Working hard? Or hardly working? My life as an agency Midwife!

Our indefinite trip around Australia is funded by us! We have tenants in our home that covers the mortgage so we work to live, to buy food, rego, insurances, accommodation fees etc. Life on the road is so much cheaper than at home but we choose to keep our savings in a ‘just in case’ account!

We have a loose aim to work for a few months then have a month off with Pez & I taking turns who works and who stays with the kids and leads the schooling! I have been the breadwinner thus far on our trip but have worked previously as an agency midwife in 2008 when Pez & I did a lap around oz pre-kids!

So let’s face it a hospital is a hospital, I have worked in quite a few public/private in 3 states of Australia so far. As a midwife it always comes down to three important things;

  1. Never trust a multi
  2. Late/earlys are terrible
  3. The ward clerks actually run the show to become their best friends.

In addition to my above observations below are some extra tips about choosing your agency, knowing your limits & doing your research!

  • Get ready!

My background is primarily midwifery – birthing suite to be even more specific! When we left I knew I would be working in rural/remote settings which means working both as a registered nurse & a registered midwife. My General skills were rusty so getting ready for me meant going back to my local ED to get some confidence back doing really basic ED stuff like wound dressings, ECGs & the getting up close & personal with the good old chest pain pathway. There are some fantastic organisations that run courses to assist nurses to transition to rural/remote setting – check out CRANA & RAHC. Having your immunisation certificate with current immunisation experience is also beneficial as is a current ALS.

  • Choosing an agency!

There are be many benefits to agency nursing/midwifery e.g. accommodation subsidies, travel subsidies etc. I recommend signing up to a few agencies initially, get a feel for what they can offer you; free uniforms? Do you even like the uniform? Education allowance? Do they return your calls/emails? It will quickly become clear which agency you want to deal with, you would be surprised inefficient some companies are!

There is a choice of working for the agency or the health service –these options come with their own benefits and your agency will explain all of this thoroughly and help you decide what is best for you!

I am with CQ NURSE and feel very looked after! I have Cat & Leah, my ‘contracts management consultant’ who knows our situation and exactly what I want from a contract & Sharon who regularly checks in on me during placements! So far the team at CQ have been fantastic!

  • Accommodation!

Good Nurses accommodation is very common – if you are travelling alone. Very few facilities are able to provide accommodation for both you & your family. Never fear, most facilities will have nurses accommodation – always accept this! Set the family up at a caravan park etc and use the nurse’s accommodation to sleep in for night shifts, late/earlys or just when you have had a gut full of them!

  • What are you comfortable with?

Do your research on the facility you are considering working at! I cannot stress this enough! Are you comfortable working somewhere with no Medical Officer on site? Are you comfortable being the only health care professional onsite? Would you be on call & if you are required to do call outs who will be with you? Most importantly is there a Kmart in town? By knowing what type of a facility you would be comfortable working in helps your agency find a contract that’s a good fit for you!

  • CPD points / Mandatory education…

These cheeky buggers still apply obviously and you need to be able to account for these should you be audited when you renew your Nurse/Midwife registration. There are apps you can record your ‘points’ in or if you are a bit old fashioned like me & use the ‘notes’ section in the back of your diary to record each CPD point. Mandatory education can be easily arranged by your agency who will either have their own modules to work through or be able to give you logins to access short courses etc.

  • NURSES UNION… make sure you let your union know where you be! Find out if you are still covered working when interstate etc.
  • Ask around…

There are some great Facebook groups where you can ask about people’s experiences, what the nurse accommodation is like etc. but again questions like this come back to your agency! A good agency will know the staff/patient ratios and have accurate feedback about facilities from nurses who have worked there!

Working around Australia as a midwife/RN is absolutely amazing! There is nothing quite like the community feel you get from a small country hospital, the characters you meet and the genuine appreciation from patients and families.  The staff at these places have taken myself & my family in & we have made forever friends!

I have learnt so much about general nursing e.g. like how much talc is too much when showering someone, MIMS has become my best friend and I have actually wanted to hug a helicopter that arrived for a retrieval! & I have loved every minute of it!

So to all you baby catchers & nurse out there get amongst it – this is living!


Follow us @milsypezwardo #milsypezwardo on Facebook or Instagram to see what we are up to today & don’t be shy to ask any questions!

8 Tips You Must Know When Camping With Dogs – Campersway

We have our dog Pippy Perry alongside us for the journey – is she a pain? Nope – Andrew is much more trouble than Pip will ever be! We did consider finding her a temporary home but we are gone indefinitely and the thought of not seeing her for a few years was just too upsetting to even think about!

Our advice before you set off on a big trip;

1. Have dog poo bags EVERYWHERE – in the car, your wallet, caravan, handbag. If your dog does do a No.2 PICK it up! If you don’t every other camper will judge you (myself included) & there is nothing worse than treading in it!

2. Bulk pigs ears – our Pip will take approximately 1hr to get through one.

3. A good sturdy water bowl – not the collapsible ones, they become unstable after a few weeks.

4. A few dogs leads & a proper walking harness – we have a lead in the car & on in the caravan.

5. Have a copy of your dog’s vaccinations in the glove box just in case it needs to go in a kennel in an emergency, in a pinch you can always get a copy faxed to you from your vet!

6. Make sure the mirco-chip is up to date!

7. Exercise your dog! Pip goes on at least one walk a day (over 3kms – usually 5kms) not only is it great for me & Pip but we meet so many lovely people locally and also those staying in the same place as you.

8. Where will you stay? Get WIKICAMPS – have the ‘dogs allowed’ filter on! Follow other travelling families/couples who have taken their dog on Facebook & Instagram, see where they are staying! I look up the #travelaustraliawithdogs

Get to know your dog;Are they ok on a lead? They spend a lot of time on the lead when you are on the road – do they carry on like a pork chop when they see other dogs? Knowing all their quirks make life so much easier!

  • Will they be happy to be left on their own for short periods? Can they handle being on their own if you all go to the shower block at the same time? Or if you all go to the camp kitchen for dinner together? Or are they barkers?
  • What are they like near water? Pippy will run & jump off a jetty quicker than you can say ‘croc’ – so she is on a lead before we open the car doors! Good to know in advance!
  • Do they come when they are called? Our Pip is very obedient but I have seen a few grey nomads chasing fluffy white dogs around caravan parks – it’s a bit cute to watch but probably not so cute if you’re the one doing the chasing!
  • Do they get car sick? Pip doesn’t but it seems to be surprisingly common for dogs!


The most common question we are asked……

What do you do with her when you go site seeing or to national parks?

We take Pippy almost everywhere & know her very well – she is happy to sit under a tree eating her pig’s ear while we swim in the pool etc. And remember when I said you meet lovely people when you walk your dog in the morning? Most people are happy to babysit your dog in exchange for you babysitting theirs. We have even had people travelling without their dog offering to mind Pippy because they miss their own pooch so much! Most Dog-friendly caravan parks are able to give you advice on local dog sitters, alternatively, there are dog kennels for overnight/longer stays.

We don’t regret bringing Pippy with us – not for one second!

Follow us on Instagram & Facebook @milsypezwardo #milsypezwardo. I’ll be posting regularly about how we find work, distance education, what essentials we brought along, caravan/troopy mods & camp sites!

Don’t be shy to leave a comment below or message us with any questions or with your hot tips of your own that might help us along the way J

Milsy Pezwardo are travelling Australia, and this is their Campersway

Milsy Pezwardo is the latin alter ego for me! Millie Perry! I am a mum, wife, midwife & keen sewer from the Central Coast of NSW. I am an over-sharer, I use exclamation marks excessively & our facebook page started off as something silly to show people what I was sewing & turned into a little sewing/travelling page!

In 2008 my husband Andrew & I set off for a ¾ lap of Australia. It was just us, our swag, my sewing machine and our 75 series Landcruiser Ute. In July this year we set off on our 2nd lap this time with 3 kids & our dog Pippy, with all these tagalongs the swag and the ute wasn’t going to cut it for us so this time we had our 99’ Landcruiser troopy & a 98’ Windsor 16ft pop top caravan (the sewing machine is still here with us too). Yes the idea of a new landcruiser & a new caravan was very appealing but being tied up to repayments would mean us having to work more – less work was the whole point of getting away!

SO the big question is why? Well, why not? Everyone kept telling us these were the best years of our life, our kids were young enjoy them – we were spending so much time at work our only family day was Sunday & I usually ended up working! We packed our stuff in a shipping container, got a tenant for our house & off we went!

How long? It is indefinite at this stage – we don’t want to rush anything and we have so many spots we can’t wait to take the kids too! We are thinking 2-3 years!

Our little adventurers are Ruby 7 & 6-year old twins Rosie & Zac. We are enrolled in Distance education through Port Macquarie NSW. Andrew & I take turns being the teacher depending on who is working & we love it, all resources are supplied, we talk to our teacher weekly & can call her with any worries! It is definitely the best fit for OUR family!

We take turns working & try to have a few weeks off between contracts – so far it has been Happy days!

Our highlight to date has been Cape York for the off-road side of things & Palm Cove is the highlight when it comes to luxury!

Follow us on Instagram & Facebook @milsypezwardo #milsypezwardo. I’ll be posting regularly about how we find work, distance education, what essentials we brought along, caravan/troopy mods & camp sites!

Don’t be shy to message us with any questions or with your hot tips of your own that might help us along the way!

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