Two nurses from St George and Dirranbandi are be the first to take part in a new Queensland Health real time training exercise that will see an exchange of personnel between city and regional hospitals.
The program is designed to give nurses and midwives from across Queensland the chance to experience different working environments as the Nursing and Midwifery Exchange Program kicks off this week.
The $1.5 million Nursing and Midwifery Exchange Program aims to upskill existing rural and remote staff, while encouraging their city counterparts to consider country life.
The exchange involves a nurse or midwife in a metropolitan or regional area changing places with a peer located in a rural or remote facility for 12 weeks.
Participants can explore a different clinical area, upskill in an area of interest, or engage in a mentoring role, all while seeing new and different parts of Queensland.
An exchange pilot, two nurses from Logan Hospital are currently exchanging roles with counterparts from St George and Dirranbandi hospitals.
South West Hospital and Health Board Chair Jim McGowan says the health service was very proud to be a partner in the state-wide Nursing and Midwifery Exchange Program.
“It will certainly help our nurses and midwives expand their skills and experience in higher level acute services, as well as develop their professional networks.
“But the program also gives nurses and midwives working in metropolitan and major provincial centres a chance to have a taste of life and work in rural and remote areas.”
Geoff Rixon is an experienced registered nurse and has swapped his position at the Logan Hospital Emergency Department for an exchange at Dirranbandi Multi-Purpose Health Service.
“Here in the bush you get to experience more holistic nursing, where you see the patient through their entire journey whilst in your care and get back to the basics.
Carly Clunes has only nursed in rural hospitals and is grateful for the opportunity to experience a more acute setting at Logan Hospital.
“Working in a busier department I’ve found I’m more exposed to nursing procedures and patient treatments that I seldom experience rurally.”