Career

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Adam Muncan dressed in PPE  giving thumbs up

Graduating to the frontline


Of all the experiences Adam Muncan expected when he graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing, working through a global pandemic was not one.

“After my graduate program finished, I went to Bali with my girlfriend to celebrate the end of my studies. I’d received an offer from The Austin, Melbourne, to work on the medical wards and was looking forward to it. Then, while we were over there, we started hearing about this thing called the coronavirus,” said Adam.

“Then I got an email saying my ward was being converted into a COVID-19 ward. I was scared, but also really excited to do my bit.”

Eventually, as the expected first wave didn’t really take off, his ward was turned into a SCOVID (suspected COVID-19) ward.

“Anyone with an upper respiratory issue or if someone has a fever or a cough, they would come into our ward and get a swab. We had to be very vigilant with our PPE and treat them like they had COVID-19 until we got the results.”

Working in hotel quarantine

Because the wards couldn’t run at full capacity during that period, staff were asked to take leave. Adam sought out casual work, hoping to get some shifts as a mental health nurse as he’d previously worked and had placements in the field. Instead, he found himself once again at the frontline.

“I ended up working in hotel quarantine as a mental health nurse. My role was to assess anyone needing support, or anyone that could be psychotic or at risk to themselves and put them under an involuntary act if that was necessary.

“A lot of the people that were there were from other countries and may not have had a previous diagnosis before, and there were language barriers to overcome too. We had translators but that meant you couldn’t assess someone directly, it needed to go through a three-way chat.

“It was funny because earlier in the year I had done shifts at The Austin’s screening clinics, taking swabs. I’d thought that was pretty exciting as I’d been in a COVID ward where we had only single digit patients. But now I was working in a hotel that had more than half the state’s COVID patients.

“I was lucky I had excellent infection training so I felt confident going into rooms to assess people but I did have to be careful at home and make sure that I wasn’t inadvertently passing it on to my mother or girlfriend. I really maintained my social distancing and limited my time with my family and tried to keep to my room.”

Adam’s next step is no less dramatic. He’s soon to take up a role as a general nurse in Victoria’s largest prison, Ravenhall.

I’ll have a lot more responsibility and be doing primary care nursing. If there’s any emergency like someone has a traumatic wound or is having a seizure then I’m one of the first people there to help.”

In the future he hopes the experience he gains as a hands-on primary care nurse will eventually lead into a career in community care, but for the moment he’s ready for this next adventure.

 

For a career at the frontline like Adam, explore our nursing degrees.

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Impact brings you compelling stories, inspiring research, and big ideas from ACU. It's about the impact we’re having on our communities, and our Mission in action. It’s a practical resource for career, life and study.

At ACU it’s education, but not as you know it. We stand up for people in need, and causes that matter.

If you have a story idea or just want to say hello, do contact us.

Copyright@ Australian Catholic University 1998-2021 | ABN 15 050 192 660 CRICOS Reg: 00004G