“Snacks are essential!” St John NT intern Sarah Evans got straight to the important things. “It’s also important to bring your lunch in the car when you’re on shift, as you may not get back to the station for meal break, or you could be sent to a different station.”
Sarah is a nursing and paramedicine student from Brisbane, and has spent the last six weeks on road with St John NT crews as part of an internship through the Aurora program*. It’s been a learning curve, from navigating the wet season to eating habits on a night shift, and Sarah has enjoyed every moment.
“I grew up in Townsville, so I enjoy the heat – Brisbane is actually too cold for me! I am loving the NT, the people are very friendly and laid back, always happy to chat. The wet season has made it a little more difficult to explore, but it’s been an adventure!”
When asked why she chose to do her double degree, Sarah responded that she wanted a holistic view of the healthcare system.
“As a paramedic you only see a patient for a couple of hours at most, but as a nurse you’re with the patient from beginning to end. From being acutely ill, to recovery, to at home care that accounts for their social, economic and medical needs. The nursing part of my degree has given me a deeper understanding of my paramedic practice.”
One of Sarah’s goals for this placement was to complete her first cannulation. For us non-medical people, this is when a small plastic tube is inserted into a vein to help administer drugs or take blood samples. Under the guidance of mentors Amy and Matt, and cannulation practice in the training room, Sarah was successful in achieving this goal!
With her confidence in her paramedic practice building, Sarah has been able to enjoy her days off at the local markets, national parks and gardens, and even held a meerkat at Crocodylus Park! Not a bad way to wind down from a shift!
“I cannot give enough praise for everyone who has supported me during this internship. I have gained so much invaluable experience and it has solidified my desire to be a Paramedic. Amy, Matt, Karen and Liv all mentored me and helped me practice my skills. The Intensive Care Paramedics I completed jobs with, Amanda, Nat, Ella, Mick and Wazza were great to learn from, as well as Jeff, who patiently sat with me and explained so many concepts and cases.
"Nikki answered all my emails and welcomed me so warmly to St John NT, and all the other Paramedics and Patient Transport Officers who introduced themselves to me, chatted to me and answered my questions made my time here so enjoyable. I will definitely be applying to St John NT when I graduate, it has been a wonderful experience with a very unique demographic of patients.
"The song Love not War by Jason Derulo has been stuck in my head for weeks, as it’s constantly on the radio in the ambulance!”
We hope that doesn’t deter Sarah from pursuing her Paramedic dreams!
*The Aurora Internship Program facilities individual professional development by placing Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous students and graduates in full-time internships at over 200 organisations Australia-wide, all with an Indigenous focus.