APLS in Samoa

“This golden opportunity APLS granted me is not just helping me but my country as well…”

Dr Mika Ah Kuoi is the A&E Registrar at TTM Hospital, Apia, Samoa. He received a Paediatric Emergency Scholarship for an APLS course and attachment at Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Aug 2010

What a month of experiences I had!

It all started when Samoa underwent hard times with the tsunami on September 2009, where the opportunity was introduced to me by the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne team that was letting a hand to help with the disaster’s aftermath.

Then, the hunt for all the required documents and research for the application was initiated knowing that I will face a slim chance because the scholarship was for Asia and Pacific. However, it was an enjoyable festive season after being awarded the scholarship on 18th December 2009.

The coordination of the whole trip with the bookings and communication was greatly done. The accommodation was excellent, being safe and very close to the hospital just made everything convenient.

Getting to explore Melbourne was great, especially with the help of the pre-guide information that was provided; it just made my involvement in social events and functions even better.

The attachment at the RCH gave me lots of new ideas, especially eye-witnessing most of their practices that are not done here in Samoa. It also gave me the appreciation of what the Samoan doctors are delivering to the people after identifying the similar hitches that are found in TTM Hospital as well. The Emergency Department staff nurses and doctors at all level were friendly and helped me throughout.

Learning throughout the clinical attachment was pleasant especially with the teachings on Wednesdays and Fridays. It was also an honour for me to take part in presenting on the 10th March grand-round together with Mr Julian Meagher from the Department of Human Services and A/Prof Simon Young, director of RCH Emergency Department.

A temporary registration to have contact with patients will give a much more broader experience, however, it is understandable as these measures are put in place to protect the integrity of a health service.

Ambulance Services experience on the Air Ambulance and the MICA single unit responder was just another excellent perception of picturing a complete scenario of patients that are stabilised before they arrived at Emergency Departments. It was also an opportunity for me to explore Victoria on the same time from air view and getting to know people and their duties on the field.

After all the intense APLS course was great learning and good opportunity to meet up with some other doctors around the globe. Materials and the whole curriculum are realistic and can be easily applied even in a setting like Samoa. Passing the course and being invited to become an APLS instructor is giving my whole trip a greater value.

Lastly but not the least, many thanks to the APLS programme especially its current President, A/Prof Simon Young, for hosting me throughout the whole month of staying, learning and enjoying Melbourne.

This golden opportunity APLS granted me is not just helping me but my country as well as I will now use and share this knowledge in delivering our services to the community.

Moreover I hope to see the APLS course running in Samoa soon as this is just the beginning of my journey as an emergency physician.

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