Bachelor of Nursing
Not all nursing students dream of a career that involves working in a hospital. Some, like third year Bachelor of Nursing Student Tina Corbridge opt to take their final clinical practice placement in a rural or remote area.
Typically, people in these areas have limited access to medical and allied health services and nurses become integral members of their community. They provide comprehensive health care and develop a broad scope of practice to deal with the wide range of challenges and issues in an isolated environment.
The placement involves students living and working in the community for three weeks. They are supervised by experienced rural practitioners and various grants are available to assist with travel and other expenses.
Why did you choose a remote clinical placement?
There are a number of reasons why I chose Brewarrina (in far north NSW) over placement close to home.
Firstly, I wanted to experience the difference between remote/rural area nursing
and acute care nursing. Also as an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse I had gained valuable experience as a surgical nurse and wanted to gain an understanding of nursing from a Primary Health Care perspective
I also have an interest in the health and social issues of Indigenous Australians. Last semester I chose the elective Indigenous Health and this was complemented by a clinical placement in an Aboriginal Health Centre on the Central Coast. I wanted to balance this experience by opting for a placement in a rural/remote setting that was predominantly Indigenous.
What did you enjoy most?
The whole of my three weeks was a fantastic experience. It was an environment where at any given time the Nurse Manager could be delivering a baby under emergency conditions, organising staffing issues, to stabilising a crush victim before the Royal Flying Doctors arrived. I followed this particular situation through and drove out to the airfield. I found the RFD flight nurse to be brilliant and so willing to pass on her knowledge as she prepared the patient to be airlifted to Dubbo Hospital.
I also worked alongside a wonderful Aboriginal Health Worker. We did many things such as driving to a community 100km along a straight road to visit patients/clients who didn’t like to visit the town. In this particular community we carried out blood pressures and checked blood glucose levels in client’s homes but a number of them were carried out on driveways as this was where they were comfortable. I was taken to the homes of one of Aboriginal Health Worker’s family, I found them to be so welcoming and kind, each had an impact on my life and I was sad to leave them.
One of your projects focused on health education in schools. How did you empower kids to make their own healthy choices?
I was part of the Yr 6 sex education programme at Brewarrina Central School. On the second day I realised there would be an opportunity to discuss healthy food choices in relation to the children’s expected rapid growth spurts. I raided the health centre’s cupboards for any relevant literature, brochures, fliers, age appropriate information to assist in an interactive presentation. After my talk the children were each given a package to take home to their families, this included information on healthy lifestyles choices and recipes booklets
On my last day we carried out my Project Good Tucker Bad Tucker; a healthy fruit and drink stall at the local swimming pool.
Would you recommend a rural/remote placement to other students?
Yes, absolutely. I experienced first hand how PHC nurses are the backbone in these rural/remote areas. The role they play in is enormous as they look after and are responsible for the wellbeing of whole communities. They are multi-skilled and talented professionals who can alter the course/re-direct a person’s health outcome.
Not all nursing students dream of a career that involves working in a hospital. Some, like third year Bachelor of Nursing Student Tina Corbidge opt to take their final clinical practice placement in a rural or remote area to experience life as a Community Nurse.