Graphic: Izzy Graham with plane
Growing up on a cattle property roughly 50 kilometers north west of Roma, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has always been a well-known service for Izzy Graham and her family.
Always looking up to the RFDS team, Izzy took it in her stride to find out what she needed to do for the opportunity to have a career with the RFDS, and when she found out about the Midwifery Scholarship funded by the Maureen Stevenson Bursary, this is where her journey began.
“Growing up on a property, the RFDS has always been a very familiar entity within the family,” Izzy said.
“It bought and continues to bring mum and dad a sense of ease that RFDS were just around the corner if something went haywire at home.
“I always held the RFDS team in such high regard for their ability to adapt and problem solve while providing exceptional care throughout some of the most rural and remote parts of Australia.
“When I was little, I remember hearing stories of family friends who had witnessed and been retrieved by RFDS.
“It just lit a little fire in the belly thinking that I could have a career with autonomy and work with such a close-knit team.”
Spending many years growing up on a property, Izzy said she loved being hands on any opportunity she got.
“I would take any opportunity to be involved with animal husbandry and was keenly interested in how organisms worked,” Izzy said.
“I thoroughly enjoy chatting to anyone and everyone and do well when I can work with my hands.
“I think it was Mum who suggested nursing as a career to me early on as this would satisfy both my need to talk and my interest in anatomy and physiology.”
After graduating from Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor or Nursing, Izzy started her career on the Urology ward at the Wesley Hospital.
It was at this time Izzy decided to touch base with the RFDS to gauge what experience and skills she would need to become part of the team.
“I began liaising with the lovely Louise from the Brisbane crew,” she said.
“Flight Nurses are dual qualified with both qualifications in midwifery and nursing.
“It was during one our conversations Louise planted the seed of the Maureen Stevenson Bursary – a scholarship offered by RFDS to assist a nurse through their Midwifery studies.
“At the completion of the midwifery studies, the recipient has the pleasure of joining the RFDS team to begin their career.
“I slowly chipped away to meet the perquisites of a flight nurse with RFDS and in 2021 I commenced my midwifery studies in NSW, applied for the Bursary and was the fortunate recipient.
“It was the best phone call I have ever received!
“At the completion of my midwifery studies, I jumped back into the Sunshine State to start my role with RFDS in South West QLD in Charleville.”
Izzy explained that one of the great aspects of a ‘typical day’ as a RFDS Flight Nurse (midwifery) is that there is no typical day.
“On a day shift we usually commence work at 6 am but can be called in earlier if there is an emergency,” she said.
“After arriving to work and having a quick discussion with the Pilot and Doctor, we have a range of equipment to check to ensure it is in working order and then pack the aircraft so we can respond quickly when required.
“As a team, we will discuss the job that we are heading out to, create a plan that we are all in agreement with and it’s wheels up from there.
“The taskings throughout the shift depend on and change with the acuity of presenting cases.”
Izzy said moving to Charleville has been a fantastic career and lifestyle change.
“I thought moving out to Charleville my fast-paced life might slow down for a change but to be honest, it has just been exacerbated,” she said.
“The sense of community in Charleville both in and out of RFDS is hands down the best thing since sliced bread.
“I play many different sports and the social activities are abundant – ranging from spontaneous dinner parties to race meetings and everything in between.
“The RFDS is hands down the most incredible workplace - I couldn’t recommend it more!”
The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) is invested and committed to improving the health of people in regional, remote and rural Queensland.
In support of our commitment to the people of Queensland, RFDS offers scholarships to skilled Registered Nurses who have a passion to join RFDS and who need to further develop their skills and obtain a midwifery qualification.
To find out more about the scholarships please see here.