In love with Alice

4 Jul 2017

After com­plet­ing a stu­dent place­ment in Cen­tral Aus­tralia, Reg­is­tered Nurse Melis­sa God­den has returned to the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry to under­take a Grad­u­ate Nurse Pro­gram at Alice Springs Hos­pi­tal. She dis­cuss­es the expe­ri­ence of going to Alice Springs for the first time and now return­ing to work in the town she fell in love with. 

After work­ing in Ade­laide as a car­er for a num­ber of years, Melis­sa recog­nised the need to go fur­ther in her career. She felt that she had exhaust­ed the chal­lenges as a car­er and while she was pas­sion­ate about work­ing with peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, she want­ed to expe­ri­ence some­thing more’. 

In her final year of her nurs­ing degree at Flinders Uni­ver­si­ty, Melis­sa got the oppor­tu­ni­ty to expe­ri­ence that some­thing more’ when she received an email invit­ing expres­sions of inter­est from stu­dents wish­ing to under­take an eight-week place­ment in Alice Springs. She felt ready for the next chal­lenge and sub­mit­ted an application. 

I was brought up in a small com­mu­ni­ty before mov­ing to Ade­laide and I think this helped in my instant love of Alice Springs,” she says. Over the two months that I was here as a stu­dent, I got swept up with all that Alice Springs has to offer. I was fas­ci­nat­ed by the dif­fer­ence of cul­ture and com­mu­ni­ty in Alice Springs com­pared to Ade­laide. It felt like home. The locals, both Indige­nous and non-Indige­nous were very friend­ly. It was not the same as a big city – every­one was so welcoming. 

I real­ly enjoyed my place­ment at the Alice Springs Hos­pi­tal which pro­vid­ed me with some valu­able learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. I would get up in the morn­ing excit­ed to go to work.” 

As well as full-time place­ment shifts, Melis­sa was able to join a local net­ball team, tour local areas of inter­est such as Ulu­ru and the Mac­Don­nell Ranges, vis­it the mar­kets every week­end and meet oth­er stu­dents on place­ment as well as locals. She also got the oppor­tu­ni­ty to spend two weeks in the remote com­mu­ni­ty of Yuelemu. 

Yuele­mu was a fan­tas­tic learn­ing expe­ri­ence that is def­i­nite­ly not avail­able in a text book,” she says. I got the oppor­tu­ni­ty to prac­tice my acute nurs­ing skills and also to man­age chron­ic con­di­tions and under­take health pro­mo­tion activ­i­ties. It was great liv­ing and work­ing in the com­mu­ni­ty. I had the unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to see both acute and pri­ma­ry care and to gain a holis­tic under­stand­ing of the health jour­ney of my clients. When I got back to Ade­laide I saw the world in a dif­fer­ent way.” 

But it was the lifestyle that made Melis­sa return to Alice Springs fol­low­ing grad­u­a­tion, and last month she com­menced her grad­u­ate pro­gram with Alice Springs Hospital. 

Alice Springs was my first choice for a grad­u­ate pro­gram and I was very excit­ed when I was noti­fied that I had been suc­cess­ful,” she says. Now that I am here it’s every­thing I had hoped. The staff is incred­i­bly sup­port­ive and I have made some great friends in the grad­u­ate group. My aim is to com­plete my Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Crit­i­cal Care after fin­ish­ing my Grad­u­ate pro­gram and there is a lot of sup­port here for me to do that. I have nev­er been so hap­py and I don’t real­ly see myself going back to Ade­laide. The world is my oys­ter again.” 

For infor­ma­tion on Nurs­ing and Allied health place­ments in Cen­tral Aus­tralia please con­tact the Cen­tre for Remote Health crh.​placements@​flinders.​edu.​au