What life is like as a Flying Doctor nurse
IT’S a job nurses describe as unpredictable.
Royal Flying Doctors Service nurse Louise Burton said it’s one of the reasons she loves it.
“Everyday I got to work and don’t know what I’ll be doing, you just have no idea what will come through,” she said.
“It’s not uncommon for us to move five to seven patients in a 12 hour shift.”
Louise has been a nurse with the RFDS for 20 years and has worked in every base around Queensland.
“At the moment I work from the Brisbane base, but I started out at the Mount Isa one,” she said.
“I’d already been nursing for about 10 years before that.
“I honestly couldn’t imagine what our health services would be like without the RFDS, we can move 32 patients every 24 hours which is quite an incredible amount.
“Without it, so many people would be left in quite the predicament, it’s an essential service.”
She said nurses need to be quite skilled in different areas to gets a job with the RFDS.
“Nurses need to have emergency department experience, be qualified in midwifery and also three to five years of post-graduate experience,” she said.
“We can be thrown into any kind of situation so it’s important for them to have a wide range of skills to apply to whatever comes at us.”
Every year the RFDS open applications for midwifery scholarships which offers a position with the organisation at the end of the program.
“Midwifery probably makes up about seven per cent of our work load, but it’s still a very significant percentage we feel is important,” she said.
“We try very hard not to deliver babies in the air, but we do move a significant amount of obstetric ladies.
“Back in the tertiary centres we move a lot of the newborn babies that have perhaps been brought down in utero at 32 weeks because mum’s gone into premature labour.
“They might be moved to a centre to be looked after for some time to be monitored and if they have to deliver the baby they’ll be kept in the centre and we’ll taken them back when they’re ready to go.” Louise said the scholarships are extremely beneficial to anyone studying midwifery.
“It’s gone from being a hospital-based course to a university course so nurses have had to leave or go somewhere else to be able to do it and that can cost quite a bit,” she said.
“This scholarship is allowing students to have the funds to help ease the financial burden.
Louise is encouraging anyone interested to enrol for the scholarship.
“You can do the scholarship in any state it’s not just limited to Queensland,” she said.
“We require applicants to have three to five years
NURSING SKILLS: Louise Burton has been with the RFDS for 20 years and said they never know what their shift will bring, which is why their nurses need to be highly skilled. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTEDexperience in critical care, be a registered nurse with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and be enrolled of accepted into a midwifery course.“This year we actually have three scholarships instead of just one because we’ve received support.” To apply for the 2019/2020 midwifery scholarships visit careers.rfdsqld.com.au.Applications close on Friday, November 30.