Carmelo Baker
Carmelo Baker

Carmelo Baker

Rotary Club of Sale Rural Nursing Scholarship 2017/2018

Federation University, Gippsland Campus, Vic
Final Rural Placement – Bairnsdale Regional Health Service
Post Grad Placement – Bairnsdale Regional Health Service

Past Rural Nursing & Medical Scholarships Program

Why do I wish to do rural and remote training?

Having  grown  up in Mirboo  North,  I understand the important role that rural hospitals play within  the community.   From providing health education to the public,  ensuring quality  care within  the community  and  providing  amazing  hospital  care  locally,  rural hospital enable  rural residents  to stay local and receive  the health care they  require.  The opportunity that has allowed me to be employed at a rural hospital  and  provide health  care  to a rural community such  as one  I grew up in is a great  privilege.

The desire  to work  within  a rural setting  at Bairnsdale Regional Hospital Service was further enforced after completing both acute nursing placements during my third year at university. During these placements, I received amazing support from both clinical educators and nursing staff on the floor. I also witnessed the vital role that the hospital plays within the community, demonstrating amazing levels of care and support to patients. From this experience I released that completing my graduate year at Bairnsdale and hopefully obtaining future employment at the hospital would make a positive difference in many rural patients’ lives, which is the main reason I wished to join the nursing profession.

Also during my placements at Bairnsdale Hospital and while growing up in a rural community I witnessed the positive health benefit  that being treated locally and avoiding long journey’s provides to patients. I also noticed how it can be difficult for the hospital to retain staff due to the rural setting.   The opportunity to be employed in a rural community and save patients long journey’s to Melbourne and be close to their families, is a great privilege and I believe play’s an important role in helping patient’s to recuperate quicker.

I am very  excited to start my graduate  year at Bairnsdale  Hospital  and  begin to use the skills and  knowledge I obtained at university.   I also understand that beginning  my nursing  journey  will be a steep learning curve,  a challenge I am nervous  about,  but looking  forward  to.   However,  what  I am most  looking forward  to is the opportunity   to make  a positive  impact  on the care  of rural  patient’s  within  a rural community.

Final (University) Rural Report

I am currently undertaking my graduate year as a registered nurse at Bairnsdale hospital, with my first rotation based in the emergency department. I have completed three months of a six month rotation so far, with my second rotation in the new Tambo ward of the hospital.

The emergency department is an area of nursing I have wished to work in since placement last year, therefore I was very excited to receive this rotation. The graduate year began with an orientation week in January where the new grads received an overview of the whole organisation and then were separated into their own departments to receive more specific information. The whole organization made me feel very welcome during this process and I could not wait to get on the floor and start my nursing career.

I quickly learnt there is no typical day in the emergency department and I would be nursing many different types of patients and ailments. One day you are nursing patients from a car crash and then the next a child with breathing difficulties. I really enjoyed the variety of patients and the nursing experiences the emergency department offers. Such exposure in the emergency department has been an amazing learning environment and has allowed me to improve and consolidate multiple aspects of my nursing knowledge and skills.

While working in the emergency department has been amazing, the experience has presented challenges and it has been a steep learning curve from the role of student to nurse. Time management and consolidating new skills have been the two greatest challenges since beginning at the hospital. While on shift many different tasks need to be performed in a timely manner to ensure quality patient care. Some of these tasks were new to me as a graduate nurse or had only been performed a few times as a nursing student three months earlier. Learning these new skills and consolidating them in the fast paced environment of the emergency department was a challenge, however with the support and guidance of more experienced nurses, the clinical educators within the hospital and further self-learning I have improved and become proficient in these skills, thus improving my time management. While learning and becoming proficient in such skills was important to my growth as a nurse, providing a safe environment for my patients was always of paramount importance.

The Rotary scholarship during these first three months, while finding my feet and becoming comfortable in my new role as a registered nurse was extremely beneficial. It assisted in removing financial pressures, meaning I did not have to take on any extra shifts at the hospital for financial reasons. This allowed me to consolidate the new skills learnt while on shift, because I was able to undertake additional research and reflection during days off, thus improve my nursing knowledge further and allowing me to become more comfortable in my new career.

The move to the Bairnsdale area has also been amazing from a lifestyle perspective. The small town feel, which I grew up with and enjoy and the friendly, welcoming atmosphere of the town has been wonderful. Also the beautiful beaches and many hiking choices has made the transition to Bairnsdale very easy and I look forward to the remainder on my grad year within the hospital and hopefully many more years to follow as a nurse within the organisation.

Post Grad Rural Placement Report

The final couple of months of my grad year at Bairnsdale hospital have flown by and have been extremely satisfying. I have remained on the medical/surgical ward (Tambo) at the hospital and with this consistence have become more comfortable in my nursing abilities and have continued to up skill my knowledge and skill set. Due to this increased knowledge I have been nursing patients who are more acutely unwell and require a higher level of care. During this time, I have cared for patients on high flow oxygen, patients with chest drain tubes and patients who have required more complex IV infusions to assist with their recovery. I have really enjoyed the challenge of this increased responsibility and the knowledge gained from the exposure to more complex patients.

With the opportunity to care for more complex patients and as my grad year has come to a conclusion, it has provided me with a chance to reflect on how much knowledge I have gained and the improvement in my skill set since the beginning of the year. At times the grad year has been a little daunting and stressful, however I am very proud of my progress though out the year and cannot wait for the challenges and other learning opportunities my nursing career will provide in the years to come. Bairnsdale, I believe has been an amazing place to complete my grad year due to the great lifestyle the area offers, the wide variety of patients I have been exposed to and the support and learning opportunities my fellow staff members have provided.

Upon the completion of my grad year in January, I was reemployed on a short-term contact on the same ward (Tambo) at Bairnsdale hospital. The hospital provides an amazing learning environment, with great support for professional development. I felt extremely fortunate to remain employed at the hospital. My current contract will continue until late April. At this time, I am leaving the country to travel for 5 weeks (Italy, Morocco and England), which I am very excited about. I will then travel to North Carolina in America and work at summer camp which I have done previously. Upon finishing at the camp, I plan on returning to the Gippsland region to continue nursing.

Finally, I would like to thank Rotary for providing such a generous scholarship during my grad year. The financial assistance has made the transition into my nursing career considerable easier. The scholarship was used in my move to the East Gippsland area and also has allowed me the freedom to consolidate my learning by studying on days off, instead of picking up extra shifts to supplement my income. The interest in our progress and the welcoming environment Sale Rotary provided upon our visit to the meeting in July was also amazing. Once again thank you.

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