Although they are up against many odds such as extreme heat and dust, very limited resources and equipment and lack of support from other medical staff each of the nurses profiled have found the niche in the outback. Medical services in extremely isolated places are often the focus of the community and as such Outback Nurses are often on call for weeks on end and struggle to take holidays as there is nobody to replace them. Yet despite these hardships, all the nurses have willingly worked tirelessly to maintain and improve health services to those who need them most.
I was very interested in the varied backgrounds of the nurses profiled. Some were from small communities, others from major cities looking for a change and a couple were from overseas. I was especially taken with the story of a young nurse from Zimbabwe who initially applied for a job in a city hospital but ended up in a nursing home in remote WA. Despite this baptism of fire, she never gave up and spent many years in the small community, grateful for the opportunity to make her life in Australia.
Nurses of the Outback is a fitting tribute to those who do a job that most of us would baulk at. It is an inspirational book but also one that makes you think and appreciate the health services and facilities most of us take for granted.