Faces of Peninsula Health: Q&A with Karen Garnett

Karen Garnett (far right) is a Peninsula Health Clinical Support Nurse, who took on the new role of Clinical Support Nurse with the Learning Hub at the beginning of 2021.

Name: Karen Garnett

Role: Clinical Support Nurse

Bio: Karen’s journey began in aged care where she worked as a Patient Care Attendant (PCA) for ten years. From there she completed her enrolled nurse division two qualification and then went on to Monash University to become a registered nurse. Karen completed Peninsula Health’s graduate nursing program in 2011 and has never wanted to leave! She completed her postgraduate studies in emergency nursing in 2015 and now has ten years experience working in ED.

Q: What does an average day look like?

A: Busy and fulfilling are the two words that come to mind. I do my best to spend quality time with all my students, who are on placement across ED, Westernport ward and Intensive Care. I check they are ok, go through patient assessments, documentation, medications etc. I also assist staff with a variety of tasks, whether it be checking medications, or helping out with a really unwell patient. My role also involves touching base with graduate nurses and giving them a hand if needed. I also have to write the formative and summative assessments for each student as part of the University requirements.

Q: What attracted you to this role?

A: I love working with learners as I believe if they are supported in a positive environment, it will enable them to absorb knowledge and enhance their clinical practice. I have the best of both worlds with my role, as I can teach and also be hands on which I love, and I can keep my clinical skills up.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working with learners?

A: I enjoy all aspects of working with learners. I enjoy getting to them, finding out their learning style and how I can best support each one to enhance their practice and build on their knowledge. I like to ensure they are safe and thorough with all areas of care, communication, assessments, medication knowledge, administration, and documentation.

Q: What does the new “Learning Hub” mean to you?

A: The Learning Hub to me is a network of supportive staff who are there to provide education in the way of study days, workshops, scenario-based skills sessions and bedside clinical teaching that allow participants to practice and gain confidence and knowledge to better their practice. The Learning Hub also allocated undergraduate students, graduates and postgraduates with their placements and clinical learning requirements.