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Student Story: Immersion in Emergency
Lucas Revell from Edith Cowan Uni reflects on his month in Esperance, spent consolidating his emergency nursing skills by facing new presentations – including septic shock and mastocytosis – and catching waves on his days off.
This CRANAplus undergraduate remote placement scholarship was sponsored by HESTA.
On the runway with an RFDS plane.
I attended my four-week-long stage-five nursing practical placement at Esperance Health Campus Emergency Department.
Straight off the bat this was my favourite placement to date, by far! I have equally fallen in love with Esperance the town, and emergency medicine as a field that I would love to work in for the future.
This placement opened my eyes to how a regional emergency department functions and what a fantastic job they do. I thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on learning and the independence I was granted by the staff there.
Esperance Health Campus is quite a small hospital without any particular specialty wards, which meant I was exposed to and learned from a multitude of patients of unpredictable demographics and clinical presentations.
I thoroughly enjoyed the goal-orientated approach of the ED and the interaction between registered nurses and medical officers to help solve problems.
Enjoying a surf during time off.
I was able to consolidate my learning of the crucial A‑E process when assessing patients in an emergency setting, which was great for my development as a student nurse. I got to witness my first cardiac arrest and resuscitation which was at first quite confronting, but it made me realise that this is the clinical environment that I want to excel in one day, in order to make direct positive impacts on people’s lives.
I was exposed to and helped treat conditions that I have never seen before such as kidney rejection, septic shock, cardioversion, respiratory distress, pseudo seizures, mastocytosis and many more. I was also exposed to many mental health patients, often with suicidal ideation – again, a new experience for me. This was great for my learning on the common procedures of how to manage these types of patients.
I cared for paediatric patients for the first time, which was challenging, and from the experiences I had on this placement, I now identify this as an area I need to improve on to achieve my goal of becoming a competent emergency medicine nurse.
Learning the flexibility and potential benefits of working for WACHS or for agencies whilst working in the regions of Western Australia has motivated me to become a competent nurse one day for the regions of WA.
The CRANAplus scholarship has contributed significantly for me to be able to attend this placement and obtain the valuable clinical and life experience it has provided. The scholarship funds enabled me to afford the costly fuel and living costs of working in such a remote community, approximately 800km from home!
I could not recommend attending regional WACHS clinical placements to other students more, considering the extent to which they have developed my sense of independence and confidence in delivering safe health care to rural communities.