Variety is the spice of life...
From outback oil and gas sites to Indigenous communities and cruise ships, Registered Nurse Josephine Samuel loves working in remote and unusual locations.
She’s monitored workers for dehydration in 40-degree heat on a South Australian gas drilling site, answered queries and given advice on a COVID hotline in Tasmania, dressed wounds and treated seasickness on one of the first cruises to re-start from Queensland. ‘It was a massive ship and I’d be walking up to 20,000 steps a day - from front to back, up, down, and sideways.’
As a relatively new recruit, Josephine says working for Aspen Medical is the icing on the cake for her. ‘You meet real characters and experience another side of nursing. I also love the travel and variety,’ she says from her Brisbane base.
A chance meeting with one of Aspen Medical’s nurse practitioners gave her that opportunity. ‘I was working for Queensland Health, doing COVID-19 vaccinations in the rural town of Miles, and we got chatting. I applied for a job immediately.’
With a Bachelor of Nursing and experience in aged care and hospital emergency departments, she was keen to build on her skills and experience.
She soon found herself employed as a FIFO (Fly-In, Fly-Out) worker on an oil and gas site, almost an hour’s drive from the country town of Penola, in South Australia’s Coonawarra wine region. ‘We had hotel accommodation in town and would leave for the work site each morning at 4.30 am. We’d be in a 4WD on a dirt road, looking at vineyards on one side and bush on the other.’
In addition to daily breathalyser and random drug tests on the site workers, Josephine was also responsible for their health and well-being. Prevention was key.
‘I’d give talks on safety; hydration and the need to drink several litres of water daily, and for them to monitor any foot redness. Wearing steel-capped boots for 12 hours a day can lead to blisters, and even toe amputation if left untreated.’ She was on hand for any medical emergencies, such as snake bites.
Josephine has also worked at the Toowoomba Wellcamp quarantine facility, wearing full protective gear to monitor COVID-19 patients during their 7-day isolation, in Hobart twice for a month at a time, and in Queensland’s Indigenous communities.
‘It’s a wonderful life, so interesting. I get bored if I’m doing the same routine.
‘Out bush, you may be the only registered nurse and have to make judgment calls. That improves your critical thinking skills. You need to have a sharp mind and think two to three steps ahead, ‘What’s the follow-up? Do I need to speak to a doctor later?’
‘My mother was a nurse and that was something I always wanted to be. My parents inspired me with their love, guidance and kindness. They were loved by our community in Nigeria.’
Josephine came to Australia in 2015 for her studies and settled in Brisbane. Now a permanent resident, she is looking forward to obtaining citizenship status. ‘I still work for Queensland Health, as a casual registered nurse, to keep up my clinical skills, but Aspen Medical is my primary job.’
What has been her favourite location to date? ‘Tasmania, for sure,’ she laughs. ‘I love the cold.
‘When it’s humid in Brisbane, I’ll have two fans and the air conditioner on.’
Interested in a job like this?
According to Josephine, working as a Registered Nurse with Aspen Medical, you will need to be:
- flexible in your work practice
- able to pack up and leave at the drop of a hat for an urgent deployment
- willing to ask questions and learn new ways
- good at taking feedback
- able to communicate well with people and have good people skills
- fit and healthy.
For more information about joining Aspen Medical’s Clinical team, email our Recruitment team.