Carmel's Journey

Carmel's Journey

I remember that as a Little girl I had a nurse’s toy set with the cap and stethoscope.
I always loved when we got lambs and calves that had lost their mums and we had to rear them before they went back to our farm. It was a great memory of mine.
Always surrounded by animals and people.
I never really knew what I wanted to be when I left school and nursing didn’t really enter my mind. But when I was 19, I decided I wanted to follow through with my Mum’s dream of doing her nurses training for her.
My Mum was a nursing aide in the 1940’s and 50’s. The matron wanted her to go off and do her registered nursing but for family reasons she never did.

So, my mind was set, that’s what I wanted to do. I didn’t feel I was smart enough to become a Registered nurse, so I applied for the intake at Naracoorte Hospital in 1984. I wasn’t successful but maybe the Matron saw something in me and offered me to work at the Naracoorte Hospital as a Nursing Aide. I did this for 19 months then reapplied for another intake in 1987. I was successful this time and finished my hospital training in 1988.
One thing I remember throughout my training was my mum would bring me a bag of cashew nuts because nuts were good for your brain!
My first Enrolled Nurse position was in Woomera where during the 60’s was known for the rocket range and had many Americans from the defence force. The rocket range was a restricted area. When I arrived there, I had to sign paperwork with the defence force that I would not divulge information!
It was a great learning experience but felt isolated and alone there. I had met my
husband to be who lived in Western Australia so left after a few months and moved to Western Australia.
I started work at the Brookton Nursing home in 1989 as a nurse’s aide as WA
wouldn’t let me work as an Enrolled Nurse due to the 2 states having different
lengths of training.
It was not until year 2000 and 2 children later that I decide to do a refresher course through Curtin University so I could work as an Enrolled Nurse. This was a 6-month course.
Once I achieved this, I applied to work at Pingelly Hospital where I was able to gain experience in the emergency department. I still work there to this day but in a new building and mostly only emergency and outpatients.
Throughout the years I continually studied and worked in a variety of settings,
working in my holidays and long services (2 so far!).
I always set myself goals. This gave me motivation and direction.
I had a very strong interest in drug and alcohol, so I completed a Certificate IV in
alcohol and other drugs and worked as a casual at the Freshstart Recovery Program assisting with Naltrexone implants. This was one of the most interesting and challenging times in my career.
In 2010, the commonwealth government introduced the NAHRLS program which provided rural and remote health centres with locum staff so that their education could be fulfilled. I was one of the first to commence, my first locum role was in Queensland. I did many placements mostly in NSW and some in SA. I am still associated with the program but has been renamed Rural Lap. I also completed a Diploma in WHS.
I have worked with agencies to help build my home after leaving my husband at 50 years of age. I experienced a very traumatic time with a narcissistic boyfriend who has left me very scarred and broken mentally and physically but I would not let this ruin my future. I am slowly building my happiness with craft and medication and a very caring partner and his puppies. My other loves are my 2 children and 8 grandchildren who light up my life and love me.

My newest venture is setting up my own nursing and NDIS business Carmel’s Elite Care Services. This is going to be my last. I have always only wanted to make a difference in people’s lives for the better.
I have been asked a lot didn’t I want to become a registered nurse and my response is no. I have achieved everything I wanted to. It has never stopped me getting jobs.
I have completed an advanced certificate in Psychology and Certificate IV in Training and assessment. I have worked in defence and at the Verve power station in the first aid centre. I also attended events to assist with first response.
My career is varied and exciting to talk about and I look back and think I could have done no more!
Carmel x

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Carmel an inspiring career. Thx for sharing.

Marcel Campbell

You’re an inspirational woman. Thankyou Sister, so very much for sharing your story. Best wishes in your venture


Mum u truly are the best mother nurse in this world. Your motivation is off the rictur scale the things u have over come thru life the heart ache the bulshit. But yet u succeed highly my mother ur amazing mum

Ryan Seaman

Thank you for sharing my story.

Carmel Rivett

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