By Ewen McRae
What is your connection to Brimbank?
I came to Australia in 2004 and have been living in the area for the past 10 years. I’ve made friends with people I’ve met at the parks and in local stores … I feel a real sense of community here.
What do you like best about the area?
It’s the location! It’s close to the city and my workplace, it’s a quiet neighbourhood and there are lots of local shops, parks and shopping malls. Its diverse nationalities make me feel like I’m at home.
What could make the area better?
I wish there was more health education in the community to improve people’s understanding about illnesses and more extended hours for clinics/GPs in the area to support and follow-up with our patients after they’ve been discharged.
Where is your favourite place to go for a feed in Brimbank?
I don’t really have a favourite place to go as Brimbank has lots of restaurants to choose from – we’re lucky. I guess it depends on the cuisine you crave that day.
Tell me about your role at Sunshine Hospital and what drew you to the position?
I joined Western Health in 2012 as an associate nurse unit manager and in the following year I was appointed as the nurse unit manager on ward 3F at Sunshine Hospital. My determination to make a difference, drawing on my own unique strengths, knowledge and personality is what attracted me to the position.
What is the best thing about your work? What are the challenges?
The best thing about my work is to be able to lead the team by example … as you help to improve patient care, you influence and develop the potential of talented and skilled nurses. Every day is a challenge.
My top three greatest challenges are leading and implementing changes, as people can sometimes be resistant to change; knowing your staff day in and day out (if they’re having personal difficulties, you can’t help but be there for them on a personal level – as I have 50 nursing staff, sometimes this takes a toll on me); and maintaining the balance between the needs of the nursing staff and the needs of the organisation. It’s really tough because you’re accountable for everything on your ward, such as quality and safety, budget, staff, patient satisfaction, occupational health and safety, and improvements on the ward. It’s extremely challenging, but I have an excellent team and great management support – they’re the reasons why I love my work.
Congratulations on winning a Western Health Inspire Award recently. What does that sort of recognition mean to you?
It’s such an honour to receive this prestigious award. Helping a colleague as a patient who had tragically lost her children in an accident was definitely the hardest situation I’ve ever dealt with, both personally and professionally. But with great support behind me, I was able to overcome the challenges.
To be nominated validates my hard work and dedication. And winning the award motivates me to do more and give more, knowing that the organisation I work for recognises and values my contribution.