STEP UP: USQ students (left to right) Maddison Hill, Courtney Brooking, Jacinta Addison and Jane Finch with aged care resident Beryl Stubbersfield.
STEP UP: USQ students (left to right) Maddison Hill, Courtney Brooking, Jacinta Addison and Jane Finch with aged care resident Beryl Stubbersfield. Contributed

Young nurse hopefuls get a taste of real life

A NURSE'S job goes beyond medical care.

That was something University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Ipswich student Courtney Brooking learnt during her recent clinical placement.

Ms Brooking was one of eight USQ Bachelor of Nursing students who spent two weeks learning the ropes at the Tabeel Lutheran Home.

As an aspiring emergency department nurse, Ms Brooking said it was a great experience assisting the registered nurses and she particularly enjoyed working with the elderly.

"It was very valuable to see what services are delivered in an aged care facility," she said.

"I spent a lot of time talking with the residents and it was a privilege to hear their stories and get to know them."During her placement, Ms Brooking was asked to help monitor patient needs, such as checking blood glucose levels regularly, and assisting with activities such as eating and moving.

While nervous ahead of the experience, Ms Brooking said working in the aged care facility was more than what she expected.

"My placement was one of the most exciting and rewarding things I have ever done," Ms Brooking said.

She also saw that her patients needed more than medical care.

"We got to take the residents to the markets and out for lunch; I even got to perform for them," she said.

"I've been dancing since I was two and also teach dance, so when my facilitator asked if I would like to do a show, we agreed. "It was amazing to see all the smiles on the residents' faces."

USQ Bachelor of Nursing students are required to complete 21 weeks of clinical placement over three years.

USQ Lecturer (Nursing) Dianne Maher said work placements are an opportunity for students to get real hands-on experience and an insight into different clinical areas.

"Almost 50 percent of the Bachelor of Nursing program is devoted to clinical placements across a wide variety of health care settings, and students prepare for placement in the simulation laboratories on-campus," Mrs Maher said.

"By gaining learning opportunities, our students develop their ability to work effectively and integrate theory to practice."

Inspired by her time at the Tabeel Lutheran Home, Ms Brooking applied for a job at the Bundaleer Lodge Nursing Home and is now working part-time as an assistant nurse.



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