Chelsea Hurley
Chelsea Hurley

Chelsea Hurley

Rotary Club of Sale
Rural Nursing Scholarship 2024

Federation University, Gippsland Campus, Vic

Final Rural Placement – Central Gippsland Health Service (Sale)
Post Grad Placement – Central Gippsland Health Service (Sale)

Rural Nursing Scholarship Program

Why do I wish to do rural and remote training?

There are many reasons why I wish to be a rural nurse, the real question is why would I not want to be a rural nurse?   I currently reside in Maffra, after spending my childhood years in Sale.   I am currently employed with a local disability service where I provide support and access to the local facilities.  As part of the organisation, we run a not for profit café where clients can develop their skills and strengthen their employment opportunities.    I am a netball coach with the Sale Net ball association were I donate my time to coach young netballers, fundraise and volunteer with in the club.   I also coach junior basketball teams with the Maffra Basketball Association as well as involvement with the Collegians Cricket Club.

The main reason I wanted to be a rural nurse is to make a positive impact on the lives of people that have supported me and my family.   I want to form strong relationships with patients, their families and the community and provide excellent compassionate, holistic care that is centred to the needs of rural people.    This will enable me to make a difference in my community and give back where I can.   I could not think of a better way to achieve this than caring for people in their most vulnerable moments.

I have come to realise that nurses in general have a special skill set; however, a rural nurse is even more exceptional as they are exposed to more diverse medical conditions and clinical experiences which require the nurse to develop a much broader skill set and include enhanced decision making.   This was evident when I completed a clinical placement with the Central Gippsland Health District Nursing unit in my second year of my nursing degree.  I was able to witness first-hand the diversity of skills performed from wound care to medication administration to cancer care all in one shift, in the privacy of the patient’s own home, creating a very personalised and unique experience.

Final (University) Rural Report

As part of undergoing a Bachelor of Nursing degree with Federation University, I was required to complete 800 hours of clinical placement. I knew at the beginning of my studies that this would be challenging especially financially; however, I was determined to complete this and complete my degree. I was not wrong. I found managing placement exceedingly difficult but an extremely rewarding and invaluable experience. This report will outline my personal experience throughout my studies completing clinical placement and some of the challenges I faced.

The obvious strain for most students, if not all, is the financial burden of completing placement. I feel incredibly lucky that I was fortunate enough to have an amazing and understanding employer. I was able to work extra when I could and be paid time in lieu that I could use whilst on placement. My employer also put me on as part time instead of casual so that I could receive paid leave (all staff at the facility are casual). I found my last year of study and placements the hardest financially as I was required to take 16 weeks off work to complete labs and clinical placement for my degree. Holiday pay and time in lieu pay did not cover this large amount of leave in 12 months and meant that I couldn’t afford to take any other time off for personal reasons or holidays.

Finally, clinical placement was full-time hours and sometimes six days straight with a mixture of shifts which is difficult but manageable. However, add in assignments that are still due, time for study, juggling parenthood and relationships as well as running a household and I was one very mentally and physically exhausted woman. Completing clinical placements was exhausting but very well worth it.

Clinical placement gave me the opportunity to put theory into practice, experience what it is like being a nurse and giving me practical experience, which was vital in preparing me for my graduate year. It was an invaluable experience for which I am incredibly grateful. I was impressed with majority of my preceptors. They were more than willing to guide and support me through my placement giving me every opportunity to practice skills and experience the nursing and health industry. I endeavour to make them, my lecturers and everybody that has put time and effort into teaching and supporting me, proud by becoming a kind, compassionate caring nurse. I am looking forward to the year ahead, starting my career off as a graduate nurse with Central Gippsland Health, with my first rotation in my hometown- Maffra Hospital.

Post Grad Rural Placement Report

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