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Nurses reflect on rewarding career

International Nurses Day
Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg nurses Sarah Thompson and Ash Guddemane celebrated International Nurses Day.

Last week Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg nurses Sarah Thompson and Ash Guddemane reflected on the highlights of their career as part of International Nurses Day.

Sarah said she knew she wanted to be a nurse from a young age.

“My granddad was sick when I was younger, and I was in hospital a lot with him,” she said.

“The nursing staff looking after him were amazing, and it was then I thought ‘I want to do that’, and that was that.”

She’s now been a nurse for five years – having started her career in her hometown of Townsville, before moving to Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg two years ago this month. 

“I mainly work on the surgical wards at Mater – which I hadn’t done previously – and I thoroughly enjoy it,” she said.

“I love team and I love the routine of it.”

Last Sunday 12 May, Sarah joined her 90 nursing colleagues at Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg – as well as peers around the world – in celebrating International Nurses Day.

For her, it’s a chance to show appreciation to her peers and to reflect on why she finds nursing so rewarding. 

“Patients and their families often remind me why I do what I do – and that was particularly the case when I worked in palliative care in Townsville,” she said.

“There were a lot of ‘thank yous’ and every time a patient or their family says ‘thank you’ or ‘the care has been amazing’ that’s a pretty rewarding feeling.”

Her colleague Ash Guddemane also celebrated International Nurses Day and said the team and workplace were also key to why she loved being a nurse.

“We are lucky to have a great working environment – our team is very supportive, we’re always talking and joking and have each other’s backs,” she said.

Ash thanked her parents for encouraging her to pursue a career in nursing.

“So, it started out with their recommendation – and my sister becoming a nurse before me – and once I joined, the passion, motivation, environment and the concern for the patients, it all made me love the profession even more,” she said.

Ash worked for a couple of years in India before moving to Australia in 2013, when she had to put her career on hold due to Australian registration requirements and family commitments.

“I really missed nursing during that time,” she said.

“We moved to Tasmania and there was no bridging program for me to undertake so it was quite difficult for me.

“We moved to Bundaberg a few years later where I gained my registration, and after a year working in aged care I joined Mater – it’s now been two years and I’ve loved it.

“For balancing my home life, my children, all with work, it is the perfect job and the most supportive team.”

Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg General Manager Catherine Hackney, who began her career as a Mater nurse, said nurses like Sarah and Ash played a crucial role in healthcare, particularly in regional communities.  

“Our exceptional nursing team connect with and care for hundreds of patients and their families each year and the feedback we receive about their compassionate approach and expertise is overwhelming,” she said.

“We are incredibly lucky to have such a dedicated and passionate team supporting our community, both within the hospital walls and beyond.”

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