Registered nurse's path back home

I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, netball coach to mention a few titles and also a registered nurse. My story today will tell you about my career as a registered nurse (no offence to my husband, children and parents and family who I also share some amazing stories with). I was born in Port Lincoln in 1980 to Haydn Davey Snr and Dorothy Milligan. We lived here until 1985 when my family moved to Ceduna where we stayed until 1995. I am not sure why I chose to follow a nursing pathway, I had not spent any time in hospitals and did not know any nurses that influenced me.

I reflect back and think it was pretty bizarre to be so determined to be a nurse. But it has given me some amazing experiences and I am very grateful that I was able to make that decision back then. I had a safe and happy home life with parents who pushed me to complete my education. The years 1996 and 1997 were spent back in Port Lincoln where I finished secondary school at St Joseph's School. In 1998 I moved to Adelaide to start my registered nursing journey through University Of South Australia. University time was very difficult, coming from country towns where I knew people and people knew me to living in the hustle and bustle of Adelaide was really hard.

Even though I had people around me all of the time I remember feeling so lonely. The ATSI (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Support Unit at university was a great support for me and helped me get through that time. Living with my aunty and uncle helped too. In 2001 I embarked on my Graduate Nurse Program at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH). My second six-month placement was in the cardiology ward and that is where I stayed for the next 10 years. I made some amazing friends during that time plus completed a Graduate Diploma in Nursing to specialise as a coronary care nurse. I also spent two years working at the Lyell McEwin Health Services (LMHS) emergency department before moving back home in 2012.

During my time at the RAH and LMHS I had some amazingly challenging critical care nursing experiences that provided me with the ability to return to Port Lincoln to continue my nursing career and share my knowledge with my colleagues and people I have cared for. After a short period at the Port Lincoln Hospital, working in acute services and within the cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs I was successful in my application to work at Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service (PLAHS) as a registered nurse within the Chronic Condition Management program.

I feel I have found my dream job. I am a local Aboriginal woman, using my clinical experience, skills and knowledge to look after my own people. I always sit with this thought as it always makes me feel very grateful for where I am in life. Over the past two years I have also been working hard to complete another Graduate Diploma in Diabetes Management and Education. One subject left, wish me luck!

Now I am the acting senior manager of client services at PLAHS. Although very new in this role I am looking forward to the challenges that come with management and helping to support PLAHS to continue to provide a very high level, extensive and holistic primary healthcare service to our local community.