FIRST DAY: Nicola Layton and Alison McWhir start their careers at Mundubbera Hospital in 2019.
FIRST DAY: Nicola Layton and Alison McWhir start their careers at Mundubbera Hospital in 2019. Felicity Ripper

Mundubbera's newest nurses gain a wealth of knowledge

FOR nursing graduate Nicola Layton, Monday was her first day on the job and she attended to emergency, aged care and acute care patients.

On Tuesday she was joined by fellow graduate Alison McWhir, and in their first few days at Mundubbera Hospital they have seen a larger variety of patients than they might have seen in months had they opted for the metropolitan route.

"The range of experience you get is what drew me to going rural, you're not specifically designated to the medical ward,” Ms Layton said.

"You get to see medical, then there's emergency, and we're not just seeing paediatric patients or older people but a whole range.”

Both women spent much of their childhoods in northern Queensland and enjoy the closeness that smaller communities provide.

Ms McWhir said her upbringing made a career in healthcare an obvious choice.

"I grew up with my father being a volunteer ambulance officer in a small community so I had a lot of exposure to that sort of thing and I loved it,” she said.

"I like the community focus, I like getting to know the patients and building that rapport.

"It's nice being able to give that to the community and obviously that would be a little harder working on the Gold Coast or bigger places like that.”

Director of Nursing Jan-Adele Hotz said is was great for the community to have young people coming back to the bush, and she was excited to help the graduates develop their skills.

"Rural nursing is such a unique area of nursing, you don't have to specialise in any one thing and you get to see such a wide variety of presentations.

"At Mundubbera we've got the aged care, but we've also get a very busy emergency section and four acute beds so one minute you can be seeing a chest pain in emergency to seeing a sick child to looking after someone in the aged care section.

"No two days are ever the same and I think that's what is so interesting about rural nursing.”


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