Wiradjuri woman Kristy Purnell’s entry into the healthcare system amid a global pandemic has been a rewarding experience

Employed as an Aboriginal health worker at Toowoomba’s Carbal Medical Services since September 2020, Ms Purnell has been administering COVID vaccines alongside her regular roles.

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,” she said.

“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.”

Ms Purnell’s passion for her role has seen her undertake a CQUniversity TAFE course in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care.

She said with a Certificate III already under her belt, Carbal encouraged her to keep acquiring new skills.

“I started (the Certificate IV) last year and have done some residential schooling, which has reinforced my knowledge of comprehensive screening,” she said.

“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.”

Ms Purnell said the course was worth pursuing for anyone interested in the field.