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Graduate story: Mitchell Turner

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Mitchell Turner
Senior registered nurse (resuscitation), St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst
Bachelor of Nursing

Mitchell Turner gets his daily fix of adrenaline in the busy emergency department at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney. In just a few short years, he has risen from a graduate position to senior resuscitation nurse.

"As a senior registered nurse at a resuscitation level I can work anywhere, from very acute cubicles to team leader, all the way up to one of the primary resuscitation nurses in an emergency situation. Working as an acute team leader, I'm in charge of a team of two nurses where we care for between eight and 12 patients. When I'm in the emergency department, another nurse and I are responsible for the three resuscitation bays used to treat category 1 (severely injured and sick) patients. We have everything and anything coming in: strokes, heart attacks, stabbings, shootings, motor vehicle accidents, people falling off cliffs, and alcohol and drug-related injuries and attacks. No two days are the same.

"Some people like jumping out of planes. For me it's the exact same adrenaline rush working in emergency. As soon as that 'Bat phone' goes off my heart starts beating 100 beats per minute. I love the challenge of making decisions in a high pressure situation."

While Mitchell was completing third-year clinical hours in the Coffs Harbour Base Hospital emergency department, he had a conversation with a St Vincent's locum doctor who encouraged him to specialise in emergency nursing in Sydney.

"I wanted to move to the Big Smoke to challenge myself and haven't looked back. Once I got the 12-month graduate position at St Vincent's I then set my goals on a resuscitation position and did everything and anything to get there. I pushed myself really hard, so I'm ahead of time in terms of being a senior nurse at this stage of my career."

Mitchell has featured in the television documentary series, Kings Cross ER: St Vincent's Hospital.

"The filming of series three started when I first moved into resuscitation. The crew got footage of some major emergency cases and focused on me and two other male nurses and did lengthy interviews with us about our experiences. Being part of that TV series was totally unexpected but I loved it. It just goes with the job. You never know what's going to happen."

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