Emergency nurse takes role of helping people to new heights

Emergency nurse takes role of helping people to new heights

Date published

26 Dec 2022

Grace Holloway was working as an Emergency Department nurse in Brisbane when the opportunity of a lifetime came up to join the Flying Doctor. A midwifery scholarship from the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) encouraged Grace to follow her dream to become a Flight Nurse.

The RFDS Foundation funds a number of scholarships each year for skilled Registered Nurses to further develop their skills and obtain a midwifery qualification. Last year, Grace was one of those nurses, who successfully applied for a scholarship and is now working as a Flight Nurse based in Townsville.

“I absolutely loved the RFDS and the support they provide for regional, rural, and remote communities, including the Indigenous communities,” Grace shares. “That’s why I thought I would apply for the scholarship, but I had no expectation of being successful because I know how many nurses have the same dream I did – to work for the RFDS.”

Grace describes finding out she was successful as “one of the best days of my life” and then adds that many “even better days” came when she joined the RFDS crew.

“All of the patients I’ve been privileged to meet, and the small communities the Flying Doctor goes out to help is the real reason why we all love being a Flight Nurse,” Grace says.

“The people who live in these regional, rural, and remote communities have so much trust in and respect for the RFDS. They are so happy to see us when we land, and it is a really special feeling to know we are able to help them.”

When working in the Emergency Department, Grace had limited exposure to Indigenous healthcare but knew it was an area of healthcare she wanted to pursue. It is a passion that has only developed in her time working with the RFDS, in particular Indigenous women’s health.

“Being able to help women feel comfortable with health professionals is a really special feeling. Midwifery is not only about helping women when pregnant, but also post-natal care which is extremely important.

“I have used my midwifery skills quite a lot already. I’ve helped pregnant women from Bamaga at the northern tip of Cape York, Weipa, and Cairns when they have gone into spontaneous pre-labour or had complications with their pregnancy. This can be the scariest time of their lives, and it is a real privilege to be able to help them through this time and bring their beautiful babies safely into the world.”

When not responding to emergency retrievals, Grace is helping deliver primary health care clinics to the same regional, rural, and remote communities.

“What is really special is being able to follow up with some of these pregnant women at the clinics and continue post-natal care, whether that is help with breastfeeding, helping them recover from birth including caring for caesarian scars, and then looking after the children as they grow up.

“It is incredibly rewarding to bring this care to the communities, and I want to thank everyone who supports the Royal Flying Doctor Service to deliver these services, especially funding the midwifery scholarship that allowed me to help people in their time of need.”

State Manager of Aeromedical Nursing Jacinta Jones says the midwifery scholarships are part of the Flying Doctor’s commitment to improving the health of people in regional, rural, and remote communities by attracting skilled nurses to join the RFDS. 

Thanks to the Dalara Foundation for supporting Grace’s scholarship.