Melbourne’s Jack Cooper is one of 17 new medical interns who has launched his career as a doctor at Caboolture Hospital this year, moving to the Sunshine State from Victoria.
Jack, who worked at various Melbourne hospitals last year, contracted COVID-19 while on placement and spent time in Melbourne’s COVID-19 hospital wards on the opposite side of the fence – as a patient relying on his peers to take care of him.
He’s now using this experience to shape his approach to patient care as an intern in the ED.
“Of course it’s changed me as a person but also as a professional working in medicine. It’s been quite a time in history to start my medical career, that’s for sure,” Dr Cooper said.
“I think my stay in hospital with COVID-19 showed me how I want to be as a clinician when I am caring for someone – many clinicians would talk about me but not to me, which was uncomfortable, as I knew the medical terminology they were using and what it meant.
“In theory, I think all healthcare professionals know we need to directly talk to our patients and involve them in their care, but having been on the patient side of things recently reminded me of the importance of this and how I’ll approach my role.
While Caboolture Hospital hasn’t seen too many COVID-19 patients, Jack says his personal experience has made him more aware of COVID-19’s effect on people, both physically and mentally.
“As a doctor, it has changed the way I approach patients and I’ll always take my time now to make sure I’ve answered all their questions and they’re comfortable before I leave,” he said.
“And personally, I’ll never take anything for granted. I don’t know what impact COVID-19 will have on my health long term and those unknowns really make you appreciate what is important in life.”
Jack and his wife have now settled in Maleny and are enjoying calling the Sunshine State home.