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Student story: A deeper understanding

14 Aug 2023

Meg Gibson from the University of New England reflects on the cultural lessons learned during her nursing placement in Mparntwe/Alice Springs.

This CRANAplus Under­grad­u­ate Remote Place­ment Schol­ar­ship was spon­sored by HESTA.

In August 2022 I was lucky enough to be cho­sen by my uni­ver­si­ty to attend a four week place­ment in Alice Springs Hos­pi­tal. For my place­ment I was allo­cat­ed the pae­di­atric ward. Through­out, I was exposed to the health inequal­i­ties that the First Nations peo­ple face.

This clin­i­cal place­ment ben­e­fit­ed me as a nurse and indi­vid­ual as it enhanced my under­stand­ing of Indige­nous cul­tures, empha­sis­ing the impor­tance of pro­vid­ing high-qual­i­ty care to Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Islander patients. Giv­en this oppor­tu­ni­ty, I obtained sig­nif­i­cant knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence with­in the region­al and remote health care setting.

I got to attend an Intro­duc­tion to Cen­tral Aus­tralian Abo­rig­i­nal Cul­tures and Con­text which I achieved a cer­tifi­cate for. 

This edu­ca­tion day explored cross-cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ca­tions and intro­duced Indige­nous cul­tures in Cen­tral Aus­tralia. It also out­lined the health sta­tus of Indige­nous peo­ples, social deter­mi­nants of health and how health influ­ences aspects of life.

I feel so priv­i­leged to have been able to expe­ri­ence this stu­dent role in Alice Springs Hos­pi­tal as it allowed me to adapt and build on my nurs­ing skills to enhance my con­tri­bu­tion as a practitioner.

With­in the place­ment I also expe­ri­enced the beau­ti­ful sites of Cen­tral Aus­tralia such as Ulu­ru, Mac­Don­nell Ranges, Kings Canyon and Field of Lights.

I would also like to thank HES­TA for their Spon­sor­ship of my Scholarship.

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