Krystal Proctor
Krystal Proctor

Krystal Proctor

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?

Unlike many nurses I know, I did not always want to be a nurse growing up. However, when my son was born, we spent a significant amount of time in hospitals. Throughout this time the interactions and experiences with the nurses at different health facilities sparked something in me. These nurses had mine and my son’s best interest at heart, advocating for us and making what was a very scary time in my life, a little bit easier. I knew then that I wanted to be that person for someone, to make the scary moment in their life a little bit easier.

After competing the diploma of nursing and working as an Enrolled Nurse at Central Gippsland Health, I was inspired to continue my education, enrolling in the Bachelor of Nursing at Federation University to become a Registered Nurse. I have since been lucky enough to complete several of my clinical rotations through various wards within Central Gippsland Health, along with securing a graduate position at this amazing hospital.

The constant support from all staff and the sense of belonging is one of the reasons I love working within a rural hospital. The patients and health issues a rural hospital exposes you to is something that can’t be replicated and allows for development of a wide skills set due to the variety of reasons for admission to each ward, not simply specialised areas. Being a part of a smaller team, in comparison to larger hospitals, allows for continuity of care and often looking after patients that ‘remember you from last time’, really resonates that sense of community.

Being born and raised in Sale, and now doing the same with my own family I feed honored to be able to be part of the health service providing care to this community. After completion of my graduate year, I intend to further my studies within the midwifery and pediatric area. I have truly found my passion in nursing and have been so fortunate to be able to continue to do the thing I love within this amazing community.

Final (University) Rural Report

My final student nursing placement was in the paediatrics ward at Central Gippsland Health. As I plan on venturing down the midwifery and paediatrics path for post graduate degrees, I was beyond ecstatic to be allocated this placement for the final 6 weeks of my degree. Within my current position as an enrolled nurse and during my student placements, all my experience was within medical, surgical and aged care settings. Paediatrics was not something I had experienced in any way before and I was excited and nervous about being out of my comfort zone and having the opportunity to learn within an entirely new area of nursing.

This placement exceeded my expectations. The nurses and all members of the extensive multidisciplinary teams were so welcoming, supportive and encouraging allowing me to explore this unfamiliar territory within the nursing world. During my 6 weeks I was exposed to a variety of patients with various health conditions, many of which I wasn’t familiar with. Learning the correct fluid and medication calculations for paediatrics was a new skill I was able to practice along with the range of different medications used commonly within the paediatrics setting in comparison to the medical/surgical wards. Communicating with a patient’s parents was also a new thing to me, given I am used to communicating directly with the patient – but that is a little hard when they are a baby.

The knowledge and skills I was able to take from this placement have been invaluable and I am grateful to all involved for allowing me to have such an amazing experience for my final placement. I am excited to start my graduate year and am hopeful I will obtain a rotation through the paediatrics ward. My time spent as part of the women’s and children’s team at Central Gippsland Health has confirmed that this is the area of nursing I wish to pursue and will work towards this goal after completion of my graduate year.

Post Grad Rural Placement Report

The 2nd rotation for my grad year at CGH has been in the women’s and children’s ward.

Having no experience when it comes to paediatric nursing, it has been a big step outside my comfort zone. My previous rotation I had another grad with me to ease the nerves and was a bit nervous about going into this rotation by myself but turns out I was stressing for no reason as every single person on the ward has been so supportive. To say I love this ward would be an understatement. I have always felt strongly that paediatrics and midwifery is where I belong and being part of this ward and team for the last few months has certainly confirmed that this is the area of nursing I wish to pursue.

With this rotation has come a whole new area of nursing I have had to adjust to. Simple things like the difference in “normal ranges” for vital signs – vitals that would be a MET call for an adult are within the perfect range for a paed and vice-versa. Familiarising myself with the use of burettes and syringe pumps for IV administration, different fluids used for paeds and calculating medication doses based on weight were all new me, but I have adapted well. Retraining my brain to this new normal took a little while but I finally got the hang of it, now for my next rotation I’ll have to remember my old normal.

Being on this ward during the winter months means I have had a lot of exposure to children admitted with respiratory illnesses. I’ve gained new skills including commencement/cessation of high flow oxygen and rehydration via NGT – inserting an NGT in a baby in comparison to an adult was an adjustment, but another beneficial component in my learning experience.

As a parent, seeing any child unwell is unsettling, but learning the skills to assist with making them better is invaluable and its rewarding to be part of their recovery journey. Also offering support to the parents is a new area for me. Of course, with adults you offer support to them and their families but it’s not quite the same as a sick child and their parents. I think that having children of my own has helped with building good rapport with parents, which in turn helps the patient.

This rotation has seen such a growth in my knowledge and skill set, all of which will assist me throughout the remainder of my graduate year. The support I’ve been given by the amazing team on this ward is incredible and I am so thankful for all their patience and assistance with my learning journey.

I am off to medical ward for my next rotation. It will be an interesting experience adjusting to the role of an RN in a ward I have previously worked as an EN. Whilst I’m sad that this rotation is ending, I am also looking forward to the challenge of a new ward and the new experience and skills that it will bring.

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