Emily Rooney
Emily Rooney

Emily Rooney

Rotary Club of Sale
Rural Nursing Scholarship 2020

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

Past Rural Nursing & Medical Scholarships Program

Why do I wish to do rural and remote training?

I wish to be a rural nurse because I believe our country towns give us a great opportunity to develop a diverse range of skills both in the clinical field and community setting.   Many rural and regional Australian’s experience poorer health outcomes when compared to urban and metropolitan cities.  Rural nurses play a big role in identifying the strengths and challenges that their communities face and contribute to finding opportunities to improve the overall health outcomes of these challenges.   I have grown up in the East Gippsland area and look forward to giving back to my community during my 2020 graduate year at Bairnsdale.

A recent placement in the Bairnsdale Oncology Unit really highlighted the importance of health services such as the oncology unit in regional and rural areas.  Many patients in rural areas suffer poorer health outcomes due to decreased access to specialised services when compared to patients in urban and metropolitan areas.   During this placement many of these patients travelled from surrounding communities like Omeo and Orbost to receive this care.   I believe as a nurse it is our job to advocate for services like these to be available in regional and rural settings to achieve better health outcomes and patients within the community.   Since this placement I have a keen desire to further my knowledge and hope to undertake post-graduate studies in oncology as specialty area.

I was fortunate enough to give a talk to year 10 students at a career’s information session at the Bairnsdale Hopsital.  I believe it is important to inspire future generations to not only be involved within the community but to be aware of the endless job opportunities that arise within the context of rural nursing are endless.   The educational needs of rural nurses often differ to nurses in major cities, we are fortunate to have the Monash Rural Education centres at our local hospitals within Gippsland to support our ongoing development.

Final (University) Rural Report

I was allocated my final 5-week clinical placement at Central Gippsland Health. While Sale is close to my home town of Bairnsdale I had many mixed emotions about heading off to an unfamiliar hospital environment. During my time at Central Gippsland Health I was placed in the Emergency Department, an area I never had experienced in previous placements. ED was a roller-coaster of emotions and challenges, no day was ever the same you could go from looking after a patient from a car accident, to a patient having a heart attack or straight into providing care for small children and other minor presentations. Emergency Departments can be a chaotic environment at times, it was a great opportunity and challenge for me personally to consolidate on all aspects of my clinical assessment skills and critical thinking in a well-supported environment.

Through all of its chaos, the greatest part of working amongst an emergency department is the team you work alongside and how all medical and nursing staff come together to provide the best outcomes for their patients. It can be a daunting time as a student particularly coming into a busy department, by the end of my 5 weeks I felt very much a part of the team at Central Gippsland Health. ED taught me a lot of valuable lessons both as nurse and personally. From a nursing perspective it was being able to juggle multiple tasks in a timely manner to ensure all patients needs were met, it was being able to provide support to patients and their loved ones during hard times and good times. I took on any opportunity I could to be exposed to all types of presentations that would later help me in my future career. Personally, the biggest challenges faced was being able to clear your mind after a busy day, I used these 5 weeks to navigate through different strategies that would later help me to reflect on a shift and at times deal with tough and emotional experiences that you are often faced with in an Emergency Department.

Now, after almost completing a full month in my first Graduate rotation in Emergency at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service looking back on my last clinical placement I have been able to continue to develop and build on the skills and knowledge I gained during that 5 weeks. It’s pretty amazing to see how rural hospitals treat so many different presentations with the resources that they have. The biggest thing I have recognised during this time so far is the number of chronic conditions that people within the community live with and how important our role as a health service is to provide education and support services to our community to help manage and improve the overall health outcomes of these patients. I look forward to seeing what the year ahead brings as graduate nurse.

Post Grad Rural Placement Report

The final months of 2020 seen me finishing my graduate year as a registered Nurse in the Aged Care setting of BRHS, those final few months gave me the opportunity to explore my leadership skills and act  in the role of the afterhours clinical co-ordinator. This role gave me a great amount of responsibility of managing aged residents some of which were acutely unwell, coordinating care of up to 90 residents and at times managing staffing issues, on top of all this covid-19 restrictions could make our job seemingly difficult in many ways. I enjoyed the level of responsibility and the exposure it gave me in becoming a leader in healthcare, a skill that I really valued and hope to continue to develop in my future career as a registered nurse in rural/regional Victoria.

After the completion of my graduate year I was pleased to gain another contract with BRHS. Now working in a busy medical/surgical unit with a 4 bed HDU, I am still working amongst our incredible Emergency team were I am continuing to learn, develop and grow as a young nurse. Throughout 2021 I will continue to gain experience in the Emergency setting which I have found to be my greatest passion whilst still being able to explore other areas of the hospital. Going forward my future plans are to continue on with further studies in Emergency Nursing with hope to pursue further employment with the team at BRHS.

If 2020 taught us anything at all, it was most certainly resilience. As a first year nurse working in a rural/regional Emergency setting coming off the back of devastating bush-fires of our East Gippsland Region, managing the health and wellbeing of those effected by the fires then coming straight into a global pandemic it would be fair to say what a year it was to be a nurse, one in which I am grateful for the support and assistance from Australian Rotary Health.

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