14 March 2024

Graduate nurses set for remote Cape and Torres service

| Chisa Hasegawa
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Four new TCHHS graduate Registered Nurses

TCHHS nursing graduates Christine Hall, Karyn Teece, Juliana Fontana and Jaleesa Basnight will boost local health services across Cape York and the Torres Strait. Photo: Supplied.

Four freshly graduated nurses have started work with the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service (TCHHS) team this year, with two more to join later in September.

The six nurses will be spread across Weipa, Cooktown and Thursday Island, bringing along their range of clinical experiences in acute medical, surgical, emergency care, community and primary health care.

Newly-graduated registered nurse Karyn Teece, who has been working as an enrolled nurse at the Weipa Hospital since 2017, said she would continue her journey as a registered nurse at the same clinic.

“I chose Weipa to do my graduate year as a registered nurse because, having worked here for seven years already, I know we have a wonderful supportive nursing team and many experienced clinical and registered nurses whom I believe will contribute significantly to my learning and development as a new graduate registered nurse,” Ms Teece said.

She explained nurses working in Cape York and the Torres Strait had to be resourceful to overcome the challenges of working in a remote setting, a unique part of the profession which drew her to the field.

“I believe rural and remote nursing offers a diverse range of practice opportunities and deals with a variety of medical conditions and situations, which can contribute to both professional and personal growth, and which can be deeply rewarding,” she said.

“I just love living and working in the Cape.

“Going forward as a registered nurse, I would particularly like to develop my nursing skills to work in emergency and theatre, and I’m looking forward to expanding my experience.”

TCHHS executive director of nursing and midwifery services Sarah Worth said the new nurses would undertake a 12-month graduate program that involved theoretical and practical assessments.

“We are happy to welcome them as they begin their careers with the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service,” she said.

“This year, we have also appointed Thursday Island clinical nurse Ivy Hodges as a First Nations clinical facilitator to support our new graduates.

“She will be there to support, advise, and mentor our new graduates making the transition from studying at university to life in the workforce, as well as reinforcing our commitment to delivering culturally safe care to our First Nations communities.”

Ms Worth said the 400-plus nurses and midwives employed throughout the region were critical in the care TCHHS provided to patients.

“Without their contribution, and their passion and their dedication, we could not offer such a comprehensive suite of health services to our local communities,” she said.

“Our new graduates have chosen a rewarding and fulfilling vocation that provides many pathways for career development, and is a fabulous way of serving the community in which they live.

“We hope that their first year of practice in our diverse health service provides a range of professional experiences, and a strong foundation for their future careers as registered nurses working within Torres and Cape communities.”

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