Nathan Hawke
Nathan Hawke

Nathan Hawke

Indigenous Health Scholarship 2023

Monash University, VIC

Bachelor of Paramedicine
Scholarship Awarded 2022

Sponsored by:
Rotary District 9790 Group

Indigenous Health Scholarship Program

How will I contribute to improving Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker?

No one ever calls a paramedic when they are happy. Paramedics are called upon in distressing times, when someone needs vital, time critical, emergency support. Yet when an Indigenous person is facing such times, they are less likely to call for help due to a general distrust form emergency services. This puts our Indigenous population – my mob – at a greater risk of severe injury or death. As a front-line health worker, I want to change this and I want to change the stigma attached to emergency services among the Indigenous community. This is how I hope to improve Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner.

By becoming a paramedic, I will be an Indigenous front-line worker, solving problems as they unfold. Though this means I am not necessarily implementing upstream interventions, I believe my experience as an Indigenous paramedic can be utilised to help our profession further improve Indigenous health, and upstream interventions as a while. Also, as a paramedic we can refer to secondary Indigenous health services. This allows for engagement even after the call out. I am in a privileged position as a first responder to show understanding, empathy and compassion towards our mob, and also develop a repport by understanding cultural differences.

Through this career path, I want to be a role model amongst my community and I want to show that paramedics can be trusted when help is needed. I hop to engage with my mob, volunteer at Indigenous community centres, and volunteer my time to further my long-term goal of improving the health of our First Nations people. Through these engagements, I would like to show that paramedics can be role models and friends. This will not only help our Indigenous people of today, but it will break down barriers for further generations.

Current Progressive Report

As some of you may now know in the second semester of last year I failed the subject of trauma. The subject was a difficult one, but it defiantly wasn’t something that I expect or thought would occur. My preparation for the exam was thorough and good, and I felt like I had good studying habits in place that would allow me to excel in the exam.

Walking away from the exam I felt confident that I passed, so it was a shock to me finding out I didn’t.   Then looking at all my answers I realised I didn’t provide enough detail in all the answers, I written half answers and not the full ones. For example, I wrote “fentanyl.” Where I should have written 25mcg of fentanyl at 5min intervals to a maximum of 200mcg if need, consult for me.

By not providing the full answer to the written questions was my downfall in the exam. It was difficult to accept the one point failure but life doesn’t always go your way and this was one of those days. In my head I really don’t feel like I failed since my answers were correct I just had a bad day with a brain fade.

The Second exam for the subject was the practical exam which involved a real life scenario that was based around a trauma incident. I got very unlucky and picked difficult scenario through a blind choosing, which was a traumatic cardiac arrest.  While these incidents have a large scope of practise to manage and prioritise in a 20min time frame. During this scenario I felt confident in the management that I provided. But on self-reflection I realised I missed a step in applying a pelvic binder to the patient but I was unsure if this was a pass or fail mistake. Low and behold it was a failure mistake.

Having failed both exams I was unable to qualify for a resit, as you need to pass one to be able to re-sit the other.  The outcome was defiantly disappointing seeing that I did well on all the other subject for the semester and life isn’t always perfect and this was one of those times.  I feel my resilience has helped me accept the situation with a positive outlook and I know that I wont be making those same mistakes again. So I look forward to getting a traumatic cardiac scenario again in the end of year exam, so I cannot forget to put a pelvic binder on this time.

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