Elissa Drew is a pocket rocket ready for take off.
The Cootamundra Hospital enrolled nurse, mother of six, farmer and wife is pursuing yet another hat – a degree to become a Registered Nurse (RN).
A self-confessed sponge who craves information, Elissa said she was always the one standing behind the RNs, driving them mad with her curiosity and constantly asking, “What would you like me to do now?”.
And while people around her have encouraged her to complete her degree and apply for postgraduate studies in a larger metropolitan hospital, she is confident she’ll return to her roots.
“While there is merit in broadening one’s horizons, I just know I will be keen to get back here once I’m done,” she said.
Raised in Eurongilly, Elissa went to high school in Cootamundra, the closest regional centre. It’s where she felt her life flourished.
She said she has always wanted to be part of a personal journey for people who require medical assistance and has always known her roots were in the country where her family home is.
“We farm sheep, crops and do a bit of shearing,” she said.
“I just love the farming lifestyle with our family, but when seasons are tough, I want 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.”
Elissa said after having her children, she was able to compare her experiences as a patient in a larger hospital to how it felt to be a patient in a smaller hospital at home.
“I just knew I wanted to be part of that more personal approach,” she said.
“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.”
Elissa said she was in awe of the medical team at Cootamundra who exhibited competence and grace under fire.
“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 inspiring,” she said.
“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.”
Unfazed by the extra work ahead, Elissa said she’s grateful for her opportunities.
“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,” she said.
“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.
“Being part of this wonderful regional community and the support we give each other in these smaller towns also makes nursing an amazing experience for me.”
Original Article published by Shri Gayathirie Rajen on Region Riverina.