Rotary Club of Sale Rural Nursing Scholarship 2016/2017
Federation University, Gippsland Campus
Final Rural Placement – Bairnsdale Regional Health Service
Post Grad Placement – Bairnsdale Regional Health Service
Why do I wish to do rural and remote training?
I have always been interested in working within the rural nursing field. As a high school student, studying in Melbourne, I knew that I wanted to live in a rural area and work within the health care industry. As a third year nursing student, nearing the end of my studies, working and living in a rural area still appeals to me tremendously. The diversity I am sure to experience, the opportunities for autonomy whilst working within a supportive community and the focus on patient education are all aspects that led me to pursue a career in rural nursing.
I hold a keen interest in working within the rural hospital setting as I believe I will be exposed to a diverse range of clinical experiences that will allow me to further advance my knowledge in the area of rural and remote nursing. Due to limited resources and staff, nursing staff must be competent in a variety of areas to ensure that the best care is provided to patients. The diversity within the rural clinical setting are outweighs that of the metropolitan hospitals. In comparison to metro hospitals where there are specialist staff on hand, rural health care teams must be able to cope with situations themselves. Although, at times, this may be a challenging introduction to my nursing career, it will allow me to develop a solid foundation as a registered nurse.
Rural nursing, whilst it presents various challenges, accommodates for a vast amount of growth and career development. It allows the nurse to develop the skills to work both autonomously and within a close knit community. Having the opportunity to learn how to work independently would be highly beneficial as a developing registered nurse. Not only will it consolidate my time management and problem skills, it will increase the confidence I have in my own abilities as a registered nurse.
Final (University) Rural Report
For the final placement of my nursing degree, I was allocated four weeks in theatre at Bairnsdale Regional Health Services. During that time I spent one week in the day procedure unit, one week in the recovery room, one week in the operating theatre and the final week was spent following patients through their admission in day procedure, to their procedure in the operating theatre and into recovery, post-procedure. The four weeks were an invaluable learning experience that allowed me to better understand what happens when a patient in the ward is taken to theatre for a procedure and why particular protocols are followed pre and post-operatively.
I thoroughly enjoyed many aspects of my theatre placement. My time spent in day procedure was the perfect way to slowly adjust to the theatre environment. I admitted patients prior to their procedures, and got them ready for the anaesthetic nurse to take them into the operating theatre. During this time I was able to research the types of procedures that were being done so that I could be prepared for any questions they may have had and to better prepare myself for when I would witness the procedure myself. I also thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in the recovery room, as I was able to practise airway management techniques that I had recently learnt in practical labs at university. Having the opportunity to witness the effects of the different anaesthetics on each person was really interesting. I found that caring for people while they are in such a vulnerable state and the gratitude they showed to be quite humbling and very rewarding.
Whilst there were a multitude of enjoyable experiences during my placement in theatre, there were areas I also found quite challenging. As it was an area I hadn’t learnt a lot about during university classes I found the steep learning curve a challenge at times. The medications were very different to those I had experienced in the wards. The anaesthetics, in particular, were almost all new to me and I was required to study them to better understand their actions and potential adverse reactions. This was a good opportunity to broaden my knowledge of medications, however, in addition to adjusting to an entirely new environment, was challenging at times. I found the operating theatre to be an environment that was quite difficult to adjust to. It was a specialty area that I had very little knowledge about and, as a result, I felt quite out of my comfort zone in the initial stages. As I developed a better understanding of the protocols and sterile fields within the operating theatre I began to enjoy my experience to a fuller extent.
My four week placement in theatre at Bairnsdale Regional Health Services, whilst challenging at times, was an extremely rewarding experience. I learnt a lot from my time with the team and I will remember the skills I learnt throughout my nursing career.
Post Grad Rural Placement Report
I am halfway through my final rotation in Gabo medical ward and I am thoroughly enjoying the experience. I have learnt so much about the management of multiple diseases and conditions, I have expanded my knowledge of medication and I have had the opportunity to consolidate the skills I’ve learnt in university. One of the many benefits of working within the rural setting is the variety of patients we care for. Unlike the specialised wards of the metro hospitals, Gabo medical ward cares for patients with any medical condition requiring admission in to hospital. This can include; cardiac illnesses, respiratory illnesses, drug and alcohol withdrawal, strokes etc. This has allowed me to expand my knowledge immensely. I enjoy learning about the pathophysiology of medical conditions and how the different medications affect those processes. Gabo ward is providing me with endless opportunities to learn.
As I am coming to the end of my graduate year, I have begun reflecting on my experiences throughout the program. Under the guidance of the supportive and extremely experienced health care staff at Bairnsdale Regional Health I have developed the knowledge and confidence to provide best practise for my patients. I have become confident in clinical skills that I previously had no experience in performing. I attribute this to my decision to pursue my graduate year in a rural area. I have thoroughly enjoyed working and learning in East Gippsland, and hope to continue to do so at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service.