Julie Light
Julie Light

Julie Light

Rotary Club of Sale
Rural Nursing Scholarship 2021

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

Past Rural Nursing & Medical Scholarships Program

Why do I wish to do rural and remote training?

As a mature age student, I found my passion for nursing a little later in life.   I am a single mother of 2 teenager daughters who attend local catholic schools and participate in community sports.   Sale is my home, the community that I was raised in and where I am raising my daughters.  I want to enrich my girls with a sense of belonging and appreciation of their community by giving back and being part of building a better future of out town.

In 2008, youngest daughter was born at 29 weeks weighing only 946 grams.   The amazing nurses in Sale hospital looked after me and my tiny baby in one of my family’s hardest times.   The amazing doctors and nurses kept me alive and prepared my tiny baby for her transfer to Melbourne.   After two and half months, we were able to transfer back to Sale hospital where the nurses helped care for us until we were finally able to go home.   They remained calm and used their skills to not only help us survive but also to make us feel like we would be okay which is a difficult task in a family’s worst time.   My respect and admiration for those nurses sparked my own desire to make a difference in the lives of other families.

Being part of a community means helping where you can and being there for those in times of need.   As well as volunteering through my children’s school and sports programs, I have also been able to use my developing nursing skills to volunteer at the local Men’s Pit-Stop Program where I conducted free men’s health checks.   I also completed a placement with the District Nursing Team where we travelled within the local community and surrounding areas to provide care to those most vulnerable in our community.

Whilst taking care of my children and studying full time, I also have a job in the kitchen at the Central Gippsland Health.   Being around patients, interacting with their families and talking to the amazing medical teams really pushes me forward in my desire to be a rural nurse.   Our community is strengthened by the connections we make.  Many of the people I see around the hospital have been families that I had contact with through working in my parent’s mall local business for many years.

I particularly want to further my career in rural emergency nursing as rates of accidents and injury is more prevalent in rural areas.   I want to build relationships with clients and other rural health professionals to achieve health promotion and prevention outcomes.   I want to be a part of building a strong and connected community for the future.

Final (University) Rural Report

The final five weeks of placement at Latrobe Regional Hospital in the Avon ward were incredible. I finally felt like I was about to become a real nurse. I had spent the past three years at university learning and practicing my skills and this placement on their medical ward was where it all came together.

Day one of placement I was nervous as I had not yet been on a general ward of a hospital and felt I did not have the knowledge I needed to be a well-rounded nurse.  I was keen to consolidate a wide range of skills and learn as much as possible in preparation for my upcoming graduate year at Central Gippsland Health.

I was exposed to so many comorbidities people face every day from diabetes, kidney disease, heart failure to dementia and mental health conditions.  The staff on the ward were amazing and very supportive.  They gave me opportunities to really take control and develop myself into an independent and competent nurse. I was planning my shifts and learning to prioritise areas of care. I was able to practice wound dressings, medication administration, running IV lines and provide holistic patient centred care.

Over the weeks my confidence grew, and I felt like I was a valuable member of their team.  I realised I had nothing to be nervous about as the theory and practical elements of my degree had come together.  I feel this final placement has given me a solid basis to continue to develop my skills and succeed during the next 12 months of my nursing journey.  I am very eager to commence my first rotation at Maffra Hospital and become a vital part of the team and the wider Maffra community.

Post Grad Rural Placement Report

The past year has been nothing short of amazing.  I have rotated through Maffra Hospital, Emergency department and the Medical ward as a graduate nurse.  I have gained valuable knowledge and skills that have set a solid foundation for my nursing carer.  It has been challenging at times with an overload of information, but I have tried to take it all on board to develop into a well rounded registered nurse.

My graduate year has been a wonderful steppingstone into a transition year within CGH. I am fortunate enough to be doing two 6-month rotations this year in Emergency and Critical Care.  Here I hope to gain a more in depth understanding in these high acuity areas and possibly go on the following year into a post graduate degree.  I applied for high acuity care as I find that’s where people are at their most vulnerable state, I hope that I can make a difference in using clinical skills and assessments to get them back on their feet and home with their families.

I have had amazing support from the organisation, my graduate co-ordinator, fellow graduate nurses and the amazing staff across all departments. I feel privileged and honoured to have felt apart of all these teams.  I look forward to continuing to work within this wonderful organisation for years to come.

Thank you to the amazing team at Australian Rotary Health and the Rotary Club of Sale for giving me this platform to be able to share my experiences and the support I have received over the past year.  I love being apart of such a wonderful community who offer these rewards in helping people achieve their dreams.  I will be forever grateful for this opportunity and look forward to the future ahead.

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