Remote area nurse Mieke Polman-Short loves her job as a relieving remote area nurse at a health clinic in an Aboriginal community called Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) in Central Australia.
Being a first-time remote area nurse (RAN) Ms Polman-Short decided to complete postgraduate studies to assist her with her nursing skills in a remote setting.
“This is my first RAN role and is by the far the most enjoyable (although challenging) nursing position I have ever worked in,” Ms Polman-Short says.
She settled on studying the Flinders University Rural and Remote Health NT Graduate Certificate in Remote Health Practice.
“I have always been interested in remote nursing but wasn’t sure that I had the skills or experience to do it,” she says.
“I thought that by completing postgraduate studies specifically in the area of remote health practice I would be more prepared to take on a RAN position.”
As a nurse for five years Ms Polman-Short is experienced however she wanted to expand her skills further as a remote nurse by undertaking the 12-month course.
“The course has a heavy focus on Indigenous health which really interests me, and it also has a good balance of practical learning to advance your nursing skills and knowledge specific to working in remote settings,” she says.
“This course prepared me to work as a nurse in the remote context and in Aboriginal communities and I know all that I have learnt in this course I will utilise in my current and future career as a RAN.”
Ms Polman-Short has been awarded the Chronic Disease in Remote and Indigenous Primary Health Care topic award which is sponsored by Therapeutic Guidelines Ltd. Therapeutic Guidelines is not-for-profit and proudly independent of industry and government, with a mission to improve patient outcomes and quality use of medicines across Australia. As the award winner she will receive a two-year online subscription to Therapeutic Guidelines.
Flinders University Remote Health Practice Senior Lecturer Colin Watson said undertaking postgraduate studies was a great way to advance a person’s career.
“The suite of course offerings that comprise the Remote Health Practice program have close industry associations and in selected topics professional placements enable students to expand their professional networks and uncover potential opportunities for employment,” he says.
“Remote health practice has unique features that are common across all disciplines, and the Remote Health Practice program is designed to support both new and experienced practitioners.”
Therapeutic Guidelines Chief Executive Officer Dr Leigh-Anne Claase congratulated Ms Polman-Short on her outstanding achievement in the areas of remote and Indigenous health.
“Therapeutic Guidelines works with experts from across Australia to develop practical treatment advice, with the ambition of supporting decision-making at the point of care, including in remote and regional settings,” Dr Claase says.
“I hope that the Guidelines provide Ms Polman-Short support in her day-to-day working situation and become a valued resource in coming years.”