Earlier this year, Nursing student from Federation University, Laura Ladhams completed a four week placement in Nhulunbuy, supported by Flinders NT Placement Team including Nhulunbuy Campus Administrator, Margot Wall. Laura describes her placement at Gove District Hospital as being ‘the most eye-opening experience in her life thus far’.
Read about Laura’s experience below as published in the Spring 2019 edition of the CRANAplus Magazine.
Laura Ladhams, CRANAplus Undergraduate Student Remote Placement Scholarship recipient, writes about her placement at Gove District Hospital.
To summarise my placement in a limited word count is quite difficult. When I found out that I was successful in a remote placement my excitement went through the roof.
I had been working on getting a remote placement for eight months and now that it was happening, I could not have been happier.
My four-week placement at Gove District Hospital in Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory has by far been the most eye-opening experience in my life thus far. The communities surrounding Nhulunbuy are far and wide, but prove to be the most welcoming communities that I have dealt with in my remote experiences.
During my placement I met some of the most amazing patients and co-workers that made the transition from being away from home more welcoming. My placement consisted of two weeks in the general/paediatric ward and two weeks in the emergency department. During my placement I met some of the most amazing patients and co-workers that made the transition from being away from home more welcoming.
The staff that I had the privilege of working with took me under their wing and allowed me to work within my scope of practice, completing tasks that I may not have been able to complete in other areas of Australia. It was remarkable to come into contact with many diagnoses that I would not have come across in my home state, which allowed me to broaden my knowledge.
I found a love of being able to make the patients feel as comfortable as possible. My roster allowed me my weekends to be able to discover what Nhulunbuy had to offer, the beautiful surroundings, the culture and the art were all highly anticipated, and I was very excited to see what the culture was like in the surrounding communities. I got to experience some amazing sights, such as Rainbow Cliffs and Memorial Park.
On the ward, I worked with babies, children, teenagers and adults, allowing me to really delve into my prior knowledge of swapping from adults to babies and how they differ from each other in terms of observations and treatments.
During my time at the hospital, I found a love of being able to make the patients feel as comfortable as possible. To help this process learning some the language that they spoke helped significantly, to the point that I had been invited to go to other communities to be welcomed into their family.
I found it fascinating that learning their language broke down the cultural barrier enough for them to understand that I was there to help them.
I cannot thank my clinical coordinator enough – Alicia Perkins, my preceptors, the contacts at Flinders University for easing the transition and making the overall experience bigger and better than I expected.
The support I received from Margot Wall and from my family and friends helped me through the nerves.
I cannot say this enough, rural and remote placements such as this has aided me in understanding just how important rural and remote nursing is, and how incredible it can be to touch the surface on Indigenous health.
Laura’s Scholarship was sponsored by HESTA and CRANAplus thanks them for their continued support of the health professionals of the future.