Nat Luxton is a Registered Nurse (RN)/midwife and has been registered with Rural LAP since 2011. She was originally from Brisbane but now resides at Corindi Beach on the Northern NSW coast.
Working for Aspen Medical since 2007, Nat heard about Rural LAP and was interested in being part of the program.
“I loved the idea of being able to go to smaller places and know I was genuinely helping them out. Travel and meeting new people was a bonus. I had worked in a few country hospitals so had an idea as to what to expect - a new experience with the opportunity to meet truly lovely people”.
Nat was initially overwhelmed by the Rural LAP credentialing process due its the complexity but quickly realised the significance of robust and thorough screening. “The application process was time consuming, with the paperwork a little daunting, but I fully understand why. Rural LAP needs to know that the locums they are sending to these facilities are capable of doing what they say they can. It’s about safety, so I fully respect that".
Nat has emergency nursing, neonatal nurseries, birthing suite and postnatal experience which has contributed to the 250 hours of nursing and 250 hours of midwifery experience required to be Rural LAP locum.
“Once credentialed though, getting placements was easy. You receive a job opportunity via email, respond to the job request and the RuraL LAP team will let you know if you have been successful. From there, the lovely travel and logistics coordinator arranges your travel and accommodation so there is little for you to do other than plan what to pack and what to do whilst in a new town”.
Nat has worked for numerous healthcare services with Rural LAP including Corowa, Hilston, Temora, Tocumwal, Wagga Wagga and Wallaroo.
“Most of these places I had never heard of so it is always interesting looking up where I am heading to. My first placement was in Tocumwal, on the NSW/Victorian boarder. Travelling by planes, a train and a few buses, it took me about 17hrs to get there. I later found I could have flown to Albury (an hour away), and got a hire car from there. This is what was arranged for subsequent trips!
“Wagga ED was a particular favourite as it was crazy busy so I got to really utilise my clinical skills. The staff made me feel so incredibly welcome every time I was there. They did, however, blame me for some of the busiest shifts they have had which is unfair (I’m not a magnet, well not always anyway).
“It is always pretty special to receive verbal and written thankyou’s from grateful patients but to be offered accommodation if I am ever back in the area is really touching, especially from one man who decided to adopt me as his granddaughter after I had only just met him!"
“The staff were so supportive. They appreciated the assistance so they seem do what they can to make you feel welcome. The Rural LAP team are also wonderfully supportive, especially if there is a problem during the placement."
Nat believes that helping to make a difference truly is the greatest reward.
“Rural LAP offers rewards and incentives but I do not discuss them.
The real reward is being able to genuinely help a community just by being there.
Nat has completed over 30 locum placements with Rural LAP since 2011 and is currently in South Australia completing another two week placement at a remote location.
“I would absolutely work with Rural LAP again. I definitely recommend Rural LAP to others but only to those I think are clinically competent to do the job.”