Michelle’s story: Volunteer nurse educator in Bali

Michelle Rossetto is a volunteer Clinical Nurse Educator at Sanglah Hospital in Bali. Michelle is in Bali as part of the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program, funded by the Australian Government.

I started volunteering as a Clinical Nurse Educator in the Emergency Department at Sanglah Hospital in Bali in December 2013. I quickly realised the local nurses are true heroes. Unfortunately, however, they see themselves very differently.

This was one of the things I wanted to change. I wanted to encourage the nurses to be proud and to feel valued as essential members of the multi-disciplinary emergency team. It wasn’t something outlined as an objective of my assignment, but I knew if I could build confidence in the nurses, it would have a direct impact on the capacity of the Emergency Department.

Bali nurses

Michelle in red with the ED nurses in Bali. Continue reading

Posted in: International
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Connect4Care – childminding swaps for nurses and midwives

When friends Katrina Clark and Lisa Robertson discovered the benefits of swapping childcare, it occured to them to create a website where other mothers could do the same, so they set up Connect4Care.

Childcare swaps can be particularly helpful for shiftworkers. Submissions to the Productivity Commission’s Enquiry into Childcare highlighted the particular dilemma facing health care staff in accessing affordable, quality, flexible childcare in a workplace that operates on a 24-hours-a-day, seven-day-a-week cycle. This service could be a huge benefit to nurses and midwives, saving thousands of dollars a year and offering a flexibility that formal childcare can’t provide.

The site offers a step-by-step guide on how to find a suitable family, what questions to ask and how to make contact. You set the parameters of the arrangement together and all Working with Children Checks are verified by Connect4Care. You can use their site to connect with others near you, in your workplace or set up your own group.

Connect4Care is offering free 12-month membership to those who join by the end of 2015. So you can see how it would work, there are groups online already for the following hospitals: the Mater in North Sydney, Royal North Shore, Royal Prince Alfred, St Vincents (Sydney), Gosford Hospital.  You can join those or start your own.

Katrina Clark writes about the site.

They say it takes a village to raise a child and yet sometimes I wonder, where did the village go?

Perhaps small country towns still have mothers gathering outside the school gate at pick-up and drop-off times but this is becoming rarer in the big cities. The good news is that we have the ability nowadays to be more in touch with each other than ever before.  It’s just that we do that from our living rooms.

Lisa and Kat in garden

Katrina and Lisa, co-founders of Connect4Care.

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Posted in: Community campaigns, women
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Sister Ruth – 60 years a nurse

Ruth Fennelly recently celebrated 60 years of nursing, an incredible achievement. She still works three  days a week at a Sydney nursing home as an RN and is passionate about her dogs, Rugby league and greyhound racing. Here, she tells her story.

I grew up on a dairy farm at Scone with my mother, father and younger brother – we had a happy family life.

Having bronchitis as a child, I was hospitalised a few times. It was then I decided to be a nurse. My mother said I would draw nurses on paper and show them to her – it was me!

At age 16 I went to the local hospital to see the Matron to be a nurse. The Matron’s son was in my class at school.

Sr Ruth

On 15 July 1955, I commenced as a cadet nurse at Scotts Memorial Hospital, Scone, under Matron Lusk. Continue reading

Posted in: Nursing experiences
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Nurse Teach Reach – Australian nurses reach out to nurses in Nepal

Nurse Teach Reach is a unique organisation – Australian nurses reaching out internationally to help train and support other nurses. Lucy Rowe, a Neurosurgical Intensive Care nurse, formed Nurse Teach Reach after a working holiday in Nepal. Here, Lucy tells a truly inspiring story.

I chose nursing as a career because of the amazing opportunities it could offer – the lure of international travel and international aid was a big reason, though the reality of achieving this can be difficult once you’re part of the workforce. I’ve always been an avid traveller and am always planning my next trip, generally to developing countries. I’m captivated by their vibrancy, poverty and extreme difference from my relatively sheltered life in Sydney.

I soon realised I couldn’t travel forever and with some pressure from family, accepted that I needed to combine my nursing career and my love for travelling in some amazing job.

I found it extremely hard to find that dream job – so I ended up creating it!

Nurse teach reach

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Posted in: Education, International, Nursing experiences
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Stevie’s EN diary: Sweet little whys

Stevie ponders that ubiquitous question, ‘why are you a nurse’?

I’m not going to lie. I bawled my eyes out writing this. You know that type of crying where you can’t see for tears and there’s snot streaming out of your nose and your ears are ringing and you have a stinking headache? Clearly, something needed to come out.

There’s a question I think student nurses and nurses get asked a lot – ‘why do you want to be a nurse?’ And I’ve often wondered if the answer you give at the beginning matches the answer you give a little further down the track. I can tell you the exact moment I decided I wanted to be a nurse (this time around – and that’s a whole other story).  I was in the car and someone on the radio was talking about nurses and the apparent shortage and I thought, ‘I could do that’. So I did. (Of course by the time I finished studying, the story was a little different, too many nursing graduates, not enough nursing graduate programs.)


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Posted in: Enrolled nurses, Stevie's new grad EN diary, Student nurses