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July 18, 2013 www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS
LSIS Helen Frank
WHEN ABMED Adrian Argall com-
pleted the Advanced Medical Assistant
Course at the Army Logistic Training
Centre (ALTC) at Latchford Barracks,
he got more than just a graduation cer-
To his surprise, he was singled out of
his triservice class of 30 to be awarded
the POMED Stephen Slattery award.
"It was an honour to receive the
award," AB Argall said.
"I wasn't told that I would be receiv-
ing it until just before the graduation, so
it was a pleasant surprise."
The Navy health community created
the award to honour PO Slattery who was
one of the medical contingent tragically
killed in the Shark 02 helicopter crash in
2005, while conducting humanitarian aid
in Nias in Indonesia.
The award is presented to the most
outstanding student and covers all
aspects of the course including academia,
attitude and personal conduct.
Lead course instructor SGT Stephen
Cassidy said AB Argall displayed a quiet
confidence from the outset.
"He was rarely, if ever, flustered,
which was particularly evident in prac-
tical assessments," SGT Cassidy said.
"AB Argall was also more than willing to
assist other trainees in getting up to speed
with their practical assessments, not only
with other Navy trainees but Army as
AB Argall is now using his new skills
at HMAS Coonawarra.
"The course was really well run and I
really enjoyed myself," he said.
"I have been in Darwin for a little
while now and I'm settling in.
"The health centre is fantastic with
very friendly staff. I'm enjoying my time
The award was originally presented
to the most outstanding student on the
Navy Advanced Medical Course. But due
to the relocation of the Medical School
to the ALTC in 2010, the award had not
been presented since 2009.
The Advanced Medical Assistant
Course is set to change shape again with
AB Argall's class being the second last of
the medic training courses in the current
The training will remain triservice,
however the basic and advanced medics
courses have been combined into one and
renamed ADF Medics Course.
LSIS Helen Frank
ADF medics now earn recognised
civilian qualifications in nursing and
paramedicine and can work in civil-
ian hospitals under changes to the
ADF Medical Assistants Course.
All health personnel must now
register with the Australian Health
Practitioners Regulation Agency
(AHPRA) before being able to
undertake on-the-job training or
employment in civilian hospitals.
ADF medics have not previously
been registered with AHPRA and
have been largely restricted to work-
ing within Defence facilities.
OIC RAN Medical School
CMDR Tammy Thomas said
Defence was now providing nation-
ally recognised tertiary level civil-
ian qualifications in the fields of
enrolled nursing and paramedicine,
which was broader than the training
Last year, medical assistant
training was significantly trans-
formed to enable outplacement in
Instead of a number of differ-
ent phases to training, medics now
complete one triservice course at the
Army School of Health.
"The training will benefit Navy in
that it allows our medics the oppor-
tunity to be exposed to both real-
time trauma and acute and chronic
patients," CMDR Thomas said.
This training enables registration
with AHPRA, which opens up the
opportunity for medics to practise
their skills in hospital and pre-hos-
pital settings throughout their career.
This ensures skills will remain cur-
rent at all times.
"With the support of Joint Health
Command, we now have agreements
with a large number of civilian
health services that enable medics
to undertake clinical placements in
order to maintain skill currency,"
CMDR Thomas said.
The new medical assistant train-
ing has also enabled review of and
subsequent changes to advanced
Navy medics training, such as
underwater medicine and the
Clinical Manager's Course, both
conducted at HMAS Penguin.
ADVANCED SKILLS: (L-R) LSMED Errol Campbell, LSMED Corina
Burrows, LSMED Kerrin Lyons and LSMED Nikki Furlong give a
simulation mannequin a blood transfusion at Sydney's Royal North
Shore Hospital during the Clinical Manager's Course.
Photos: ABIS Richard Cordell
PROUD MOMENT: WOMED Anthony McGovern presents the POMED
Stephen Slattery award to ABMED Adrain Argall at the Advanced Medical
Assistant Course graduation.
Photo: Ian Morley
ROLE PLAY: Above, Deputy Director of
Simulation Training LCDR John Vassiliadis
poses as a casualty for LSMED Stephanie
Houldsworth. Left, LSMED Kerrin Lyon prepares
to decompress a lung in the mannequin.
A new course, the Maritime
Operations Health Course (MOHC)
has also been developed and will
ensure the ongoing maintenance and
update of practical medical skills,
such as dealing with common medi-
cal conditions, advanced life support
and sickbay management and admin-
These advanced courses are sup-
ported by a refurbished advanced
medical simulation area at Penguin.
"Through the broadening and
modernisation of medic's training, the
RAN Medical School aims to produce
a medical assistant fully equipped to
operate independently or as a member
of a small team in remote locations,"
CMDR Thomas said.
The changes to Navy medical
assistant training are designed to
meet current and future capability
It also allows for standardisation
of training across the services while
ensuring a robust and comprehen-
sive training continuum that is now
comparative to the civilian sector.
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