Katelyn's JFPP Days in Murtoa, Victoria

Day 1 – 1st of December

Flew Canberra to Melbourne. Then took a train from Melbourne to Ararat, and coach from Ararat to Murtoa. Arrived at my AirBnB accommodation in Murtoa late at night (~10:30 pm).

Some of the locations visited during my stay (Murtoa, Minyip, Rupanyup, Horsham. Nhill not pictures on map).

Some of the locations visited during my stay (Murtoa, Minyip, Rupanyup, Horsham. Nhill not pictures on map).

Water Tower Museum

Water Tower Museum

Day 2 – 2nd of December

Awoke to monthly street markets in the main street! Visited water tower museum (lots of old bird taxidermy specimens and town relics) and Murtoa Stick Shed (largest grain storage shed in Australia, built during WWII. 260x60x20 m – can store 90,000 tonnes of grain!). Also walked around the local lake (Lake Marma).

Silhouette of Lake Marma and Water Tower at Sunset

Silhouette of Lake Marma and Water Tower at Sunset

Murtoa Medical Clinic

Murtoa Medical Clinic

Day 3 – 3rd of December

First day at Murtoa GP clinic. Met all the practice staff – nurses, admin, social work.

Also met the two other John Flynn Scholars who have been mentored by Paul. Both from The University of Queensland. Sat in on consults. Cases below:

  • Lithium medication (w/blood tests to check levels – main side effect – thyroid)

  • Depression (Lexapro)

  • Work insurance – previous knee injury

  • Child with asthma – education about puffer use

  • Weight loss surgery, previous hx of breast cancer.

  • Removing stitches (metal staples) from knee reconstruction

  • Fluid in lungs – from heart failure

  • Previous haematuria / abdominal pain. Tests for tumour markers (bowel and ovarian)

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis.

  • Epstein-Barr virus – PCR vs monospot testing

  • Warfarin dosing – reversible (give vit K).

Dinner at Trish’s (Host and Community Contact for one of the other two JFPP Scholars).

Day 4 – 4th of December

At Minyip GP Clinic. Assisted in procedure – skin cancer excision. Other cases Diabetes management

  • Diabetes management

  • Chronic pain

  • Income protection forms – work injury

  • Restless legs (often ion deficiencies – Ca/Mg/Fe)

  • Glucose monitoring / automatic insulin pump

  • Arthritis (patellar)

  • BCC carcinoma excision

  • CKD

  • Methadone

  • HbA1c testing (diabetes)

  • Warfarin INR: International Normalised Ratio (INR)

Dinner at Trish’s again.

Pink Lake (not very pink this afternoon!)

Pink Lake (not very pink this afternoon!)

Nhill Hospital

Nhill Hospital

Day 5 – 5th of December

Went to Nhill Hospital for a People and Culture Training Day (compulsory for all staff working in the West Wimmera Health Service, WWHS)

Things covered included – reporting bullying and harassment, self-defence training, recognising and reporting domestic violence (patients and co-workers) and treating LGBTQI patients, with a focus on the elderly and nursing homes.

On way back, saw Pink Lake. Dinner with Trish again.

Day 6 – 6th December

Morning at Murtoa clinic. Saw bloods being taken and wound dressing (self-harm). Spent rest of morning with Tristar nurse doing health plans – I took vitals (BP, pulse, BSL, weight, waist and hip circumference).

Went to café Marma (amazing cake!) and neighbourhood house (function rooms for community gatherings / commercial kitchen for meals on wheels / café and meeting place in the main street). Also helped dressings for elderly man who was knocked over by sheep – many grazes, stitches.

Afternoon – went to the Dunlops’ farm. Rode in chaser and header (also drove the header!) and had a look around fields and equipment.

Evening – at Railroad Motel (pub) with other Murtoa admin staff and hosts. Had the peanut butter and bacon parmie (yum!), celebrating one of the other JFPP Scholar’s last days in Murtoa. Then visited stick shed again in the evening.

John Flynn Report Murtoa KW 7.jpg

Day 7 – 7th December

Out in Rupanyup clinic. Visited the adjacent nursing home in the morning and met the residents and staff. Lots of dementia cases!

Sat in with some consultations – including varicose vein stripping post-surgical consult.

Assisted with ear drainage – holding the kidney dish to collect fluid.  

Visited nursing home again – took vitals and did a diabetic history.

Unfortunately, the power was out in Rupanyup, so no air conditioning on a stinking hot day (42 oC!!) (luckily the clinic/nursing home had a backup generator to keep cool).

Christmas dinner at Trish’s.

Lake running through Horsham

Lake running through Horsham

Day 8 – 8th of December (Saturday)

Went to Horsham. Walked past the lake and the Botanical Gardens, as well as the main street. Saw the exterior of the hospital, and opposite that, the house where my grandfather was born. Also saw the new cancer centre (unopened as of yet). Lunch at Café 100 / The Exchange Pub. Afternoon at Lisa’s (one of the admins at the Tristar clinic, who’s hosting another JFPP student).

Had a “florry” for dinner (local dish, Florentine. Steak with ham and cheese, crumbed).

Day 9 – 9th of December (Sunday)

Chilled at Accommodation. Needed a rest.

Day 10 – 10th of December

At Murtoa medical clinic.

Morning – observed nurse (taking bloods) helped clean and dress head wound.

Spent time with pharmacist – talking about PBS classes, prescribing authority, Webster packs etc.

Took an ECG. Checked blood pressure. Consults – checked blood glucose.

Difficult patient – screaming at doctor! Wanted HRT for severe and long-lasting menopause but refused to quit smoking (contraindication!!!)

Day 11 – 11th of December

Murtoa Clinic

Took an ECG, and observed bloods being taken.

Joined up with the Minyip Day Centre Group who drove over to Murtoa and had a BBQ by the lake, in Rabl Park. Also went for a drive around Murtoa and visited the local gift store.

Butcher gave us a pig trotter so we could practise suturing! Also practised taking bloods with the trotter.

Rupanyup Silo Art

Rupanyup Silo Art

Patrice and I with our ‘patient’ pig trotter before suturing.

Patrice and I with our ‘patient’ pig trotter before suturing.

Day 12 – 12th of December

At Rupanyup Clinic.

Nursing home – medications / rounds

Falls risk (FRAT), pressure injury (braden criteria)

Psych history of depression

Clinic: Looked at, cleaned and dressed big leg ulcer on elderly lady. Child – ear infection. Eating disorder. GORD – took an ECG to rule out any cardiac cause!

Day 13 – 13th of December

Murtoa Clinic.

Watched liquid nitrogen freezing of a basal cell carcinoma, and a stamp biopsy of suspicious mole (requiring stitches).

Sat in on lots of consultations – mostly script renewals as the doctor was going on vacation, and a locum could not be found for the region.

Afternoon – Helped wrap the donated Christmas presents from social worker for local families / giving tree.

Evening – Boy came in with deep gash in arm – 3 stitches (vertical mattress). Had to help hold his arm still whilst Paul gave local anaesthetic and performed the suturing.

Day 14 – 14th of December

Rest / pack day.

Walked around lake one final time.

Went to Railroad hotel for Murtoa Clinic Christmas drinks

Visited Trish to say goodbye!

Day 15 - 15th of December

Left Murtoa at 8am on the bus. Arrived in Melbourne, going via Ballarat, around midday.

Lake Marma

Lake Marma

Pelicans on Lake Marma

Pelicans on Lake Marma