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Student Story: Immersion in Emergency

4 Apr 2022

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

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.

1 Enjoying a surf

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.

Find out more about the under­grad­u­ate remote place­ment schol­ar­ships offered by CRANAplus, or read addi­tion­al stu­dent sto­ries from Ver­i­ty, Gabrielle, and Nico­las.