Kristy Purnell’s healthcare career blossoms amid pandemic response


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

Employed as an Indigenous Health Worker at Carbal Medical Services in Toowoomba since September 2020, Ms Purnell administers COVID vaccines alongside her regular duties.

I work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medical Services because I want to help my community and provide health care to people who need it,” she said.

“My role includes screening clients, doing annual checkups, attending community events, assisting nurses in the treatment room, and promoting various programs run by Carbal.”

Ms. Purnell’s passion for her role led her to take a CQUniversity TAFE course on Primary Health Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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

“I started (certificate IV) last year and did a few boarding schools, which strengthened my knowledge of full screening,” she said.

“I feel like I’m learning new things that I can use every day in my role. I like to share my new knowledge with the other members of the team.

“This course helps me become a confident health worker. It gives me the skills I need to continue to grow in my role at Carbal.

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


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