Kate Sanders
Kate Sanders

Kate Sanders

Rotary Club of Sale
Rural Nursing Scholarship 2022

Federation University, Gippsland Campus, Vic

Final Rural Placement – Central Gippsland Health
Post Grad Placement – Central Gippsland Health

Rural Nursing Scholarship Program

Why do I wish to do rural and remote training?

I wish to become a rural nurse as I feel that we are an integral part of the health care service and also the community, ensuring that an optimal level of care is delivered to our community. Having the opportunity to complete my graduate year at the Central Gippsland Base Hospital is a privilege, one that I will be eternally grateful for. I understand and appreciate there is a shortage of nurses not only locally but nationally as well and extending globally. However, having lived most of my life in a rural setting, I have seen a greater disparity between metropolitan and rural health care services. I feel there is a substantial number of healthcare providers choosing to work in metropolitan hospitals, as opposed to rural hospitals.

My desire is to work in a rural hospital, as I feel it increases opportunities to create a better foundation in patient centred are. As most patients that are cared for in a rural setting are locals living in the community, relationships are formed, and a better understanding of the patient’s needs a facilitated. This is because you may have cared for them before from prior admissions. I feel working in a rural hospital I can form a connection with the patients where they feel comfortable and valued, in comparison to metropolitan hospitals where there is an absence of community minded care.

I have experienced this care personally. Whilst the care received was outstanding, and I will be forever grateful that we had healthcare professionals and facilities that were able to provide the care required, I also feel there was the absence of the community feel. For me this is something important, as I pride myself on being able to build good rapport with my patients, leaving them feeling valued and appreciated.

I also feel having a graduate position in a rural hospital I will be exposed to vast range of different treatments the patients require, due to the geographical distance to the major metropolitan hospitals. Therefore, I feel working in a rural hospital forms a good foundation and broader knowledge in commencing my career as a registered nurse, as every opportunity I am presented with I will accept. Working in a rural hospital I feel will provide challenges that will be beneficial in my career, a I will learn to become adaptable o my current surroundings as I endeavour to provide an optimal level of care to my community.

Final (University) Rural Report

I have recently completed my bachelor’s degree in nursing. My graduation position is at the Central Gippsland Base Hospital Sale, where I will commence in the middle of February. The Central Gippsland base hospital has a variety of services which include an emergency department, theatre, critical care unit, surgical, and medical wards, women’s and children’s ward, oncology and dialysis day units, aged care resident’s home, and a variety of rehabilitation and outpatient services available to the community.

Recently completing the final placement for my degree in the emergency department at the Central Gippsland Base Hospital at Sale, I now have a greater appreciation and understanding for the services that are available and accessible for the local community. While on my five-week placement, I was exposed to a variety of different health conditions with some requiring immediate action. While I am sure there were times on my placement where I could have been extremely overwhelmed, I surprisingly was not and remained calm. I now have a greater appreciation and understand the importance of remaining calm when under pressure. Becoming panicked and showing it, can be a hindrance to the optimal care being provided. There were situations where patients needed more extensive treatment, and with the quick thinking of the health professionals, collaboratively working together, facilitated the patients receiving that optimal care. Having witnessed that care and playing a role in facilitating that care to those patients, really accentuated how much I want to help people, especially those that are living in rural settings and require emergency care.

Even though Sale is a small community, the health care services available are an integral part of the community, that not only facilitates Sale, but also the broader community. While evidently the recent COVID 19 pandemic has become overwhelmingly confronting, I am not seeing the current climate as intimidating, but rather a challenge. A challenge where I want to overcome any daunting situations I may be faced with, as my role as a registered nurse is an integral role in the healthcare system.

While I feel a little nervous that as of next week, I will no longer be the student observing the care and procedures provided to the patients. I will now be in charge, and responsible for ensuring I provide the highest standard of care. While it is daunting at the thought of no longer being the student, and all the responsibilities I now take on as a registered nurse. I feel there is ample opportunities at the Central Gippsland Base Hospital, even though we are living in a rural setting there is an abundance of exposure to diverse health conditions. Having health care services available to the community alleviates any stress or inaccessibility patients may encounter if the services were not easily accessible. Therefore, I strongly feel it is essential to encourage people to work in rural health care services, as it provides great opportunity to grow as a health care professional while providing care to a small community.

Post Grad Rural Placement Report

I am now two months into my second rotation which is aged care. While I’m not using my clinical skills every day, I have found I am strengthening different skills such as communication and leadership. I have found the new challenges that I have faced, have helped me work on areas I didn’t realise I needed to work on, until I could see an improvement myself. I have found working in aged care feels more taxing on my body with all the physical moving and repositioning. I remember my aged care educator saying to me when I first started “Now remember as a staff member you are only here 8 hours a day, but as a resident they don’t get to go home, this is their home so respect it. While some things you have to do may not be very pleasant, just remember at the end of your shift you get to go home.”

I have been faced with many challenges with shortage of staff and a covid outbreak which had its own challenges in the facility. However, I felt it was appropriately managed and within two weeks the facility was clear of covid. The staff were amazing with working together and helping each other out when others were down. At that point in time it really felt like a team environment. Coming in as a graduate nurse and having to be in charge of the facility at times was daunting. However, I feel I have managed well with whatever challenge I had to face.

I have continued to do extra shifts in the emergency department, which I feel since working in aged care, I am more confident in my skills and ability. I feel having the responsibilities as an “in charge” has helped my confidence grow. I have also been sent to theatre for a day to assist in the recovery of patients, which I found to be a great experience in learning a new area and also an opportunity to have an insight into another area of nursing.

Death had always been something I had found very confronting. However, I have learnt to appreciate it and respect the process in a different manner. I have learnt while we are there to support, provide comfort and ensure the resident is comfortable and free from pain. The family who are grieving their loved one, and riding the roller coaster of emotions equally require comfort and support them through the process of losing a loved one.

While I don’t think aged care will be an area I would like to work in long term I have enjoyed the time I have spent here, and the staff I have worked alongside with.

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