Brianna Dignan
Brianna Dignan

Brianna Dignan

Rotary Club of Sale
Rural Nursing Scholarship 2018/2019

Federation University, Gippsland Campus, Vic
Final Rural Placement – Central Gippsland Health (Sale)
Post Grad Placement – Central Gippsland Health (Sale)

Past Rural Nursing & Medical Scholarships Program

Why do I wish to do rural and remote training?

I have grown up living in Maffra, all my life.   Maffra is a small rural community and I strive to provide good healthcare to my community and surrounding rural communities.  Central Gippsland Health is an amazing rural hospital that I have been lucky enough to accept my graduate year position at in 2019.

Throughout my studies, I have been successful in undertaking majority of my clinical placements in rural hospitals.   I have been lucky enough to get both of my third year clinical placements at Central Gippland Health, and have had the opportunity to get to know the learning services staff and educators well.   The hospital has great support services available and I cannot wait to be a graduate nurse there next year.

I had previously done a placement at CGH in the paediatrics ward and have nursed sick children back to good health. I have since seen these children down the street after being discharged from hospital, and it is amazing seeing them happy and free from sickness.   The feeling of knowing that I helped nurse these children back to good health gives me great joy.   If I were to be working in a metropolitan hospital, I don’t believe I would experience something like this feeling.   I also witnessed a newborn child with sepsis and cared for him in the special care nursery.   I knew the parents of this baby and I was able to comfort them during the time that their baby was in the nursery.   I believe this connection with the parents helped a touch situation become a little easier for them.

I feel as though being a rural nurse will give me a variety of nursing skills as I will not be on a ward that specialises in only certain types of care.    For example, I could be on a ward and have patients going through a detox program, and in the the next room have a palliative patient, or a patent who is recovering from a stroke or heart attack.   If I were in a metropolitan hospital there is a great chance that I would not see this variety of patients, as I would more likely be on wards specialising a particular type of care.   I look forward to the chance to provide good care to my community.   I have also had the ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary team and get to know the physiotherapist, the doctors the speech therapist and all of the rest of the team.   Working together as a team is an important aspect of achieving the best possible patient centred care.

Final (University) Rural Report

When I was allocated to Central Gippsland Health for my final 6 week placement I was extremely excited, I had already completed placements there in the Medical ward and the Womens & Childrens ward. It wasn’t until a few weeks before I was to start that I was sent my allocation for where I was to be spending the 6 weeks, and I was allocated to the Emergency Department.

I had mixed feelings of working in the ED, I was extremely nervous but was also very excited to see and experience some new things. I was so used to working on a ward and used to the structure of the wards, like planning your patient’s medication times, shower times, vital signs etc. so being in the ED was going to be extremely new and different. I was nervous to learn the different types of documentation and medications that went along with ED.

Once I actually got started and got used to the structure, I started to really enjoy it. I enjoyed the documentation and was involved in scribing in MET calls and Code Blue situations, which was amazing to experience. I involved myself as much as I could in as many procedures as I could and picked the brains of the nurses to learn and gain as much as I could from the experience, especially with things such as venepuncture, ECG placement and interpretation which I hadn’t previously been exposed to on previous placements.

I never seen myself as being an ED nurse, I have always wanted to be a paediatric nurse or NICO nurse, but since completing this placement I am now considering completing a post graduate course in ED in the future. I learnt so much from the clinical educators and nurses in the department and was treated like part of the team. Being in a rural hospital I think made things a lot easier to connect to the nurses and become familiar with the department, as there is less staff in the department, and it is smaller than non-rural hospitals.

The final semester of university is a bit of a blur, it went so quickly and all of a sudden, we are qualified registered nurses. We had a few weeks of classes and a couple of assignments. However, the hardest part was actually preparing our graduate year applications, applying for jobs and interviewing at hospitals. This experience was extremely nerve wracking for me but I believe that I prepared myself well and I got my first preference for my graduate year, at Central Gippsland Health.

I am extremely excited to be starting at Central Gippsland Health and to see what is in store for me during my first year as a registered nurse. My first rotation is Theatre, which similar to ED, is something that I have not experienced and am nervous to do. But it will be a great learning curve and I cannot wait to learn new skills that will help with my career.

Post Grad Rural Placement Report

My final rotation was at Maffra District Hospital. At the hospital there are 6 acute beds and then there is also the aged care side with around 30 beds. I spent most of my time in the acute section in the hospital but also got a chance to work in the aged care wing as well.

I got to experience many different things at MDH and was able to become confident with things that I hadn’t yet experienced when I was at the Sale Hospital. I was able to look after a lot of palliative and end of life patients, where I was able to learn about the types of medications used and devices such as syringe drivers to help make these patients comfortable. I was also able to learn about all of the different manual handling devices which will come in handy for the rest of my nursing career. I had a lot of patients who came to the hospital transferred from Sale hospital for rehab post orthopaedic type injuries.

Where to from now? This year I have got a 12-month contract at the Sale hospital where I am working in emergency for 6 months and Women’s & Children’s for 6 months to give me an opportunity to see which direction of nursing I would like to go into. I am very excited for this year and have started my first week in emergency. In my previous reports I had said that I did a 6-week placement in emergency as a third-year student. I am getting back into the swing of things, but it is quite different paced than MDH so its been a hard initial transition, but I am very excited about the next 12 months.

I am very grateful and thankful for the opportunity to receive this scholarship and had a great year during my graduate year. Thank you to all of the sponsors at Rotary.

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