The diverse career of a RFDS flight nurse
THERE is a lot to love about being a flight nurse for the Royal Flying Doctor Service but for Gillian Humbert, it’s travelling and never knowing what to expect.
Ms Humbert said she had dreamt about working for the RFDS for years before being offered a position.
After travelling, working overseas and completing a Masters in Public Health she said she was finally offered her dream role in Western Australia.
After working there for eight years Ms Humbert came to Bundaberg three years ago to be closer to family.
She said coronavirus had not changed her role much aside from the need to extensively question patients about coronavirus symptoms before boarding.
Ms Humbert said no two days were ever the same.
As they only had one flight nurse and the pilot there were times when they had to rely on the community they were in for assistance.
“It’s interesting work, we have a good variety of patients, from babies to the elderly,” Ms Humbert said.
“The service is fantastic, especially for people in the bush, to get people from point A to point B quickly.
“People always say there is a lot of variety in emergency departments and it’s the same with the RFDS.
“You never know from one minute to the next or one day to the next what patients you will have and where you will end up.”
Ms Humbert said one of her career highlights was working in Emirates delivering babies and meeting many wonderful women.
“I worked in the Emirates as a midwife, in England as a general nurse in surgery and in Mongolia as a clinic manager,” she said.
“Nursing has taken me around the world and I guess what you put in is what you get out of it.”
Other highlights include flying over the Kimberleys in WA with the RFDS and taking floatplanes and helicopters to pick up patients, which she said was a lot different to Bundaberg.
Ms Humbert said after years of putting hard work into training and studying she wouldn’t want to do anything else.
“I love the variety and meeting people,” she said.
“I love my patients and giving them the best care in the short time we have them on the plane.
“Sometimes I have a patient who has never flown before but I give them the reassurance they need and some of them get off and want to get straight back on afterwards.”