Highlights during remote placements

Kylie Haeusler was supported by Flinders NT while on placement in Tennant Creek, as part of her Nursing studies at Charles Darwin University. Now completing her graduate program at the Royal Darwin Hospital, she reflects on her three remote placements.

Read about Kylie’s experience below as published in the winter / dry season 2020 edition of the CRANAplus Magazine.

Highlights during remote placements

Kylie Haeusler started her grad program at Royal Darwin Hospital in mid January, still shell-shocked and wondering when the reality would set in that she was now a Registered Nurse. Here Kylie reflects on her three remote placements during her studies.

I travelled more than 7000 km in seven months, from Halls Creek WA to Tennant Creek NT, and met some amazing people who contribute to the health and wellbeing of peoples who live in a unique part of Australia.

Placement – the dreaded word, I’d say, for most nursing students. People ask me why I chose remote placements and my simple answer is ‘to develop my interest in becoming a RAN’. However, what I gained as a person is something special: understanding of social determinates of health and that a person’s wealth determines a person’s health outcome; realising what makes the people who live and work in these communities and the heart of each community is one of authenticity, kindness and knowledge.

The people I worked with, staff and clients, were understanding of me being a student nurse and supported me to do procedures in my scope of practice with encouragement and patience.

Some of the highlights for me personally were the health expo held at the civic centre in
Tennant Creek, having a BBQ with the local vet, ambo officers and nursing staff from Tennant Creek hospital, and the placement at Yura Yungi Medical Service. At this newly renovated clinic in Halls Creek, I gained insight into rheumatic heart disease and the treatments for patients and learned that the role of an RN is not just clinical but also about community – the role of the sexual health nurse is to restock the condom trees which is part of the health promotion to reduce STIs in the region.

With this placement, I went out to the community of Ringer Soaks where I stayed
for three days with a RAN who has a bank of knowledge – concreting for me my dream to become a RAN myself.

My final placement was at Bradaag which is a drug and alcohol treatment service in Tennant Creek. I went on cultural outing days with a feeling I was learning more from the clients than I was giving.

What I’ve taken away from the people living in these communities is the value of kindness, gentleness plus a bank of knowledge.

With each place on my remote placements I noticed a common trend: being busy but still giving the client time for a chat, allowing for a holistic approach to nursing.

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Centre for Remote Health (CRH) Flinders NT Remote and Rural Interprofessional Placement Learning NT (RIPPL NT) Student Placements