3rd year Aboriginal cadetship recipient Maddy Richey, in Grafton Base Hospital's emergency department, winner of Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healthcare- Ena Williams Award Northern NSW Local Health District Excellence in Nursing awards.
3rd year Aboriginal cadetship recipient Maddy Richey, in Grafton Base Hospital's emergency department, winner of Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healthcare- Ena Williams Award Northern NSW Local Health District Excellence in Nursing awards. Adam Hourigan

How a maternity experience gave birth to career change

BECOMING a mother can turn anyone's world upside down, but when Maddy Richey had her daughter four years ago she couldn't have expected she would find her career path, too.

"I had the most incredible midwife... she was very patient, centred, very holistic, she took the time to understand what mattered to me and what would make my experience important, but also a good one," she said. "I felt really safe and secure in that moment, when often things don't feel like that. She inspired me to consider health."

Ms Richey said she had wanted to pursue a career that would allow her to work alongside the indigenous community with the plan to one day go back to her mob to lend her skills.

"I wanted to make a difference, I think health is the best way to do that," she said.

Once her young family started, Ms Richey's real estate job didn't fit into her life any more, so she took the leap to apply for nursing at South Cross University.

Now due to graduate at the end of the year, the past three years of study haven't been easy. "There's been a lot of sacrifices, a lot of early mornings," she said.

At the outset of her studies, Ms Richey was offered a cadetship at Grafton Base Hospital where you'll find her outside of study and family time. "It's always different and that's one thing I love about it," she said.

"In the emergency department... you literally don't know what is going to come through the doors and you don't know what skills or knowledge you're doing to have to draw upon to assess that patient."

Ms Richey said the midwife that inspired her to change her life was in the back of her mind every day.

"When people come into hospital, it's often in a time of crisis or a time when they feel out of control," she said.

Ms Richey wants to change that and ensure each patient she comes across feels safe and is clearly explained what is going on, to receive the same level of care she did.



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