This site may not work properly using older versions of Edge and Internet Explorer. You should upgrade your browser to the latest Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, or any other modern browser of your choice. Click here for more information.
This is where we tell your stories, cover topical issues and promote meaningful initiatives.
Student story: Maningrida placement cements aspiring remote area nurse Gillian's passion for remote practice
Aspiring remote area nurse Gillian Edmiston from Charles Darwin University shares insight into her four-week placement in Maningrida, an Aboriginal community in West Arnhem Land, NT, where she worked with “some of the most experienced and capable” RANs.
This CRANAplus Undergraduate Remote Placement Scholarship was sponsored by HESTA.
In June this year, I was lucky to attend a four-week remote nursing placement in Maningrida Community. Maningrida is an Aboriginal Community in West Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. I have worked in remote communities in the Top End on and off for the past five years as a support worker but have never visited Maningrida before. I have always found working in Communities to be humbling, exciting and sometimes tough, but these times are held as some of my most memorable life experiences.
Due to these previous experiences, I have aspired to one day work as a remote area nurse in the Top End. Being offered this placement sparked excitement in me as I realised I would finally get a taste of what the work of a RAN would actually look like.
So, I packed my bag and hopped on a small plane to Maningrida. The flight over Arnhem Land and the beautiful snaking rivers of the Top End is a view that everyone should experience in their life and is absolutely breathtaking. Mala’la clinic where I was placed is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) that supports Maningrida town and its nearby outstations. Mala’la offers acute health care and operates many programs including child health, women’s health, chronic disease management and maternal health. I was impressed with how well-staffed the clinic was and how welcoming and willing to share knowledge everybody was.
The staff at the Mala’la clinic were very welcoming and I was lucky enough to get experience in many different areas.
The remote area nurses and Aboriginal Health Professionals welcomed me with open arms and taught me the ways of the clinic and how to support clients in the Community setting.
My first two weeks were spent working in the Healthy Under 5’s child health program.
I worked alongside two very experienced child health nurses. I learnt about the challenges to health access and how small issues can turn into much larger health conditions and chronic diseases, such as rheumatic heart disease.
My second two weeks were working in acute care and emergency. This further compounded that building relationships in Communities is paramount in providing health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The RANs working in these settings are some of the most experienced and capable nurses I have come across. Seeing the extra responsibilities the RANs working in these settings take on was awe- inspiring. The confidence and trust in their abilities to problem solve and make clinical decisions was very impressive
This placement was a whole new experience and really cemented that this is where my passion lies. There were many unique experiences that you probably wouldn’t get in an urban setting like a stingray barb all the way through someone’s finger and creepy crawlies in places they shouldn’t be.
All of my experiences highlighted the real difference that access to primary health care can make to people’s lives and the health disparities that occur within these settings. Thanks to CRANAplus and CDU for making this life-changing experience possible.