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Bella Kitchen. Nursing student, Edith Cowan University

As a student nurse, completing a rural placement in Kalgoorlie with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) was an invaluable learning experience for Bella Kitchen. Read on to hear about her experience. “The opportunity to visit remote Aboriginal communities, such as Wingellina near the Northern Territory border, allowed me to gain first-hand experience of the unique health challenges faced by these communities.”

“This experience helped me to better understand the cultural differences and barriers that exist in delivering healthcare to remote Aboriginal communities. During my placement, I was able to practise a range of vital skills including triage, wound care, and emergency management. I was also able to gain experience working with patients in rural settings and care for them on their journey to hospital. It required me to be adaptable, resourceful, and able to work with initiative. This experience has enhanced my clinical skills and improved my ability to provide care in a variety of settings.

“One of the most amazing experiences during my placement was being on the RFDS aircraft. The aircraft is equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment and staffed by highly skilled healthcare professionals. The aircraft is an essential tool for providing life-saving medical help to remote communities and being a part of this team was a truly rewarding experience.

“I owe the Kalgoorlie RFDS team a huge thank you for all of their insight into medical retrieval medicine and allowing me to fly with them. They are highly trained professionals with a wealth of knowledge and advice that they were so eager to pass on. I cannot thank them enough.

Overall, my placement with the RFDS as a student nurse has inspired me to pursue a career in rural healthcare and work for the RFDS in the future.

“The experience has provided me with a greater appreciation of the unique challenges faced by rural and remote communities and has deepened my commitment to providing quality healthcare to all Australians, regardless of their location. It has equipped me with the skills, knowledge, and passion needed to make a positive difference in the lives of those in need.”

Acknowledgement of Country