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Standards for health services in Australian prisons

Criterion 3.2.3 Training of administrative staff

The administrative staff in our health service participate in training.


A. Our administrative staff can describe training undertaken within the past 3 years that is relevant to their role in our health service (interview).

B. There is evidence that our administrative staff have undertaken training within the past 3 years that is relevant to their role in our health service (document review).

C. Our administrative staff have undertaken training in CPR at least every 3 years (interview, document review).


Administrative staff of the health service (such as receptionists and health service managers who do not provide clinical care) also need training to be successful in their roles. This may include formal training (eg. a computer course, training in the use of software programs, training in first aid, management, medical terminology, medical reception, cross cultural training) or on-the-job training provided by staff in the health service (eg. making appointments, recognising urgent situations, confidentiality requirements, familiarisation with the policy and procedures manual). Where health services work collaboratively with the relevant government department, the health service staff may wish to invite prison staff to attend relevant training provided by the health service to support the health status of prisoners.

The RACGP supports cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training for all members of the community because this has been shown to improve patient outcomes. The RACGP recognises that CPR skills are used infrequently and there is evidence that these skills diminish without use. Although Indicator C does not mandate CPR training more frequently than 3 yearly, many general practice professionals believe CPR training should be conducted on a more frequent basis, preferably annually.

The nature of incarceration means that patients have restricted ability to directly contact and use mainstream primary health and emergency services. As a consequence of this restriction, health services in prisons need to have appropriate equipment for emergency care and resuscitation including an automated external defibrillator. Administrative staff should be trained in resuscitation techniques (CPR) and the use of the automated external defibrillator.

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