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Thank god for nurses

Opinion

Thank god for nurses

As International Nurses Day approaches, Ashley Robinson reflects on this hardworking cohort and their no-nonsense ways.

I am not usually a fan of state and federal government advertising, but I have to agree with the current campaign about people not clogging up emergency departments at our hospitals. If you haven’t heard it, it is a radio campaign with a female nurse urging us not to go there unless it is an emergency.

Makes sense to me, particularly with International Nurses Day coming up on May 12. I live with someone close to a nurse but to be fair I am a bit of a hypochondriac so she doesn’t waste any of her valuable time on me when she has a plethora of wildlife in and around our residence that at times resembles a cross between Australia Zoo and Steptoe’s backyard.

Nurses do a fantastic job that they must love as they sure don’t get the financial reward. Strangely I was reminded of my frequent trip to emergency in Nambour when I was a kid the other day when I cut my finger and ended up at hospital. I told the admitting nurse that I had cut my finger and felt the knife hit the bone.

After a short wait I was attended by someone that could have been related to my wife. She looked at it, in between dealing with people needing care, came back and told me, “You never hit the bone; it was your fingernail. You can wait to see a doctor or I can patch it up and send you home. Your choice.” “So I don’t need a stitch?” Monotone reply, “No but you can wait and see a doctor. Your choice.”

I said, “So I reckon you have been around awhile, so I will take you word for it. Patch it up.” She only smiled once, when she said, “Okay, I will just flush it out first” as she loaded what looked a horse needle, “and this is going to hurt”.

She was right – it did bloody hurt, it didn’t need a stitch and I will probably think twice before I go back there wasting everyone’s time. It reminded me of Sister Rogerson at Nambour Hospital in the old days when many of us ended up there after footy, a surfing injury or a fight. It was scary.

They knew their stuff and would fix you, but boy they let you know if you were wasting their time. Sister Rogerson was a classic example of someone that was dedicated to the job, could even be described as a saint, but other times Saint Scary but for good reason.

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Ashley Robinson is the manager of Alex Surf Club and the chairman of the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

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