Coming from Brisbane, Emma says she chose to study nursing at JCU’s Townsville campus so that she could have an opportunity to undertake a wide variety of placement experiences, including in rural and remote locations.
“I had the opportunity to spend six weeks in Longreach for one of my final year placements, which was one of the best experiences of my whole degree. It sparked this amazing light inside me for critical nursing as you get more exposure to various kinds of medicine in rural settings,” Emma says.
“In the rural, smaller hospitals there may be only one nurse and one doctor working in emergency and so you get more of an opportunity to be hands-on, and you get to develop a broad knowledge base quite quickly. It was really inspiring to see the huge skill range of the nurses and doctors working in these more remote locations.
“I also did a few weeks on my placement in Longreach in the primary health clinic. I spent time with the diabetes educator, the cardiac nurse and the oncology nurse on their visits to patients’ homes, which included visits to surrounding communities in the Central West such as Winton and Barcaldine.
“They also do a lot of telehealth from the primary health clinic, especially in relation to managing chronic health conditions, which again was really interesting because it's such a different way of nursing as opposed to the larger city centres.”
Although Emma was successful in securing a position in critical care at the Townsville University Hospital straight after graduating, she says her long term plan is to go rural again.
“I do see myself going rural in the foreseeable future, so I can broaden my experience and live the rural lifestyle. I’m really attracted to having a nursing role that is vast, where you can cover both the emergency and general wards and have that ongoing continuity of care with your patient.
“Right now, I am consolidating my critical care skills in the ED at Townsville University Hospital so that when I go back to a rural setting, I can be more competent and confident in myself as a newly graduated nurse and more able to jump straight in.”
“Most importantly, working in the emergency department grants me the clinical exposure to learn and see new things everyday which helps to further develop my skills and grow as a clinician.”
JCU Nursing Graduate Emma Parker