Trained in Denmark as a nurse, Mette worked as a critical care and high acuity nurse in her home country as well as in Norway and throughout Australia, exposing herself to differing standards of care.
“I think when you travel a lot and you work in health care settings in different countries, you start to notice that there are many ways that care is provided. You start to recognise good care and when care is suboptimal,” she says.
“After 10 years of clinical experience I felt like I had two choices – either keep working on the floor and pretend not to see the sub-optimal care, or step up and say, ‘no, things need to change’.
“That required courage and fearlessness.”
Mette arrived in Australia in 2008 and as an international student undertook a Graduate Diploma in Critical Care at Flinders University.
Along the way she fell in love with a young medical student – who is now her husband – giving her good reason to stay in Australia and continue with her academic studies.
Since then, she and husband Max have travelled to Alice Springs and Darwin for work, before heading back to Norway where their two children were born.
They eventually came back to Adelaide, Australia, where Mette worked at Flinders as an Associate Lecturer.
In 2012 she gained a Master’s degree at Flinders before taking on an Honours and eventually landing a PhD scholarship.
Mette is now working with her Flinders University and Aalborg University supervisors on her PhD which is exploring agitated patient behaviours in the intensive care unit.
Her aim is to develop person-centred practice guidelines on non-pharmacological approaches to prevent, minimise and manage agitated behaviours.
“Many patients are suffering from agitation, restlessness and distress, and they have difficulties communicating their needs,” she says.