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Student story: Diverse patient needs by the sea

30 Mar 2023

Nursing student Kate Janjatovic was fortunate to land a student placement in the tropical town of Carnarvon, WA, alongside her friend. Kate shares her fun living with and learning from other health professionals, and how choosing rural has enriched her learning journey.

Kate (right) with her friend Shan­non Car­pen­ter (left)

This CRANAplus Under­grad­u­ate Remote Place­ment Schol­ar­ship was spon­sored by Bel­lette Media and Hut­Six soft­ware and development.

I have recent­ly com­plet­ed one of my nurs­ing place­ments in Carnar­von, which is a town almost 1000km away from Perth, tak­ing 10 hours dri­ve to get to. 

I was assigned a four-week place­ment in the gen­er­al ward at Carnar­von Hos­pi­tal, and I was lucky enough to have a friend com­plete their place­ment at the same time as me. 

We were lucky to share accom­mo­da­tion with some of the nurs­es and an OT stu­dent — which was great because it meant it was a real­ly social house­hold; we always were hav­ing fun. 

The gen­er­al ward and mater­ni­ty ward are inter­change­able, although they are not cur­rent­ly birthing in Carnar­von there still are mater­ni­ty patients of course. After I com­plete my Bach­e­lor of Nurs­ing, I plan on pur­su­ing fur­ther edu­ca­tion to become a reg­is­tered mid­wife and so Carnar­von was a great expe­ri­ence for me!

The mid­wives main­ly worked in the out­pa­tient clin­ic doing com­mu­ni­ty mid­wifery, but I had the priv­i­lege of work­ing and learn­ing from them when the occa­sion­al mater­ni­ty patient was admit­ted to the ward.

As the hos­pi­tal is a small rur­al site, the gen­er­al ward also cared for pae­di­atric, pal­lia­tive, day surgery, geri­atric, respite, mater­ni­ty, and men­tal health — basi­cal­ly all patients. So, I was able to care for a wide range of patients and learn so many dif­fer­ent things!

Once a month in Carnar­von, they have day surgery days where the gen­er­al ward turns into day surgery which was amaz­ing, so I was able to assist with pre-and post-oper­a­tive care too!

Com­plet­ing this place­ment at a remote hos­pi­tal pro­vid­ed me with edu­ca­tion regard­ing the inde­pen­dence of scope and advo­ca­cy for patients who may not always have access to a doc­tor. It also opened my learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties and real­ly enriched my edu­ca­tion as I was able to have a real­ly diverse range of patients.

I would encour­age all stu­dents to pur­sue at least one rur­al or remote place­ment in their degree as they are com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent to met­ro­pol­i­tan placements.

Apply for an Under­grad­u­ate Remote Place­ment Schol­ar­ship for finan­cial sup­port dur­ing your clin­i­cal place­ment, or read about the expe­ri­ences of oth­er stu­dents includ­ing Kar­leigh, Chris and Annabelle.