Royal Flying Doctor Service Kalgoorlie flight nurse Colleen Reid is over the moon to have scored the opportunity to partake in a highly selective aeromedical retrieval course in New Zealand.
The intensive five-day course, run by the College of Air and Surface Transport Nurses (COASTN) from April 16-20, only accepts two flight nurses from Australia. The course covers altered physiology at altitude, land and water based survival skills, simulation training, crew resource management, flight stressors, pilots’ perspective and legal issues.
Being one of only two flight nurses in Australia to be accepted, Colleen said she felt honoured to have the opportunity to represent the WA Royal Flying Doctor Service and Flight Nurses Australia.
“Being based in Kalgoorlie where we’re quite isolated, it’s often difficult to attend education and gain valuable knowledge and experience from other aeromedical retrieval companies,” she said.
“Attending this course, I’ll be able to return to WA with information and skills learned from the facilitators and fellow participants and deliver a summary to my colleagues.
“Not only will it enhance my nursing experience, but will also improve patient outcomes, enable colleague-to-colleague education and assist with my role in mentoring nursing students.
“I also look forward to sharing some of my own experiences, challenges and problem solving from working in the diverse, expansive and unique environment that is Western Australia.”
Colleen, who has worked with RFDS WA in Kalgoorlie since 2016, said she has wanted to be a nurse for as long as she can remember and thrives off the unpredictable and challenging nature of the job.
She said her desire and passion to work with the RFDS was ignited when she earned and undertook a placement as a student nurse with the Queensland section in 2005.
Not one to shy away from hard work, she successfully applied for an RFDS WA midwifery scholarship and completed a midwifery course at the Australian Catholic University while simultaneously completing a competitive midwifery program at Mater Mothers Hospital in Brisbane.
“I love everything about nursing, it’s the most amazing job around where you have to be prepared for literally anything and everything and that keeps things interesting and pushes your knowledge and skills,” she said.
“The love you get from the communities you help is incredible, for some people you are their only source of health care
“Being thanked when people recognise the logo on your shirt when you’re in the shop or wherever for helping them personally or a family member is just the best feeling.
“Being let into people’s lives in such crucial and pivotal moments is truly a privilege – nothing compares.”