A helping hand for remote nurses - Sharon Weymouth RN

The first placement in a remote Indigenous community can be daunting for even the most experienced nurse. Having someone on hand to help alleviate concerns and ease nurses into their new environment can make all the difference.

Sharon Weymouth is doing just that, and brings thirty years’ experience and extensive knowledge as a rural and remote nurse to help first-time remote placement nurses.  Working for Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC) as a Clinical Educator, Sharon supports ‘new to remote’ nurses to ensure their experience is a positive one.

“I work with the individual nurse as he or she arrives in the Northern Territory to make sure they feel confident and ready for their placement,” Sharon said.

“We cover the basic things that every remote nurse needs to know.

“We also have discussions and role play about the type of situations they’re likely to see in remote nursing, and we talk through remote-specific procedures, like how to put the equipment in the ambulance and how to get the stretcher out.” 

Sharon accompanies first timers to the community they will be working in, as well as providing them with ongoing 24/7 support throughout their placement.

 “When we arrive in the community, I sit in on consultations in the clinic with the nurses and provide feedback to help them settle in to their new work environment.

“We find this useful as quite often nurses who are new to remote nursing haven’t had to oversee the entire consultation and treatment of a patient - generally they would hand over to another practitioner at some point.” 

Sharon believes that the role of a Clinical Educator is extremely important in helping nurses during their first-time placements, and that the rewards are plentiful.

“By investing in the health workforce organisations get paid back many times over. We know at RAHC that we have good, reliable nurses that know the ropes and are confident in what they do.

“The people I have the pleasure of working with are very receptive to my presence and I really enjoy investing in remote health teams,” said Sharon.

The Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC) offers short-term paid placements to urban-based health professionals to support the hard working permanent health workforce in remote Indigenous communities all over the Northern Territory.

With placements of 3 weeks to 3 months, health professionals are making a difference by improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians. And they don’t have to give up their day job back home.

In addition to  the Clinical Educator support for ‘new to remote’ nurses  and regular support and contact for all health professionals on placement , RAHC offers free e-learning clinical modules designed especially for health professionals working in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.


This article was originally published in NCAH magazine which can be viewed on the following link:
Monday, 26 November 2012