Graphic: Celebrating Our Nurses

Celebrating Our Nurses

Date published

12 Aug 2019

This quarter we celebrated International Nurses Day. To mark this important date, we chatted to two of our nurses about how they got into nursing, what brought them to the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and what they love about their job.

Kerry Ukena

Kerry Ukena

Flight Nurse with RFDS South Eastern Section in Dubbo

“I grew up in Coober Pedy in Central Australia, where the Royal Flying Doctor Service was a big part of community life. Everyone always supported the Flying Doctor as best they could, whether it was a few coins in the Flying Doctor tin or driving out to the airstrip with the lights on full beam so the planes could land at night. After I was hospitalised at the age of eight, the Royal Flying Doctor Service nurses became my heroes. After I finished school, I did my Bachelor of Nursing. I liked the diversity of rural and regional placements. I went on to get my midwifery qualifications, and after a few years started working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Dubbo.

I wanted to get greater satisfaction out of my nursing career, and that’s what the Royal Flying Doctor Service offers. Every day is different, whether its delivering babies, transferring patients, or rescuing people. You have the best view of the world. It gets you out of your comfort zone.

I like that you get one on one time with patients. It’s intimate and exciting, and people are genuinely thankful for the work that we do.”

Kirsty James

Kristy James

Primary Care Clinic Nurse with RFDS South Eastern Section in Broken Hill

“I moved to Broken Hill 12 years ago and studied my nursing degree via distance education. I used to see the Royal Flying Doctor Service nurses bringing in patients to the hospital and think- what a wonderful job. At one point, I was also a patient myself, getting airlifted to Adelaide.

I was delighted when I was offered a job to work for the Royal Flying Doctor Service in their bush clinics. I didn’t know they did primary care. It was my dream job.

Every day is varied. I get to work independently as well as within a team. Our remote clinics are changing communities. Immunisations, women’s health, blood tests, health promotion and education about prevention, we do it all. The communities treat us wonderfully. It’s more than just medical care. It’s a cup of tea and a chat, a chance to connect with people.

Primary care is a great career if you need flexibility. Its dynamic and the scope of work is so broad. And you get to help people in a meaningful way. I’m very proud to work for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.”