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Employee Information

Me and Pu My Job Biographical stuff It's all about me... Pazzo Palazzo The Love Shack Where am I? Links Site Map & Search Places How to pack an Esky Milly The Camp Dog My Furniture Up Why I left ASRH

They call us Remote Area Nurses...

I'm a Registered Nurse and work in remote areas of Central Australia, Far Northern Queensland and the Torres Strait (between Australia and Papua New Guinea). I have worked in many Aboriginal communities across Central Australia. One community called Willowra is about 350km North West of Alice Springs in the Tanami Desert. Here I was the only Nurse for a population of around 400 aboriginal people who live a semi traditional and nomadic life. The nearest Doctor was in Alice Springs about (4 hours drive away). The community's doctor flies in with the Royal Flying Doctor Service once every 2 weeks for a day. I worked with one Aboriginal Health Worker. Health workers are invaluable in a Central Australian Clinic not just for the health care they provide but for their knowledge of Culture, family connections and cultural protocol. Their translation skills, community liaison and simply knowing who's around and where people have moved to aid in continuity by allowing me to notify other health centres of ongoing health care needs. My primary role is health education/primary health care. Basically the idea is that if you can educate people in basic healthcare, hygiene, nutrition and lifestyle then a lot of the so called lifestyle diseases can be prevented. Unfortunately a lot of time is spent treating diseases and injuries that people already have and sometimes its like working in an Accident and Emergency department. Sometimes our work puts us in the 4WD Vehicles to travel around to small clusters of buildings called outstations to visit people who may have difficulty finding the transport to come to you. On these days as I check the vehicle and load up on food and water and medicines and drive off, I look around at the harsh but ruggedly beautiful country, sigh, and wonder what all my colleagues are doing back in "the big smoke". It IS a harsh and unforgiving land and a challenging environment professionally. Unfortunately Willowra was a bit too unforgiving and challenging and after 8 months of being on call 24 hrs a day 7 days a week I had to admit it was too much for just one nurse. The constant exposure to violence and shocking conditions took its toll and I left there in August 2000. (Elaboration on this here) Since then I have worked in the Pitjantjatjara lands in Far Northern South Australia, Arnhem Land in the "Top End" of the Northern Territory and also on a couple of islands in the Torres Straits. In being able to visit the Torres Strait Islands I have been able to experience two completely different indigenous cultures
Some pics that may give you an idea of the life of a RAN.

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Me and Pu My Job Biographical stuff It's all about me... Pazzo Palazzo The Love Shack Where am I? Links Site Map & Search Places How to pack an Esky Milly The Camp Dog My Furniture Up Why I left ASRH