The University of Newcastle, Australia

New is versatile and adaptive. It can be different for everyone. And when it comes to providing life-saving healthcare, Bachelor of Nursing graduate Kate Tolhurst knows that what works for one community is not always right for another.

She learnt this firsthand – taking advantage of the University’s Work Integrated Learning program to complete a global placement at a maternity clinic in rural Zambia.

Like most people studying nursing, I was passionate about using my skills to make an impact.”

Kate leapt out of the everyday, and into the unknown. Within weeks she had the profound experience of delivering a baby for the first time. And it didn’t stop there. A typical day at the clinic could include performing deliveries, educating patients on the prevention of illness and injury, assisting in rehabilitation and providing support for local healthcare workers.

The experience opened her eyes to the complexities of working with diverse cultures and communities – and how healthcare practices must acknowledge and embrace these differences.

Not all cultures benefit from doing things in the same way that we do them. Learning how cultures work, and working together with locals to come up with a plan to improve their quality of healthcare in a way that best suits them – that has been the most enjoyable part of working abroad.”

After graduating, Kate travelled to Cusco, Peru where she worked in a rural hospital educating local children on basic health care, and sharing her knowledge of infection control and prevention.

The University of Newcastle inspired me to look for opportunities outside my comfort zone, and provided me with ideas about how I could use my degree to its greatest potential.”

Now back in Australia, Kate has undertaken a New Graduate program through Hunter New England Health at the John Hunter Hospital. She is currently working in the Intensive Care Unit.

This has been a challenging and exciting experience for me. There’s no greater feeling than to shock a person’s heart back into a life-sustaining beat.”

I also get to help people and their families cope with illness, deal with it, and if necessary live with it, so that other parts of their lives can continue.”

For Kate, new is seizing opportunities to serve those who need it most.

Kate Tolhurst

Bachelor of Nursing graduate

There’s no greater feeling than to shock a person’s heart back into a life-sustaining beat.

What will your new be? Study health and medical services

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