A day-in-the-life of ADF On-base Nurse, Kaycee Stevens

As many Nurses know, there is no such thing as a typical day of Nursing. While no two days are alike, Kaycee Stevens, says that every day at the East Sale ADF On-base Heath Centre brings new Nursing challenges, experiences and rewards. Kaycee is an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse and works as part of the Garrison Health Services (GHS) team, delivering On-base healthcare to ADF personnel. We talked to Kaycee about an ‘average’ day at work.

On the way

“I live an hour from East Sale in a regional Victorian town. I actually grew up in East Sale and the ADF base is a big part of the community. I enjoy being back in town and it’s a privilege to work in the Health Centre.

On the hour-long drive to work I grab a coffee and listen to audio books. I’m currently listening to Bram Stoker’s Dracula and I recommend Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy to anyone else who enjoys audio books. Sometimes I carpool with a colleague from the Health Centre—it’s a lovely, close team and it’s nice to spend time chatting on the way.”

Arriving on the scene

“When I arrive at the Health Centre I change into my GHS shirt. Then I sign in, turn the computers on, say hi to the team, and review yesterday’s notes and the notes from another Nurse I share the job with. I fill the coffee cup one more time to get the day officially started.”

Sick parade

“First thing each day we start ‘sick parade’. This is similar to a normal GP Clinic but it’s specifically for ADF personnel who need to be seen on the day. We see people who can’t perform their usual requirements like flying or general training because they have various illnesses or injuries. For example, someone might have sinusitis and that affects their ability to fly or a sprained ankle prevents them from running during training. We treat them in the Health Centre where possible and refer them Off-base when required.

Sick parade also gives me the chance to check peoples’ records and alert them to upcoming health requirements like immunisations and regular health check-ups.”

Preliminary health exams

“When sick parade is complete I start preliminary health checks. This is an appointment that occurs directly before a regular medical exam or pre or post deployment medical exams. Generally I weigh people, check their vision, do general obs, test their hearing and urine, and I ask and answer health questions. In certain circumstances I will also do blood tests and an ECG. I make notes in their file for the doctor to follow up with them during their medical.

I’m also responsible for general health promotion and that’s an area I’m particularly interested in. I discuss the risks of lifestyle factors like smoking and drinking, and recommend things like skin checks, sexual health tips and screening for testicular cancer and breast cancer.

After spending many years in hospitals working with a lot of patients facing end-of-life health issues, I’m enjoy working with ADF patients who are mostly fit and healthy and take my advice seriously.”

Tidy and prepare

“Toward the end of the day when we’ve finished our appointments I tidy my workspace and set up for the next day. I pre-populate some of the paperwork for the next day’s scheduled prelims. I also prepare handover notes to support my colleague for her upcoming scheduled appointments.”

Winding down

“After work I make the trip home and look forward to dinner and de-briefing with my partner. We love to travel so at the moment we’re talking about plans to visit Norway this Christmas during the base stand down period. To wind down I enjoy a relatively unique hobby—aquaponics. This involves creating and tending to a system where my goldfish pond feeds the garden and herbs I’ve planted, and the plants in turn clean and aerate the water for the fish.”

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