Thanking nurses for care and commitment

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Virginia Linnegar. Photo: Melinda Jane

Every day, nurses must show an outstanding amount of kindness, compassion, understanding and courage.

They are the heart of our society, and today on International Nurses Day (Friday, May 12) the hard work of dedicated nurses is recognised and celebrated.

One local nurse who deserves praise is Virginia Linnegar, Nepean Hospital’s Emergency Department Navigator.

A nurse since 1991, she has worked at Nepean Hospital for just shy of two decades.

“It’s very friendly, I think the hospital is very oriented to high levels of care, and it’s close to home,” she said.

“I think it’s quite a privilege as a nurse to work in Emergency because you’re actually working with people and are involved with them at some of the worst moments of their life.

“You can actually make a difference to that.”

Her positive outlook on life is essential, working 12-hour days ensuring the Emergency Room flows as smoothly as possible.

“You could come in to a full department with multiple admissions and then people continue to come in,” she said.

“We have to find space, negotiate with doctors, with teams, with bed management, with executives to try and get patients through to get imaging done, so that the next patient can come in quickly. It’s hard, but its very rewarding.”

During her career, the role of nurses has changed dramatically.

“When I first started nursing, you just basically followed your orders,” Ms Linnegar explained.

“You weren’t too involved in any advanced practice.”

Today, that’s not the case as Ms Linnegar says they act more like interns, as highly skilled, crucial members of society.

Through these changes, she believes the most important lesson she has discovered is the quest for knowledge.

“You’re never too old to learn, and you just keep learning all the time,” she said.

“No one ever knows everything.”

Humble at heart, Ms Linnegar said the love of the job is praise enough, and the small ‘thank you’ from patients now and again keeps her satisfied.

“I don’t think it’s a profession you choose to be thanked and glorified. You go in there for more personal reasons to help people,” she said.

Today the world is taking the time to acknowledge the dedicated work nurses do every single day. The day coincides with Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

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