One could be forgiven for assuming that a nurse seeking out a career in a regional hospital might be looking for 'a quieter life'.
But speaking to Elissa Drew, you quickly understand that she is a pocket rocket of busyness ready to take off.
Elissa began her study to be an Enrolled Nurse in 2018 to supplement her other super busy lifestyle as a farmer, wife and mother to six children coupled with all the extracurricular sporting activities that kiddies require.
"We farm sheep, crops and do a bit of shearing and just love the farming lifestyle with our family.
"But when seasons are tough, I wanted to have my own thing to fall back on. Nursing just felt like it would be the only thing that would be interesting and exciting enough to inspire me to spend time away from the farm and my family.
Raised in Eurongilly, Cootamundra was her closest regional centre and the focus of her schooling and shopping expeditions growing up.
Elissa has always known her roots are at home in the country and that she wanted to be part of a more personal journey for people who require medical assistance.
"I went to high school in Cootamundra and I have always loved the town."
"When I began my study as an Enrolled Nurse at TAFE, a family member along with a nursing friend encouraged me to apply for work casually at Cootamundra Hospital.
"When I had my children, I was able to compare my experience as a patient in a larger hospital, to how it feels to be a patient in our smaller hospital at home, and I just knew I wanted to be part of that more personal approach.
"When I decided that nursing was for me, I knew then and there that I would want to be a part of the team at Cootamundra Hospital to continue the same kind of care I experienced having my babies there.
"It can be full on, which is what I love, but the support of an amazingly knowledgeable medical team and nurses who keep cool and calm amongst any chaos is just inspiring.
"To be part of a driven team, and to experience all the adrenaline of life as a nurse in an acute setting, really is what it is all about for me.
"I am in awe of the medical team and the nurses at Cootamundra Hospital. They inspire me by the way they can competently assess a patient, in situations when things are crazy, and just deal with it.
"The opportunities to grow, learn and shine in a smaller hospital like Coota are always there, and the team is dedicated to not only their patients but each other." Reflects Elissa.
Elissa laughs when she explains to me that she is the one standing behind the registered nurse driving them mad wanting to know all the ins and outs of everything and always asking "so what would you like me to do now?"
A self-confessed sponge craving information, Elissa is now studying to become a Registered Nurse.
"People encourage me to complete my degree and apply for post grad studies in larger metro hospitals. While there is merit in broadening one's horizons, I just know I will be keen to get back here once I am done."
"I know I am a busy person and people often say things like they don't know how I have time to do it all, however, I feel I am lucky to live in this amazing country where I can raise a family, work a farm and study to be a nurse at the same time," said Elissa.
"Being part of this wonderful regional community and the support, we give each other in these smaller towns is what also makes nursing an amazing experience for me."
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