Under Pressure

Prince of Wales is a major teaching hospital in Randwick, who provide a full range of hospital services including Hyperbaric medicine (the medical deliverance of oxygen at higher-than-normal atmospheric pressure). The Hyperbaric Unit opened in 1971 at the Prince Henry Hospital in Little Bay. As part of a consolidation of the Eastern Suburbs Hospitals, the unit moved to the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick in 1995.

David King, the hospital's Hyperbaric Technician, started in the Australian Navy at 16 and was there for eleven years. During this time he was a Clearance Diver, a highly-skilled position that requires high-level diving training. Dave was interested in entering the medical field after his time in the Navy, and decided to use his diving and chamber experience to move into working with Hyperbaric (high-pressure) Chambers. There were no specific training courses offered at the time so he learned most of his medical skills on the job, using his Navy training as a good grounding.

Dave loves what he does, continues to dive on occasion and would recommend this career path to any skilled divers who are interested in extending their experience. Today, the likes of ex-Navy and commercial diving people can enter the industry by doing a course at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in South Australia.

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VJ Matthew Jenkin