It’s a big thing for me. It’s time

It’s a big thing for me. It’s time to renew my Nursing Registration. I have been a registered nurse for 36 years now, and have loved caring for and helping people.

I had eight years off to care for my littlies, but apart from that I have worked as nurse for all those years.  Aged care work was convenient when my boys were very young. I could get the hours that suited, so that their Daddy could take over care when I headed out the door. ( They will never forget the endless fish fingers that featured on the menu far too often when I worked in the evenings.)

For one whole year I worked night duty every weekend.  That bought us a second hand people mover which meant we could easily transport the basketball team, and the foster kids in comfort.

A move interstate found me working as  “Associate Charge Nurse” in a small but vital country hospital.  I was again able to work hours that suited the family, and we were all able to ride bikes to work and school.  We all loved living in the country and the wonderful experiences that come with it.  Yabby fishing in the dam, spotlighting for rabbits at night, learning to drive the ute on the properties, and exploring the Wimmera region.

Jobs and life have a habit of changing, and led us to our first home in Queensland.  Brisbane gave me an opportunity to work within the field of disability services.  I  became part of a small team providing respite for children and young adults with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviours.  The term “challenging behaviours” is very appropriate and led to some interesting and often embarrassing incidents.  We were a close knit team of 5, and loved our clients.  We were able to chuckle about the time Elspeth swam out to the depths of the sea and dog paddled for hours.  Nothing could entice her back, and she nearly drowned her “rescuers”. Only after her Dad’s wallet and watch had been swallowed by the tide (reinforcements had been called for), and our team members had missed the last ferry from the island where Elspeth resided, did a bribe with icecream lure her back to shore.  Another time, Edwin – a tall and gangly 17 year old – fell in love with a salesman at the shopping mall.  He gave him a big hug, and refused to let go.  The salesman spent the next hour in Edwin’s fond embrace – all the time yelling “I’m not scared. It’s fine”  He finally had to come with us back to the car before Edwin let go of him, and consented to move on.  Lots of challenging, fun times. Definitely easier when you could say goodbye to the challenges at the end of the day.  The families do not have this option,  for them, these are daily occurences and not at all funny. They suffer much.

One year later, my husband bought a pharmacy in Far North Queensland, 1700km north of Brisbane.  For 11 years, I worked beside him – using my nursing skills to provide diabetic education, wound care advice and general help in the Pharmacy.  We loved serving the people of Innisfail and had the motto “More than medicine”.  Our customers became friends and we enjoyed our years there.

On selling the shop, we moved south to the beautiful township of Mt Tamborine.  It is a lovely place to live and I was privileged to work at the local Medical Centre.  We had a great team there with 8 doctors, 5 nurses and lots of wonderful admin staff.  As the nearest hospital was 35km away, anything could and would walk in the door.  As well as general vaccinations and daily dressings, we saw lots of emergencies. Anything from snakebite to chainsaw accidents.  Lots of chest pains, anaphylactic reactions and even, once, a stabbing.  (remember Lynne, the two hours it took us to clean up all the blood, that had sprayed over every item in our large treatment room?)  The work was interesting, and I loved every day.

After 5 years, my husband took a position at Rockhampton Hospital.  I was also able to get  work there in the Day Surgery Unit.  I enjoyed being back in a hospital and had some lovely people to work with.

And then came my diagnosis – Cancer.  First I needed 6 months off to undergo surgery and aggressive treatment.  Then my doctor told me another 6 months to recover.  But things got worse instead of better, and I now realise that I am not able to get back to nursing.   I was able to renew my registration last year, but now….. it is time to let go.

It has been a wonderful career, and I have loved caring for folk and working with wonderful people in many and varied settings.  I am sad to be putting it behind me, but am grateful for the special people and great memories it has given me.  I am blessed.

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13 thoughts on “It’s a big thing for me. It’s time

  1. Oh yes Carol I remember that day very well. Every single nook and cranny seemed to attract the blood; I think it was close to 2 hours work. That gentleman certainly left his mark on the medical centre!
    I have just registered for another year, I can appreciate how it must feel to say goodbye to a lifetime of nursing. Everyday teaches you something new about people. The good ,the bad and the downright ugly. In my career I have had the privilege as a midwife to welcome new life into the world, the first to hold and touch a newborn, to be amazed each and every time by the miracle of birth.
    Having great nursing colleagues has been so important; and you stand out amongst those Carol. We share the same quirky sense of humour, the ability to see the ridiculous. Your funny stories of your dear husbands culinary skills still pop into my head every time I see a capsicum!
    36 years is career worth celebrating; you have touched many peoples lives, not least the lives of those of us who have had the pleasure of working with you. So no regrets, you have done nursing proud.
    Lynne xxxxxxxxxxx

    • Aww, thanks Lynne. Yes, it has been a privilege to be with people when they are in their most vulnerable moments and to share some of their most difficult times, as well as joyous moments. X

  2. Capsicum….fish fingers….I only thought he could cook carrot and rice together lol. I taught him to make coffee! haha

    Love the bible study group on the Mt Carol, fond memories.

    Hugs to you….it’s never easy letting go of something we have been passionate about….your new job is to enjoy those babies you have waited so long for. Don’t they grow so fast! xxx

    • And I thank you Urith, Geoff can now make me coffee I can drink! He can chop capsicums as well as he grates carrot, but the fish fingers? He used to cook them in the fry pan, then put it on the table with some serviettes, serve them out on a serviette each – only the fry pan to wash up! The day they came off the menu followed the night he found you can cook fish fingers in the microwave! Eew….

  3. I so much enjoy reading your posts Carol. Wonderful memories of a brilliant career are priceless. Thanks so much for sharing your journey, thoughts and feelings – truly inspirational. My thoughts and prayers are often with you and the family. Blessings xx

  4. Thankyou again Carol It must be a sad thing for you to not renew your nursing registration but in your sacrifices we are being blessed so much by your obvious acceptance & trust in God…not to say you do not have ‘down’ days & we feel for you deeply but you are imparting something of a treasure to us all. May God bless & keep you in His care & continue to use you for His Glory XXX

  5. Carol – I did so much appreciate a glimpse into so many facets of your life that I had not known – in spite of living in the same town and attending the same church at times- What a treasure you have been to so many. Isn’t it good to know that the eternal qualities live forever- and the seeds of love sown as you had opportunity bring a harvest of like fruit! for His purposes.and for their blessing. Carol – it has obviously not been an easy decision but I am sure that your gift of Nursing lives on -and must be impacting people far beyond the circle of your immediate awareness. God’s Grace to you as you continue to walk this journey with such dignity and love. You are a blessing!

  6. Thank you for visiting my blog. I came to this entry first and was intrigued by the many types of nursing experiences that you have had. It reminded me of one of my favorite childhood series: Cherry Ames. You have certainly used your skills and art to help many different communities. And I was sad to see at the end that it is cancer that now causes you to decide not to continue your registration. But your blog will linger in my memory because you wrote this: “The salesman spent the next hour in Edwin’s fond embrace – all the time yelling ‘I’m not scared. It’s fine’ He finally had to come with us back to the car before Edwin let go of him, and consented to move on.” I know from it that you will always be a nurse, whether or not you “work” at it. In that sentence there was a wealth of love and caring for what people have in them that needs time and attention to heal or flourish. Fish sticks aren’t so bad. I sometimes eat them as a form of “comfort food.” Thanks for telling your story.

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