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The Love for Remote Area Nursing
I love the diversity of remote area nursing and of the richness of culture we come across in the communities. Each community is different and years on; I keep in touch with people I have met and built wonderful relationships with. I find there are amazing people wherever I go in remote. I often think that the most inspirational people in remote are the teachers.
I remember ‘Ms. Nicky’ in Kiwikurra is a truly amazing teacher. Ms Nicky looked after the kids there so well – she taught them the importance of being kind to one another, of good food and education. I often looked at her work and thought, ‘this is what will really make a difference in the future to these kids’ lives; this is what will really bring about positive change’.
My fondest memory?
One of my fondest memories was looking after a palliative patient in a remote community. This lady was born in a desert nomadic lifestyle and family was so important to her; as one of the elders of the community, she remained very involved with her people right until the end.
I remember taking her out to a bush meeting where she sat under a tree with her oxygen tube in whilst she talked. There was another occasion of giving her antibiotics through a drip with the equipment balanced on top of a car – nothing you would see in a city hospital!
When she passed away, we were called out to her house and took her back to the clinic. We spent the night there with her, surrounded by her family who was all so loving and caring. It was a privilege to be there with them that night; to be a part of such an intimate time.
This lady had chosen to stay in the community; we had talked about it many times how she wanted her family to be there at the very end and I was honoured we were able to help her with this.
I developed a strong relationship with this lady’s daughters and I still talk with them today. After the lady passed away, her granddaughter would come into the clinic and ask us where her grandmother was, and the family requested their mother’s photo be removed from the clinic walls during the grieving period. Later, they came back to request we put the photo of their mother back up and I sense there was pride in looking at the photo up there.
It was being on the ground and engaged with people & projects which has made me feel we have been a part of really changing people’s lives in remote communities in a positive way.