International Day of the Nurse 2021 - A Vision for Future Healthcare

Today is International Day of the Nurse (May 12, 2021). International Day of the Nurse showcases the wonderful work of nurses across the world, with this year's theme: 'A Vision for Future Healthcare'.  To celebrate, we wanted to share UQ Nursing student, Jessica Platell's rural placement experience with Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH)

My Rural Experience

Accepting the offer to undertake a rural placement in Charleville was not only an absolute honour, but also the biggest step I had taken in my degree. Moving away from my family and friends for 14 weeks was something I had never done before, and being fresh 19 years of age was something that I could not have prepared less for.

I was overwhelmed by the amount of support I received when I moved to Charleville, from the SQRH team and the Nursing Staff at the hospital. I always knew there was someone to go to when I needed help, assistance or advice. The accommodation was faultless and provided me with a safe and comfortable living space for my time out here.

Being here for such a long duration of time now has me referred to as ‘part of the furniture’ by the nurses at the hospital. Being such a small facility, it didn’t take long to learn names and faces and become familiar with my surroundings. I could not imagine being out here for a short amount of time, after becoming so comfortable in my role as a student nurse and receiving such valuable support and education from my preceptors. The bond I have made with the nursing staff is going to make Charleville very hard to leave.

RFDS Base Tour

I was fortunate enough to be involved in an Advanced Life Support course, assisting with intubation and airway management. No day on shift is the same – I work back and fourth between the general ward and the emergency department. I have even been fortunate enough to assist in theatre as a second hand, and also managing airways with the anaesthetist and anaesthetics nurse. I also spent a day with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) doing the same, and toured the base with one of the flight nurses.

Windorah Outreach RFDS

Shortly after, I was invited to join them for a day in Windorah for a skin clinic. This was an unforgettable experience, and one that has sparked a deep interest in working in rural and remote communities in my future practice. The opportunities that have arisen for me in Charleville are unmatched to any metro facilities, and my decision to undertake this rural placement is one that has had a priceless impact on my nursing practice. It has given me the opportunity to increase autonomy in my practice, and allowed me to display critical thinking and analysis with minimal cues. All of these things contribute to effective patient-centred care in a setting where it is most crucial.

In my days off I have engaged in various social activities such as Thursday lawn bowls, social netball, and the Saturday park run. I have also had the opportunity to venture out of Charleville to neighbouring towns like Quilpie, Adavale, Augathella and Wyandra for day trips, rodeos, and shows. Coming into this experience I was aware that I was only going to get out as much as I put in, so I’ve made a good effort to involve myself in all that this town has to offer. I have never been bored or let down. The student and youth community in Charleville have been so welcoming and inclusive – you will never leave your house without being met by a familiar smile.  

Last updated:
12 May 2021