Jessica Dini
Jessica Dini

Jessica Dini

Indigenous Health Scholarship

Central Queensland University, QLD

Certificate of  Clinical Nursing
Scholarship Awarded 2023

Bachelor of Nursing
Scholarship Awarded 2022

Sponsored by:
Rotary Club of Cairns

Indigenous Health Scholarship Program

How will I contribute to improving Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People experience the greatest health disparity of any race in Australia. This can be traced back to colonisation and the creation of assimilation and protectionism policies and programs that were introduced with the goal of the eradication of First Nations People. Being displaced, forcibly removed, relocated, and denied access to Country, lore, identity, family, and community by settlers continues to have ongoing effects on the social and cultural determinants of health for First Nations People. Evidence shows that understanding and addressing the cultural and social determinants of health are imperative to improving health outcomes for First Nations People.

To improve the health of First Nations People I intend to practice holistically and reflectively to ensure I am providing culturally safe and culturally competent care. I must understand the unique challenges and hardships First Nations People face daily in their endeavour to pursue better health. To reduce the negative impact of colonisation in health care services, I can ensure that I treat First Nations people with respect, foster autonomy, and self-determination and provide a safe space for First Nations people to feel safe in asking for services. I must acknowledge that as a female nurse, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men may not want to be treated by me, and I must facilitate their healthcare how they choose when they choose and where they choose.

I must take steps to educate myself on my own values, belief, and biases and practice reflectively to ensure ongoing education and development in this area. I must ensure I know whose Country I am practicing on, I must value their knowledge, culture, and experience. On a larger scale, I must not ignore racism in any form and advocate for patients when they are not receiving the health care they deserve. I can identify discrimination and unconscious bias in the workplace and act on it.

Current Progressive Report

My 1st trimester for 2022.

I studied Building Professional Resilience in Nursing, Acute Alterations in Health in Complex Care Environments, and Professional Experience Placement 4.

Building professional resilience taught us what resilience is, and how to foster it and gave us strategies to manage the high rates of burnout that nurses experience. It covered how organisational and personal stressors contribute to burnout and how to build and maintain self-care strategies to foster personal wellness. The underlying principle is how vital self-care is to be able to work in a profession that provides care to others. It also discussed negative workplace cultures and bullying and ways to deal with these.

Acute Alterations in Health in the Complex Care Environment was by far my favourite subject this term. I learned a lot. This subject is so relevant to what I expect to experience as a new graduate registered nurse (NGRN). There are resources provided in this unit that I suspect I will still be accessing once I’ve graduated. This unit introduced us to the Decision-making Framework for Nurses and Midwives which is how we, as NGRNs determine what is and isn’t in our scope of practice and will help to guide safe, person-centred practice.

Professional Experience Placement 4 for me was on a busy surgical ward. I had so many opportunities to practice my clinical skills and learn medications under the supervision of RNs who were amazing. Their knowledge seemed endless and they were so patient and understanding helping me practice current skills and learn new skills. I particularly enjoyed the learning experience I had with a patient who was admitted with a small bowel obstruction. This patient had a nasogastric tube inserted which I had to aspirate every 4 hours. They were acutely unwell and required intravenous medications for nausea and pain and there was a lot of time management planning that I had to do to care for this patient with my other patients and ensure they were getting the best care I could provide. I learned a lot of valuable skills from this including time management, nausea and pain management when the patient can’t have anything by mouth and how reassuring and listening to a patient who is distressed by their situation can go a long way when they feel that nothing is helping them cope and they don’t feel like they are getting any better.

Working full-time shift work and juggling studies is a challenge I am looking forward to giving up when I finish this term and graduate! I’m looking forward to having more time for my family and young children when my study is completed.

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