As Mildura continues to grow, so does Mildura Cardiology. The need for further expansion has made it necessary for Mildura Cardiology to relocate its Cardiac & Specialist Centre to 238 13th street Mildura, previously located in the Mildura Health Private Hospital building. The new centre is located four doors down from the main clinic at 230 13th street. This centre provides an outpatient echocardiography service for both adult and paediatric patients. This includes both urgent and non urgent outpatient appointments and a daily inpatient hospital service covering both Mildura Base Hospital and Mildura Health Private Hospital. This busy centre employs five echocardiographers and two reception staff. Visiting specialists include a Paediatric Cardiologist, a Respiratory & Sleep Physician and a Haematologist.
Our newest registrar on rotation from Alfred Health is Dr Dana Forcey. Dana completed both her undergraduate training in Immunology and Pathology, and her MD at The University of Melbourne. Her Basic Physician Training was completed at Alfred Health and the Central Australian Health Service - Alice Springs. She is currently an Advanced Trainee in General and Acute Care Medicine, which she hopes to combine with Nephrology training and she is particularly interested in Indigenous Renal Health. Dana is enjoying all aspects of General Cardiology at Mildura Cardiology, especially ECG reporting and transthoracic echocardiography. She hopes these skills will be useful to her practice in the remote and rural settings in which she hopes to work in future. She enjoys working with the team at Mildura Cardiology and Mildura Base Hospital. Outside of work, Dana enjoys hiking and landscape photography. During the coronarvirus lockdown she has inherited a sourdough starter from Carly (assistant practice manager), and is enjoying competing with Carly and Dr Soward in the pursuit of baking the perfect sourdough bread!
Jessica Goodman and Kirsten Newman recently became echocardiographers at Mildura Cardiology.
HOME is where the heart is for two local nurses-turned-echocardiographers. After completing their Bachelor of Nursing degrees two years ago, Kirsten Newman and Jessica Goodman decided to take their medical education one step further and complete a Graduate Diploma in Cardiac Ultrasound, a two-year course run through the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The girls received their qualifications recently, essentially "doubling the staff levels" at their workplace, Mildura Cardiology. Chief echocardiographer Lisa Zweck said the course undertaken by Ms Newman and Ms Goodman is "notorious for having students drop out or fail due to the high level of skills involved". "Not only is it very academically difficult requiring physics, anatomy, physiology, and mathematical equations, but the physical skills required to perform the procedure is extremely difficult," Ms Zweck said. "This has been an outstanding achievement for the girls and now has basically doubled our staff levels, "They are local girls and it is wonderful that they have retrained in such a specialised area to help service our rural community." Ms Goodman and Ms Newman said while their training was "intense," they were now looking forward to embarking on their new career. "I always knew I wanted to work in healthcare, starting with working as a personal carer, then nursing and leading in to echocardiography seemed like a very natural progression for me," Ms Goodman said. "I really think you can have a rewarding and successful career right here in Mildura, our workplace has been so supportive." The road to echocardiology looked very different for Ms Newman, who decided to take a turn to the medical profession after hairdressing for seven years. "I was a qualified hairdresser when I started studying nursing ... I never thought I'd do a post grad, let alone a degree," she said. "I did it because I just thought it was amazing, I had almost finished my nursing degree and thought I'd give it a go -- and I'm so glad I did." Both girls agree that having access to "hands on learning" through their workplace was key to their success. "You're actually not allowed to do the course with out the hands on training, so we were really lucky to have Mildura Cardiology take us on and support us though that," Ms Goodman said. "The wonderful thing about echocardiology is that it's continually changing and improving – you're learning new things all the time... it's constantly evolving, and that's a very exciting thing to be a part of."
Story and photo courtesy of Sunraysia Daily