Megan Herbstreit
Megan Herbstreit

Megan Herbstreit

Rotary Club of Sale
Rural Nursing Scholarship 2020

Federation University, Gippsland Campus, Vic
Final Rural Placement – Bairnsdale Regional Health
Post Grad Placement – Bairnsdale Regional Health

Past Rural Nursing & Medical Scholarships Program

Why do I wish to do rural and remote training?

I wish to be a rural nurse as I am passionate about caring for others and providing healthcare to rural and remote communities, especially local areas surround and within the East Gippsland community.    I have lived in Paynesville from a very young age and nursing is in my blood.   My nan, mother and multiple other family members ere and are all local nurses here in East Gippsland, most based at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service.   I have lived in East Gippsland all my life and hive witnessed first-hand the lack of resources available to those living in rural hospitals are in this community and the need for them and services to be provided to the community.   I chose to study flexible online through Federation University so I could continue to live locally and provide nursing care to the local community as an endorsed enrolled nurse while studying my Bachelor of Nursing degree.   I finished my final clinical placement at the start of November 2019 and I have experienced first hand the need for rural nurses in East Gippland.  I have completed most of my clinical placement at rural hospitals and have been successful in obtaining a post-grad nursing in East Gippland collaborative program through Bairnsdale Regional Health Service in 2020.

I have the pleasure of being able to go to a remote area; Omeo District Health for the first six months of my graduate year commencing in January 2020 and then coming back to Bairnsdale Regional Health to work on Tambo Ward (medical/surgical) for my 2nd rotation.   I am looking forward to experiencing a rural graduate year and look forward to consolidating my nursing skills learned throughout my degree and my past experiences to provide care to individuals and the community that is patient centered and meets the patient’s needs.   There is a strong need for education regarding health conditions in the community and how they can impact upon individual’s quality of life.   I believe that I can provide care to patients to ensure that they are educated about their health conditions and utilise services available to them to lead a health lifestyle.   participating in a graduate year in East Gippsland will allow me to working rural hospitals and give me the opportunity to work within a diverse team to provide care to the community and assist in providing treatment and education to patients.

Final (University) Rural Report

I can’t believe how quick the time has gone since I finished my last clinical placement as a student RN in October 2019, as I have now completed my first couple of weeks of my first rotation for my graduate year at Omeo District Health.

My final clinical placement for my Bachelor of Nursing degree was a 5-week block at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS) in October 2019.The first week I was in the Medical Imaging department, I then went to the Emergency department for 3 weeks then Dialysis for the last week. The main goals for me for this placement was to utilise my nursing skills that I had developed throughout my studies at federation university to prepare myself for my graduate year, being more involved in patients care, assessments, admissions and procedures.

I enjoyed my first week in Medical Imaging as I had no idea that nurses worked in Medical Imaging. It was good to learn about the different procedures that nurses assist with in the department and the policy and procedures for each procedure. The staff in Medical Imaging were lovely and eager for me to learn and get involved in procedures, which I really appreciated. I got to assist radiologists with injections guided by CT, and also by ultrasound. I got to help with barium swallow x-rays, watch CT, X-rays, and MRI’s be performed. A big thing about medical imaging was being able to communicate with the multidisciplinary team regarding patient care. One thing I found challenging about Medical Imaging was different radiologists like things for procedures certain ways/different to others. But I was soon able to learn how each radiologist prefers things.

Next up was the emergency department (ED), I had never done a placement in the ED, so I was excited to utilise and build on my nursing skills here. It was a fast-paced environment. My preceptors I had in ED were great, they allowed me to get involved in patient assessments, care and treatment. ED was a good placement to practice my time management skills in a fast-paced environment. I also got to do a shift in triage with my preceptor which was interesting to learn about the triage system and the different types of presentations that present to ED.

My final week of my 5-week block of placement was in the dialysis unit at BRHS. It was interesting to learn about each patient’s condition and their treatment regime and the machines and equipment utilised for dialysis. It amazed me how welcoming and happy the regular patients were with staff and other patients despite having to spend approximately 3-5 hours sitting in a chair 3 days a week hooked up to a machine.

During my final placement, computer match results came out whilst I was on placement at BRHS and I received a graduate offer for the BRHS collaborative program. I thoroughly enjoyed my last placement at BRHS as a student RN. I highly recommend for undergraduates to put Bairnsdale Regional Health Service down as a preference for a rural placement experience. The staff are very welcoming, accommodating and supportive, and it is a fantastic opportunity to care for patients in a rural community.

Post Grad Rural Placement Report

I completed my graduate year through the Bairnsdale Regional Health Service collaborative program in January 2021. What a year 2020 was to complete my graduate year as a Registered Nurse. I completed my first 6 months at Omeo District Health and my second 6 months back at BRHS on Tambo Ward (medical/surgical ward). I had fantastic support from the educators, nurse unit managers and staff at both organizations and I will be forever grateful. As you would have read in my previous reports, I really enjoyed consolidating my nursing skills in supportive environments.

I was successful in gaining a transition year (12-month contract) at BRHS post my graduate year. I got both my preferences for my transition year (6 months at Home based nursing and 6 months back at Tambo Ward). I commenced my rotation at HBN a couple of weeks ago. I am really enjoying this rotation so far.  I have competed my CVAD package for BRHS, which allows me to make my care I provide to patients, more patient centred. There are a couple of reasons why I chose HBN as one of my rotations. I noticed on a busy medical/surgical ward, you often do referrals to HBN for care after a patient is discharged from hospital, whether that be wound dressings, assistance with showering etc. And doing this, especially with wounds, you do not find out how the patients wound heals. It is nice to be able to go visit patients in their home and assist them as required. I am finding that there is a lot of palliative patients in East Gippsland and I enjoy spending time, checking in with these patients and providing assistance. I find it extremely rewarding to be able to assist patients in their end stage of their lives and provide assistance in managing their symptoms. Palliative care is of interest to me and I would be interested in doing further study regarding palliative care.

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