CQU's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care training boosts Kristy's skills

12 April 2022

Kristy Purnell is thriving in her role as an Aboriginal Health Worker at Carbal Medical Services in Toowoomba' thanks to her determination and CQUniversity's TAFE training.

The proud Wiradjuri woman is undertaking a Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care' attending residential schools at CQU's Brisbane campus several times a year' with the support of her employer' Carbal Medical Services.

Carbal Medical Services is a community-responsive Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) with clinics and services across Toowoomba and Warwick' that manages chronic disease through early intervention and improved access to culturally appropriate medical services.

"I work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical services because I want to help my community and provide health care to people that need it'" Kristy said.

"I have worked at Carbal since September 2020. I am an Aboriginal Health Worker and my role entails screening clients' doing annual health checks' going to community events' assisting nurses in the treatment room and promoting various programs that Carbal run.

"As a health worker I have learned how to give Covid vaccine injections' and I have been doing this for a year now."

She said she had previously completed a Certificate III in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care qualification and Carbal encouraged her to keep acquiring new skills.

"Carbal has offered me this opportunity to extend my learning. I wanted to do this course immediately after finishing my Cert III' as I really enjoyed that course and all that I learned'" she said.

"I started (the Certificate IV) last year and have done some residential schooling' which has reinforced my knowledge of comprehensive screening.

"I feel that I'm learning new things that I'm able to utilise in my role on a daily basis. I enjoy sharing my new knowledge with other team members.

"This course is helping me to become a confident health worker. It is giving me the skills I need to continue growing in my position at Carbal."

She said her teacher Recheal Daily was always helpful and eager to offer support.

"While I was at residential school our teacher Recheal was showing us how to use the manual blood pressure device and this gave me great confidence and I now use it regularly'" she said.

"I encourage anyone interested in the course' just to give it a go."