of train-
ing modules designed to hone medical
skills in preparation for a range of sce-
narios, was a first for Navy.
The officer in charge, CMDR Keith
Johnson, said it was the first time
Navy's Health Services had been able
to gather together a group of full- and
part-time health professionals and
deliver a consolidated training pack-
"We were also very fortunate
to have Air Force agree to send a
detachment of aeromedical evacua-
tion instructors to Albatross," CMDR
"They delivered a realistic Rotary
Wing Aero Medical Evacuation
(RWAME) module in this critical area
of deployability pre-requisite training."
There were a number of high end
health training modules, many with-
in the comfort zone of participants.
The Helicopter Underwater Escape
Training and RWAME modules, how-
ever, took many outside their comfort
Part-time health professionals, in
particular, used to working with more
lavish training aids provided in large
civilian hospitals, took time adjusting
to less sophisticated aids.
Participants also received training
in less routine combat medical scenari-
Medics face life
and death testing
As the helo took
off, the medic set to
work. Working in the
deafening noise and
semi darkness, she
raced against the clock.
This was the ultimate
test of her medical
skills. Only time would
tell if the patient lived or
died. LCDR Fenn Kemp
os. The Deployed Surgeons Obstetrics
and Gynecology module, in particular,
received unreserved praise from par-
Live models, birth canal training
aids, proper scans and the presence of
very experienced sonographers pro-
vided totally realistic training, giv-
ing participants the confidence to deal
with unusual situations they might
encounter during humanitarian mis-
sions or on deployment.
The Bluestokes concept proved so
appealing to Navy's health profession-
als that it was initially oversubscribed
by 30 part-time and 10 full-time mem-
As for future courses, CMDR
Johnson remains hopeful.
"That's for others to decide but
watch this space," he said.
"We're definitely hopeful of a
Bluestokes II in the not too distant
REALISTIC TRAINING: Students on Exercise Bluestokes participate in
Rotary Wing Aero Medical Evacuation training at HMAS Albatross.
Photo: LEUT Ashraf Saleh
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