For my last rotation I went to a diamond mine to see what occupation medicine is all about. In the mine the only medical provider are PAs. It sounds exciting that PAs are able to provide medical care in remote areas. These PAs have had years of experience in emergency medicine and are fully capable to treat patients with the common cold to trauma accidents, heart attacks and strokes
6:30 am – 10:00 am – OPEN CLINIC – patients walk in similar to a walk in clinic. I saw mainly things you would see in a family office. One of the biggest differences is since there are no nurses or pharmacists you need to be all those roles. This includes placing IVs if needed and counting, labeling and bottling prescriptions that you've prescribed.The PA also has appointments for audiology and spirometry testing for all employees.
10:00am – 12:00pm – PAPERWORK/HEALTH PROMOTION – the PA has tons of occupational health related paperwork such as workers comp etc. We also did wellness promotion with surveys on wellness.
|I had ice cream everyday :P|
12:00pm – 1:00pm – LUNCH – all I can say is ALL YOU CAN EAT 24hrs breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks (and yes a self-service ice cream bar)
|Best pastries ever!|
1:00pm – 3:30pm – PAPERWORK/HEALTH PROMOTION
3:30pm – 6:30pm – OPEN CLINIC
Days were long especially when there were not many patients coming in. There weren’t many workplace accidents as you would think and no life threatening emergencies that I saw. The mine places a great importance in safety. I did get some awesome one on one teaching with the PA that works there. They have all the training equipment that you need especially for emergency medicine. I didn’t have to fight for it with the med students or my fellow classmates :P
I was taken out to tours of the pits. This was crazy. I didn’t realize how much is required to run a mine. There are always employees working 24 hours in the day. I didn’t get to see much wildlife. I did see some caribou and siksik (artic ground squirrel).
|My steel toed shoes were one size to big for me :P|
WHAT I SAW
Closed fibula fracture – had to send to the closest city for an x-ray
Cornea abrasions – yes they have their own slit lamp
One diamond :P
|The only diamond I saw - displayed in a case. This was found during there first exploration digging.|
Yes there were other activities offered in the camp. They had a gym open 24 hours as well as exercise rooms. I participated in yoga, basketball games and movie nights.
Here are some more pictures from my adventure.