Celebrating her first International Nurses Day as a registered member of her profession, Tina Buchan believes starting at a rural health facility has provided firm foundations for her career.
Ms Buchan, who has spent her first few months on the job as a nurse at Childers MPHS, said being a registered nurse at a rural facility had upskilled her rapidly thanks to the variety of patients she cares for each day.
In her first six months, Ms Buchan has spent her time in the acute ward and in the aged care area practising a variety of valuable skills.
“I’ve been able to practice all the skills from cannulating to collecting bloods – there’s a lot of opportunity to widen your scope in the rural facilities,” she said.
“You need to be a jack of all trades.”
She said one of the more surprising parts of her first few months was discovering a passion supporting palliative care patients and their families.
“I like advocating for our palliative patients and giving them respectful, dignified care. It can be challenging, but it’s nice when their family is really happy with the care you’ve given,” Ms Buchan said.
“Palliative care isn’t just handing out pills and doing personal care – it’s also about putting your heart into it.”
This year’s International Nurses Day overarching theme is Nurses: A Voice to Lead, which highlights the importance in investing in new nurses as they take the early steps in their careers.
Ms Buchan spent 12 years as an early childhood educator before changing her career and studying at USC’s Hervey Bay campus.
“I was interested in nursing for years but didn’t have the courage to think I could do the academic work and held off until I decided to just go ahead and do it,” she said.
“I encourage anyone who is interested in nursing to do it – there’s so much help available.
“If you really want to do it, you will make it happen.”
Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery Fiona Sewell said she was proud of her team who displayed the true nursing values of resilience, courage, teamwork, professionalism and especially adaptability.
“Every day our nurses provide outstanding care across Wide Bay as they support and advocate for their patients in an increasingly challenging environment,” Ms Sewell said.
“The past 18 months is a great example of that. Nurses have stepped forward even more, both with working on the frontlines and behind the scenes; delivering care and changing the way we provide care, while ensuring the provision of a safe, high-quality health care and health care system, was continued.
“They never faltered in ensuring our patients were and remain at the centre of everything they do.
“On International Nurses Day I wish to thank all our nurses for their dedication, flexibility and passion that ensures our patients receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place.”
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