By Kellie Scott.
Nursing is not for the faint-hearted, and I’m not just talking about the blood.
Nurses and midwives welcome us into the world, help us stay for as long as possible and often comfort us in the end — but it’s no secret they are often overworked and under-supported.
Those professional stresses often feed into their personal lives, taking a toll on finances, relationships and mental health.
Female nurses and midwives have a suicide risk almost three times the rate for women in other jobs. For males, it’s one-and-a-half of that for men in other professions (alarming when you consider the already-high rate of suicide in men).
It can be a gloomy picture for those we can’t live without, but still, there are more than 360,000 nurses in Australia. You probably know a few.
On International Nurses Day we ask these Aussie legends, why be a nurse?
Once you start nursing, you can’t stop: Farron
Farron Sullivan used to complain about the sleep deprivation associated with nursing, but then she had triplets.
The 26-year-old works at Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in the emergency department (ED).
Nursing was always a path she wanted to take, following in the footsteps of her mum and step-father.
“My step-dad has been an emergency nurse and I was really inspired by them,” she says, adding at six years old she knew it was the career for her.
Since becoming a mum, Farron has reduced her working hours to two days a week, which she says can be a break from home life.
But it’s the emotional side of working in the ED the registered nurse struggles with.
“It can take a massive toll on me because I am someone who is very emotional and I care a lot about people’s thoughts and feelings,” she says.
“It makes me a better nurse but it also has its impact on me.”
Farron says support from work colleagues and in-house counselling is key, because she wouldn’t choose any other career.
“Once you start nursing you can’t stop, you don’t know what else you want to do.”
It’s the land of the unknown: Joshua
A rollercoaster is how 22-year-old Joshua Banner would explain his role in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney.