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Nursing student gets a glimpse into rural health on 'Go Rural'

13th April 2022

“Before going on Go Rural, I didn’t know what the lifestyle was like working in rural health, and the vast amount of carer possibilities available.”

Claire Stafford is a third-year Bachelor of Nursing student at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney, and she recently went on RDN’s first Go Rural road trip for 2022.6E07F519-469A-4272-87A4-6A4F0BFF1BCC

Go Rural is a student immersion experience that shows medical, nursing and allied health students around parts of remote, rural and regional NSW. The trip enables the students to immerse themselves in local health services, participate in clinical activities, and experience life in a rural community in hopes that the exposure will prompt them to explore a rural health career.

For students like Claire, the trips offer the opportunity to explore a part of the health sector that they might not have heard of before.

“I didn’t know about the career possibilities in rural health until I was well into the first year of my degree when I heard about the Go Rural trips through my rural society at the University of Notre Dame, ROUNDS,” said Claire.

Claire explored the area of South West NSW on the Go Rural trip, visiting Wagga Wagga, Temora, Griffith and Leeton, and said she loved every part of the trip.

“I was able to meet so many like-minded students and meet some extraordinary healthcare professionals.

“My favourite town we visited was Temora. They showed us all of the healthcare opportunities available and they had a great sense of community and openness.

“My favourite activity was the Welcome to Country and walking tour with Mark Saddler, a Wiradjuri man who was able to articulate so well why there is a health disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people,” said Claire.

The Go Rural road trips incorporate practice visits, clinical activities, community events, themed dinners, cultural events and historical exhibitions in town, activities that Claire said changed her perspective on rural health.

“I didn’t know what the lifestyle was like while working in rural health and the vast amount of carer possibilities available.

“I also now have a better understanding of what it’s like to be a nurse and what it truly means to be multiskilled and be able to wear many hats,” said Claire.

What’s next for Claire is finishing off her degree and becoming a qualified Registered Nurse, starting her new grad year in 2023 and possibly starting a Diploma in Midwifery!

Find out more about Go Rural here

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