For my final rotation and edging closer to completing my graduate year at Central Gippsland Health I have ending up remaining in the emergency department. I am currently in my last week as a “graduate nurse” before turning a new chapter and commencing work as a transition nurse, diving into independent learning and a less supported year.
First off, I would like to speak about the support and learning opportunities I have had during my rotation in the emergency department. The whole team have welcomed me and made me feel like all the small questions have been worthy, while providing me with education (often at 4am if its not too busy). With growing experience with all the differentiating presentation that we get down in sale I feel as through my knowledge and expertise has grown with every single patient. I look forwards to expanding this knowledge to truly feel competent in all types of presentations.
Secondly, I would like to address the elephant in the room (covid-19) and how it has changed the way we work. While we often have to adapt to change with the flow of the department and are used to keeping up with change, it has been a challenge within itself to keep up with the new directions from both the state government and the decisions made from the executives of Cghs to keep our community safe with the ongoing changes and updates the pandemic has thrown at us. We have gone from wearing surgical masks, to N95 that we are fit tested for to determine if it is protecting us at work, to wearing full PPE and isolating every single patient that shows any glimpse of symptoms of the virus. This is very strenuous, donning and doffing every time we enter an isolating patient’s room, if the patient needs help, we need to don and doff, if a patient has a question we need to don and doff, or in a life-threatening situation we need to don and doff, which creates extra pressure on time, which puts us beyond with all the patients. We have been repeating these processes, every day all day. Until I become sick with covid-19, missing an entire month of my graduate year in my favourite rotation yet, after having discovered a cardiac condition that is believed to have come from having the virus itself. Having recently returned to work, I can sympathise with my patients on a deeper level.
Moving forwards, I am excited to continue on in the emergency department as a transition nurse before heading back to the surgical ward. I am nervous but excited to have the new responsibility this role has and starting to get my head around further study and gaining my Advanced life support package. Hopefully leading on to further my career with additional post graduate study come 2023. Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Rotary Club of Sale for encouraging nurses to stay rural and providing us with financially assistance during the year which really helps people build a foundation in the region, thank you.