Maddison McMillan
Maddison McMillan

Maddison McMillan

Rotary Club of Sale
Rural Nursing Scholarship 2020

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

Past Rural Nursing & Medical Scholarships Program

Why do I wish to do rural and remote training?

I have always wanted to be a nurse, and work in a hospital within a small town.   I have never really thought about the reasoning behind that, until this application.   Irrespective of nursing, I genuinely love people.   Even if I think I am having a horrible day, I always say to myself ‘if you make one person smile, then today was a good day’.    That is what I try to live by every single day.  Nursing allows me to take my little motto, that one step further.

I was always told growing up that our actions have repercussions.   When I was younger, I thought I was told that to stop myself getting into trouble.   As I have grown, I realise that repercussions also  relate to creating a better world, doing good things and just making someone smile.

Rural nursing allows me to see the repercussions of my actions.   It pushes me to always hold myself to high standards of practice.   It pushes me to treat every single person as if they were family, because sometimes, they just might be some distant relative you never knew about.

Throughout my nursing career so far, I have had so many little moments where I feel so privileged to be able to care for patients.   I have had the privilege of holding an elderly man’s hand as he passed, his on is a regular at the gym I currently work at.   I have had the privilege to calming a lady in the emergency department who did not want to be admitted as she was scare, her daughter is my co-worker.   I have had the privilege to assess a lady’s neurological state in the emergency department, she grew up with my grandfather.  I have had the privilege of looking after a child after a choking incidence, it was a friend from 10 year’s nephew.   I found these connections out,at or near the end of my time with these patients.   I am proud to say, that my care did not change after finding these connections out.   I treat everyone single one of my patients, exactly how I would want my family to be treated.

I understand what it is like to be a patient.   I understand what it is like to be family member of a patient.   The comfort I found when I was in the position, is  knowing who is caring for you and your family member.   That small, albeit, usually insignificant connection makes you feel at ease with a nurse.   I love that I live in such a small community, where I am able to make those small connections and my patients and their families.   I just hope, it makes them feel at ease as well.  I hope I can make their day a little brighter.  I hope I can make them smile.

Final (University) Rural Report

My last ever placement for my nursing degree, I was in Women’s and Childrens (W&C) at Central Gippsland Health. The knowledge I gained during my final 5 weeks as a student nurse, is immeasurable and I am so grateful for my time on this ward.

When I first found out I was going to be on W&C, I was terrified. I had had limited nursing experience with children, however, I had experience teaching children skills such as basketball and soccer in my previous job. I believed that this would help me engage and communicate with my patients. I was nervous about connecting with parents and being able to build a rapport with them. I was worried I would have trouble understanding where their concerns and worries were coming from as I don’t have children of my own.

Thankfully, my preceptors were all amazing! I was able to voice these concerns to them, and they explained things they had experienced with parents and how they helped the parents understand and cope with what was going on with their children.

My first week, I really felt like I was thrown into the deep end. It is quite hard finding your feet in a new environment, finding out where things belong, and even doing something as simple as observations on a child (it’s a completely different approach to adults). After my first week, I started to get into the swing of things and was able to pre-empt things that were going to be required and complete these tasks before they were asked/needed. It was amazing the difference I saw in myself after just one week.

The following week, I again felt like I was thrown in the deep end as I was lucky enough to do some shifts in the special care nursery. The staff were all so knowledgeable and no one got sick of me constantly asking questions about newborns, as they aren’t something we focus on in the nursing degree. I have always been nervous about newborns and holding them. By the end of my placement, I was confidently changing newborns positions, getting newborns out of the humidicribs, feeding newborns via nasogastric tubes, updating feeding charts, medications and everything else that comes with caring for such vulnerable little people.

Throughout the 5 week placement, my trepidations of parents and understanding how they are feeling disappeared. I realise now that they just want the best for their child, and want it explained in a way that they can understand. Once I realised that, it all came so naturally. I was grabbing mums coffee from the café when I got mine as they didn’t want to leave their child who finally fell asleep, or ordering them some dinner from the kitchen so they didn’t have to leave. It was a completely different environment to be in and learn in, but I loved it so much.

I was so incredibly lucky to see a C-section, and it was the most unbelievably, beautiful thing I have ever witnessed. I can see myself doing further study in paediatrics or midwifery. This 5 weeks, completely changed where I see my career going and I couldn’t be more grateful for everything I have learnt.

I am so excited to continue my nursing at Central Gippsland Health and am looking forward to all the new experiences and things I will learn in my graduate year.

Post Grad Rural Placement Report

I am 2 shifts away from completing my graduate year, and I have been fortunate enough to get a contract within the same organisation. I will be moving to paediatrics for 6 months, and then onto emergency for 6 months, with the hope of securing an ongoing position within the emergency department. I was told that the reason I was given 6 months paediatrics was because that rotation will help massively in being able to properly assess and recognise deterioration in the paediatric patients that present to the emergency department.

I am almost finished on surgical ward, and it honestly feels like I just started my rotation there. I have learnt so much, everyone on the ward has been super helpful and always able to give insight. I am still asking a million questions, but I am understanding everything so much more then when I began. I am picking up on so much extra of the little things, like when a patient has been prescribed any VTE prophylaxis and questioning why they haven’t and should they be on some form of it. It’s always nice when you feel as though you are able to pick up and confidently raise these questions with not only the nurse in charge but also the doctors.

I have learnt so much on the surgical ward, drainage tube management, continuous bladder washouts, total hip replacement care, packing for various wounds and surgeries. Bolsters for nasal surgeries, abdominal bindings, and PICO dressings. There was a week where I worked 4 consecutive days and each day I looked after someone with a condition which I had heard nothing about, which was super interesting, and I did a lot of research. I am really lucky because my husband is also in the medical field, specialises in upper limbs, and 2 of these conditions affected upper limbs so it was great to talk to him about them and further my knowledge. It has also been great to brush up on wound management and which dressings are best for certain types of wounds (our wound consultant is amazing and is always happy to talk you through this). I have also learnt a lot about PICC lines and VAC dressings whilst being on surgical ward, it’s amazing to see the response wounds have to the VAC dressings.

I am really excited to continue my career at this hospital, and further my knowledge with paediatric patients. I did a placement on paediatrics when I was a student and the staff were amazing and extremely supportive, so I can not wait to go back and see where I end up.

Support Us