I have been fiddling about with this website for years now having rushes of enthusiasm every now and again and adding a bit here or a bit there. Guess what....I'm having another rush.
Jo and I have had another change of direction in the passed few months that hopefully will pay off in having a more relaxed, balanced lifestyle. We have left fulltime, permanent work for the N.T. Health Dept. and have started with an agency doing casual locum work. As I write this I am on Elcho Island off the north coast of Arnhemland and Jo is at the other extreme at Yuendumu right in the centre of Australia.
But I jump ahead somewhat!!!
We are both Remote Area Nurses (RAN's) working with mainly Australian Indigenous people in remote locations. Remote nursing hit the headlines some time ago with the shocking murder of Gayle Woodford in March 2016 in South Australia. Prior to that I would have been surprised if the general population of Australia even knew there was such a thing as a RAN. Since Gayle's untimely and horrific death there has been some changes in the approach to the safety of RAN's. The "never alone" edict has resulted in a safer work environment for us but there is always room for improvement and I'm sure there will still be issues to come.
Working in small communities has both it's geographical and social "remoteness". There are still many communities that have no mobile phone reception and very few where internet access is provided in the accomodation. The local store will have a very limited and expensive variety of groceries and the fresh veggies don't last very long after the fortnightly truck or barge delivery.
Although the lifestyle can be quite laid back and flexible there are high demands on a nurses "off duty" time. In the smaller communities where there may only be 2 nurses, in our case Jo and myself, we are on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Even if it is and I don't like using this word, quiet, there is always the thought of the phone going off in the middle of a meal or the early hours of the morning to attend an emergency.
The call out may be a "run of the mill" child with a fever or a life threatening condition. No remote communities have after hours face to face access to a doctor except via the telephone. The on call doctor may be at a major hospital in the state, the other end of the country or the other side of the world!
I could go on at length about our chosen field of nursing and probably will from time to time but will stop a this point at the risk of boring the pants off you.
We also just love to travel during our down times and have been lucky enough to do quite a bit in the last few years. The hope is our new working arrangement will allow that particular yearning to flourish and grow!!!!