The Experience

Retrievals

Retrievals are pri­mar­i­ly by fixed-wing PC-12 tur­bo­prop air­craft. We oper­ate with a sin­gle pilot, doc­tor and flight nurse. The pas­sen­ger cab­in is mod­i­fied to car­ry two stretch­ers and 3 seats.

We also work close­ly with St John Ambu­lance to under­take road retrievals, includ­ing pri­ma­ry trau­ma responses.

There are cur­rent­ly no med­ical­ly con­fig­ured heli­copter ser­vices avail­able in the cen­tral Aus­tralian region.

This job takes you to the most sur­pris­ing places. 

Trav­el­ling around, you will gain access to some of the most remote com­mu­ni­ties in Aus­tralia. One day you will be in the tiny clin­ic of a com­mu­ni­ty only 150 peo­ple strong, the next try­ing to assess some­one on a bil­liard table in a road­house. Every flight is different.

And let’s face it, whose office comes with a bet­ter view! 

Each com­mu­ni­ty has its own per­son­al­i­ty and idio­syn­cra­cies; so you will learn to look out for the don­keys at Arey­on­ga, see the hon­ey ant dream­ing motif in the lay­out of Papun­ya, and trav­el to Kiwirrkur­ra, the Jew­el of the West’. Approx­i­mate­ly 80 – 90% of the patients retrieved are Abo­rig­i­nal. Lan­guages spo­ken include Arrernte, Warlpiri, Lurit­ja, Pit­jan­t­jat­jara, and many oth­ers, often with Eng­lish as a sec­ond language. 

With­in our catch­ment area, the vast major­i­ty of retrievals will be from clin­ics, cat­tle sta­tions and mine sites. Staffing and stock­ing can be high­ly vari­able between loca­tions, such that you may be pick­ing up patients from a first aid offi­cer or reliev­ing a fatigued remote area nurse that has been awake for the last 24 hours. There is a 30 bed hos­pi­tal that lies approx­i­mate­ly 500km north of Alice Springs, but this is the only oth­er hos­pi­tal in the region. 

Step out­side of your com­fort zone.

The lim­i­ta­tion in resources can make this a tough job at times. You sim­ply don’t have the per­son­nel and equip­ment of an urban hos­pi­tal at your fin­ger tips. But this chal­lenge is also part of the reward; push­ing your clin­i­cal skills and putting your knowl­edge and acu­men to the test. The Cen­tral Aus­tralian Retrieval ser­vice is look­ing to recruit resilient, adven­tur­ous peo­ple who can work togeth­er in a close knit team to pro­vide emer­gency med­ical sup­port to peo­ple across a vast 1.6 mil­lion square kilometres.