Emory Healthcare registered nurse Terri Reece (BSN,CCRN-E) relocated to Australia for four months to work the day shift at the Royal Perth Hospital…

“I’ve always enjoyed the work flow of night shift in eICU but after working nights for 30 years, I decided to transition to day shift two years ago for the benefit of my health. Since the time
difference from Perth to Atlanta is 12 hours, working in Perth allowed me the opportunity to have the best of both worlds. Dr Buchman has, often used the term ‘turning night into day’ to describe our program and it’s a perfect description of what I was able to do while in Australia – enjoying the night shift work flow while working the day shift.

This program also provides an incredible opportunity to travel. It was my first trip to this beautiful country when I headed out in April 2018 so before I started working in Perth I traveled to Sydney and Surfer’s Paradise to spend some time at the beautiful beaches. What made it extra special was my husband was able to travel with me the first month I was in Australia, and it was a wonderful opportunity for a vacation for us both as we took in incredible moonrises and sunsets. One of the things I enjoyed most was simply walking. I felt very safe in Australia and as my apartment was just one mile from the hospital, I walked to and from work every day for three months.

The staff at Royal Perth were so welcoming and I still keep in touch with many of the wonderful people I met and worked with. The patients enjoyed seeing that we were on camera in the daylight, while monitoring them during their nighttime. They would frequently ask, ‘Are you still in Australia?’ as soon as we came on camera so I would often turn the camera around to show them it was daylight, which they really enjoyed seeing. Working in Australia for several months also enabled us to visit other nearby countries. We considered it a working vacation so I went to New Zealand, while some of my co-workers chose Japan, Fiji, Bali, Singapore, Hong Kong, and many other cities across Australia.

Two of my favorite experiences include a trip to Margaret River, and a trip to Sydney to enjoy the opera, Aida, at the Sydney Opera House. It was an experience I’ll honestly never forget! Traveling to Australia, 12,000 miles from home for three months, took me completely out of my comfort zone. Although I was looking forward to the experience of traveling to a different country, being that far away from my family for that amount of time was not something I envisaged truly enjoying. To my complete surprise, I found it to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It changed me in ways that I had not imagined. For the first time in my life I learned to be completely at peace being alone, just absorbing my surroundings.

On my days off, from the hours of 12 noon to 5 or 6pm, I learned to enjoy the ‘silence’ as everyone at home was asleep. By completely embracing the unknown, I gained a sense of peace, contentment, and self-confidence that I didn’t realise I was lacking. It was an incredible opportunity to meet so many people, enjoy an indescribably beautiful country, and to truly immerse myself in the experience. It was a personal journey for me, one for which I will forever be grateful and it’s one I plan to repeat again soon.”