Words by Ceinwen Rataj
I hate being on video/film, and was certainly not too keen in having to talk into a microphone. However I was eager to show other’s what is involved in my job as it is quite unique!
Paul made the whole filming and production process very enjoyable. I'm not sure he enjoyed driving in our truck along the very corrugated roads and he couldn't believe that this is what we experience every time we travel; it is certainly not a smooth ride at times!
Formerly a special needs teacher both in Australia and overseas, I travelled extensively throughout Central and South America teaching English and building houses as a volunteer before returning to Australia to undertake my nursing degree. I have been doing this job for 9 months; it was a very different way of life having come from Melbourne where I had been nursing in a busy city hospital.
My Project officer and I travel around the Pilbara providing free health education, first aid training, and medical chest checks in some of WA’s most remote locations. There are also RFDS on the road teams in the Goldfields and the Kimberly region; we will visit locations such as pastoral stations, tourist facilities, satellite mines and exploration sites, Aboriginal communities, remote schools and roadhouses.
Just in this past week, for example, we headed out to three exploration mines sites and two family run cattle stations in the East Pilbara region. I enjoy meeting people on the land, providing them with health education and training; they are so hospitable and very friendly.
Undertaking medical chest training with people who have no medical background or knowledge is very rewarding, before the session they are quite nervous and apprehensive in even opening the medical chest, however once I have completed the session they have gained the confidence and skills and are able to administer intra-muscular medication.
I love the autonomy of my job, also that I get to camp out 6 nights of a fortnight, the Pilbara region is an amazing place, with some awesome sunsets, sunrises and what I would say have to be some of the best night time skies I have seen anywhere! I definitely don’t like the flies and the heat especially as it is getting closer to summer.
Having had experience as a teacher and a nurse, I always wanted to join the two professions together and work in the area of health promotion. Joining the team at RFDS on the Road was the best move I’ve ever made; I’ve found my niche in life.
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