Mater Celebrates Refugee Week

18/Jun/2020     Health

Yordanos Mebrahtu has been working in Mater Refugee Complex Care Clinic since February completing the Multicultural Affairs Queensland funded Refugee Health Assistant in Nursing (AIN) Internship. This Refugee Week she shares her own experience working in the clinic as someone from a refugee background.

Born in Eritrea, Yordanos and her family fled to Australia in August 2009 after spending one year in a refugee camp in Sudan.    

“After arriving in Australia, I completed a Certificate III and IV in English at SBIT (South Bank Institute of Technology). Following this I did Diploma of Nursing in the same campus. I then went on to do a Bachelor of Nursing at QUT in 2017,” Yordanos said. 

“To register as a nurse I had to complete five years of continuous education in English. For this reason I wasn’t able to register as a nurse immediately so I sat an English test last year and it was a success. Now I am waiting to get nursing registration from AHPRA.

“During my studies I also got married and had two children, but I will still determined to follow my dream of working as a nurse.”  

Yordanos said the Internship at Mater Refugee Health is allowing her to gain confidence not only in my nursing skills but English and how to build a relationships and trust with patients.

 “It’s a fantastic service we are able to provide. We have paediatric clinic, mental health support, GP consults and overall health assessments,” Yordanos said.

“My role as an AIN is mainly to observe clinicians at work. One aspect I really enjoy has been teaching children about oral health during home visits where I demonstrate to the children the proper brushing technique, how often and when to brush their teeth.

“I also enjoy helping to distract the children while having their vaccinations, offering educational resources to patients where available, vaccine stocktake and ordering, and supporting patients to attend their appointments.”

While she has been completing her internship the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how the clinic operates and some of Yordanos’ duties.

“Due to the pandemic there is a pause in new arrivals in the country so the home visits have been temporarily suspended. We are doing more telehealth appointments as well. It has certainly been a challenge but a great learning opportunity at the same time,” Yordanos said.

Mater Refugee Complex Care Clinic (MRCCC) provides clinical case management for patients from a refugee background with complex health needs, and a primary care service for people seeking asylum. Mater Integrated Refugee Health Service (MIRHS) outreaches in Brisbane’s community GPs.

Annually Brisbane receives nearly 1000 new humanitarian entrants, with a Mater Refugee Health Nurse welcoming each person, and providing holistic care and assessment over the first year of settlement.

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