FOUR students from La Trobe Bendigo's paramedicine course received vital COVID-19 training on Thursday with hopes of soon doing there part to combat the virus.
Third and fourth year students were trained by Ambulance Victoria to become part of the state government's 'surge workforce' and assist its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
La Trobe University paramedicine lecturer David Burns said he was excited for his students to have this opportunity.
"I couldn't be happier with the work these students have done and they should be proud of this work they're doing now," he said.
"They've worked so hard in their course already, but to apply and be selected for this initiative, I'm proud of them too."
After they were selected, the students are being trained to work with paramedics responding to COVID-19 cases.
This gives them to opportunity to work in Ambulance Patient Offload Teams (APOTS) at hospital in various locations across the state.
In these teams, they will be receive patients from ambulance staff and allow the unloading of patients to be cared for outside the emergency department, when appropriate, while waiting for admission.
This will allow the emergency ambulance crews to unload patient and avoid "ramping" at the ED to be available to respond to emergencies.
Ambulance Victoria Loddon Mallee regional manager Travis Weston said the students were part of a larger group from different disciplines selected to help the organisation.
"Over the next week we will recruit 400 additional staff on board to help with our COVID-19 response," he said.
"That's going to be made up of other emergency services such as SES, the Australian Defence Force and of course our student ambulance paramedics and we have six that we're training right now."
Mr Weston said over the next week, these students will learn a range of different skills.
"On Thursday, we were doing a lot of proper manual handling and CPR in different conditions, but next week we will have them driving ambulances," he said.
"These students will be working alongside paramedics so they can learn from those who have already been in their positions."
Mr Burns said training like this would be a challenge for his students, but believed they were well-equipped to do well.
"This is a major step up for our third and fourth year students," he said.
"But with good teaching and learning behind them and having been heavily involved in simulated clinical learning in our Simulation Laboratory throughout their course, they are ready for the challenge of providing high performance levels of care in our communities alongside and under the supervision of experienced paramedic partners.
"We have world-class facilities here at our La Trobe Rural Health School and through the University Department of Rural Health, our students have the best chance of getting out there and making a difference."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: