Nursing Placement in Katherine

Student Reflection


Bachelor of Nursing

Placement Location:

Northern Territory

Year of Placement:


I was granted an ACEN student scholarship to support me during my four weeks WIL nursing placement in Katherine, Northern Territory. This placement has helped to increase my cultural awareness and understanding. This included being involved in a cultural learning day held at the hospital and learning from patients I was caring for. During this placement I have become more aware of the disparity in health for Indigenous Australians compared to non-Indigenous Australians. Prior to this placement, I was not aware of the extent of this disparity.

In comparison to metropolitan hospitals, the hospital I was completing placement in, provided an environment that was more culturally safe, such as more Aboriginal Liaison staff involvement, outside areas for patients and flexible transport options for patients to return home. This culturally safe environment resulted in more patients remaining in hospital and reporting positive experiences from their stay.

I have gained experience in recognising and escalating care for deteriorating patients, a skill essential in rural hospitals due to their limited resources and importance of transferring to tertiary hospitals earlier to continue care. I have developed skills to adapt to changing environments, evidenced by moving to a rural town I have not travelled to before, building connections in the town through work, sports and social events. This placement allowed me to experience what living and working rurally would be like, experiencing local culture, shops, events and interacting with staff at the hospital. The community in Katherine was inclusive and welcoming to students and the transient workforce. I feel excited to return to Katherine in my nursing career following this positive experience.

I am so grateful to have received an ACEN scholarship as this alleviated the financial burden of relocating interstate and living for a month without an income. This scholarship also enabled me to pursue this rural placement and exposed me to a variety of health conditions more commonly affecting Indigenous Australian communities such as renal failure and diabetic wounds.