Kalgoorlie

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After a few flights and a really long day later, I finally arrived in Kalgoorlie.

Kalgoorlie is a Western Australian mining town with a population of maybe 40 thousand. And quite a huge number of those are kiwis surprisingly.

The heat hit me as soon as I stepped off the plane. A hot 33 degrees at 8pm at night. This is when I started thinking, what I am getting myself into! One nicely air-conditioned taxi ride later and I was settled in my room in the local hospital accommodation.

The next day I was awake bright and early (thank you jet lag!) and toddled off to the local Emergency Department. The nurses and doctors there were really welcoming and lovely. I settled in with the other triage nurse and starting triaging away. Despite having never triaged before, I became confident pretty quickly.

I even had one patient who had a presenting complaint of sunburn. Thinking to myself, how pathetic to consider a sunburn an emergency, my jaw dropped when he lifted his shirt to show what looked like 2nd degree burns all over his abdomen. Wow! The Australian sun is pretty lethal here. Note to self – do not fall asleep in the sun like this guy did, and do wear sun block!

Day 2 went well also with only a few crazy patient presentations. I got back to my accommodation after work finished and was just eating dinner and watching telly feeling quite relaxed when the power cut out. The precious air con unit was dead. The sun was just setting outside and darkness was settling in. Luckily I had thought to pack a torch in my suitcase and spent the next couple of hours sitting in the dark with my torch playing games on my phone. The power suddenly came back on and the air con started blowing heavenly cold air again. Then I could actually sleep once the room was a normal temperature.

The next day was my final shift at the Kalgoorlie ED. I got certified as being triage-competent (yippee). At lunchtime I finished work, got my suitcase and things, and hopped in a car to be driven to my next destination – Norseman.

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