Interview with Registered Nurse, Tanya Alcorn, UNE Medical Centre
The UNE Medical Centre is a General Practice accredited by AGPAL. The surgery is owned by The University of New England, managed in collaboration with UNE Life, and operates with independent doctors. The Centre is available to the entire community and boasts state of the art facilities, offering a wide range of specialised services including advanced skin cancer management, women’s health & fertility services & their friendly staff.
Recently we sat down with Tanya Alcorn to learn a little about her journey of becoming a nurse and being a vital part of our community. Tanya is a Registered Nurse qualified in Women’s Health, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Accredited Nursing Immuniser.
Tell us a little about your time studying?
I studied through the hospital-based training system at Gosford Hospital on the Central Coast.
I vividly remember the very first day of my training we all had to put our starchy hats together with pins and bobby pins. It took ages and we all ended up with such different shapes and sizes (some of us looked like the flying nun) causing a lot of laughter, it was a really good ice breaker.
What inspired you to become a Registered Nurse?
Definitely Flying Doctor Service not that I ever worked with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, they’ve always just been an inspiration to me.
As a teenager, I wanted to be a vet and when I didn’t think that would be possible it seemed a natural progression to nursing. I just think I wanted to look after others, people or animals.
What are some of your notable achievements?
Every day, going to work and helping people is a notable achievement, I feel that most of our clients are very appreciative of our expertise.
Outside work my life achievements would be marrying my husband Richard and having 3 lovely sons Max, Oscar, and Joe.
Oh, also getting my golf handicap down to 22!!! ⛳️🏌🏼♀️
You offer a range of different skills at the practice, what are some of your usual jobs?
Oh, there’s so many! I would say the most common are;
- Women’s Health and Sexual and Reproductive Health
- Contraceptive Advice including Implanon (rod) insertion
- Mantoux (Tuberculin skin test) Clinics
- Cannulation for Iron Infusions and Venesection
- Support and advice for Lifestyle changes/Preventative health
We often run community clinics at the centre and often we visit the University and run clinics for the colleges.
You haven’t always been here, what brought you to Armidale?
My husband’s work with a grain trading company brought us to Armidale, we were living on the Liverpool Plains near Willow Tree. I was working at Tamworth Base Hospital at the time, that was in 1997.
What do you enjoy most about being a nurse in a rural area?
I enjoy the fact that I have gained experience in many areas and that my work hasn’t become too niche – it’s nice working across a broad range of areas, and keeps you on your toes. For example, I have worked in busy Emergency Departments looking after trauma from accidents to life-threatening illnesses and now I work in an equally busy General Practice where our goal is to keep our patients as well as possible and out of hospital, this requires such a different skill set.
Tell us a little bit about your role at the UNE Medical Practice?
We look after the entire community, so I see so many different people from the students at UNE, international families, community-based families, we also have a growing number of mature clients 60+.
On a daily basis, I give a lot of injections from childhood vaccinations, Flu vaccines, travel vaccines, and vitamin injections. I perform women’s health checks which include cervical screening tests (pap smears) breast exams, STI screening. I also assist with procedures like skin cancer removal, IUD insertion, wound care, ECG’s, health assessments on all ages, spirometry and asthma plans, I organise referrals to allied health eg dieticians and physiotherapists – there’s a lot!
Tell us about the Centre…
Our practice has a wonderful team which includes 3 doctors 2 nurses and 3 administration staff we all get on very well and are all there for each other. The UNE Medical Centre is a very happy environment and we are lucky to work in such incredible facilities.
What is one message you would like to share with people about their health and wellbeing or maintaining it and general check-ups?
Your health and wellbeing is everything. If you (I and we) don’t have our health little else matters.
It’s so important to have regular checkups especially as we get older. I know it can be easy, but don’t ignore any symptoms that you may have no matter how small, get checked!
And finally, what’s your favourite thing about being a part of the New England community?
Definitely meeting and knowing so many different people from all different backgrounds.
Thank you so much for your time, Tanya, it was lovely learning a little about you and your role at the Medical Centre!
If you’re looking for expert medical services, look no further than the UNE Medical Centre. Here to support UNE staff, students, as well as all residents of Armidale, & the wider community.
Conveniently located within the Tablelands Clinical School Building, on the grounds of Armidale Hospital.