Narelle Brown
Narelle Brown

Narelle Brown

Rotary Club of Sale
Rural Nursing Scholarship 2024

Federation University, Gippsland Campus, Vic

Final Rural Placement – Central Gippsland Health Service (Sale)
Post Grad Placement – Central Gippsland Health Service (Sale)

Rural Nursing Scholarship Program

Why do I wish to do rural and remote training?

Since a young age I always knew I wanted to be a nurse. Growing up my younger brother spent a lot of time in and out of hospitals due to illnesses and allergies. The many hospital appointments and procedures opened my eyes to the industry and it is here I became fascinated with the nursing career. Being surrounded by such a caring, loving, and supportive environment made me idolise these nurses and passionate in thinking that’s what I wanted to do with my life. I was born and raised in the local Sale and Maffra community which I also attended school and played for local community sporting groups. I love the community I live in and wouldn’t of had it any other way. After graduating high school I started my bachelor of nursing degree at federation university Churchill campus.

Throughout my degree I spent majority of my 800 placement hours within local community hospitals within the area. Throughout my experience I found rural hospitals to be encouraging and highly supportive of students, this made me really enjoy my placements as the staff were easily approachable and there were endless learning opportunities. During my second year of my degree I began a RUSON (Registered Undergraduate Student of Nursing) job at my local community hospital. Within this role I was able to capture how rewarding it was to be a rural nurse. I love how the vision and mission of my local hospital revolves around providing services to the community that are safe and make them feel valued and supported. Each and every day you work with nurses who delivery wholistic and person centred care to the people who make up our community. Not only does the care feel more valued, it is also more valuable to provide as it is our friends, families, neighbours and so on that we aim to provide high level healthcare to.

When applying for my graduate year of nursing I took this into consideration and during the interview process the friendliness and support I was provided with at CGHS was extremely powerful opposed to metropolitan hospitals I had applied for making my decision easy on where I wanted to be. In my graduate year and following years to come I hope to be a nurse that is honest, encouraging and supportive of the members of the community in which I care for. I feel I can bring high levels of effective communication, an open mind, and passion to the healthcare of my community and can be apart the next generation of rural health nurses that strive to achieve greater health outcomes and opportunities within our community.

Final (University) Rural Report

Throughout the first two years of my Bachelor of Nursing degree I was lucky enough to be involved in a variety of placements at rural hospitals including Central Gippsland Health Service and Bairnsdale Regional Health Service. These placements were across wards such as medical, surgical and aged care. These placements were valuable at providing me with fundamental skills that will help me during my career including time management, working as a part of a team, effective communication, and basic nursing skills like medication administration, wound management, and understanding and caring for different medical conditions.

During the final year of my degree I had a few different adventures for my placements. In the first semester I applied for a placement at The Royal Children’s Hospital and was lucky enough to be successful in my application. For this placement I was placed on the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and had the most amazing experience. Because the hospital is one of the best paediatric hospitals in Victoria the cases were very complex and we were able to look after a variety of tiny patients and their families. My favourite case was seeing a newborn who was born with her stomach outside her body. From here the care involved hanging the stomach contents in a sterile bag above the baby’s body and slowly drop it back into the stomach over a period of time. Among this there were also lots of cardiac patients which was interesting to learn about. Looking after these tiny patients opened my eyes to paediatric nursing and I found I really enjoyed this pathway, it was also valuable to work at RCH due to the exposure which wouldn’t be the same in a paediatric setting in rural Victoria. A key lesson I learnt during this placement was how important the involvement of family is when caring for paediatric patients. Lots of the regular practices were completed by the parents such as nappy changing and feeding to maintain the bond with their children. Although it was slightly different with newborns when the children are a bit older parent involvement is important to ensure the child is comfortable while receiving care. When they are at this stage too you may have to explain things twice as you can explain it to the child in a way they’ll understand and then again to the parents so they also understand.

In the second semester I applied for an international placement in Nepal and my application was successful. In November along with 15 other students and 2 teachers I headed over to Nepal for the following three and a bit weeks on the adventure of a lifetime. Our placement was at a rural hospital called Scheer Memorial Adventist Hospital which was a small hospital approximately an hour from Kathmandu which works to serve the local community. We were lucky enough to be able to rotate through multiple wards during the placement to get a great taste of many experiences. Out of all the wards I worked on I really enjoyed working on the obstetrics ward. Across the two days while I was on this ward I was able to watch two caesarean births and four natural births. We were able to get involved in assisting the ladies during labour as well as after birth, and we also were able to help with the newborns by wrapping the babies in traditional wraps and completing traditional practices.

I also enjoyed the two days I spent in the emergency department. During these two days I got to watch wound dressings, complete abdominal assessments, see complex cases I had never seen before, and be involved in giving CPR to a patient. This experience was extremely valuable to understand what a real life situation involves and how things don’t always go to plan but you just have to go with it. Overall this placement taught me some lessons on cultural awareness and safety. It is important to make sure how you explain things to patients is in a clear and slow way that they’ll understand by using simple language and articulating words. I experienced first hand how hard it is to understand when people are speaking in another language or with string accents. This placement was incredible and I am forever incredibly grateful that I was so lucky to go on this adventure and experience these three weeks.

Overall the placements I have experienced over the past three years have been valuable in shaping me as a nurse and will help me throughout the start of my career as a graduate nurse and in the many years to come.

Post Grad Rural Placement Report

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