Recognising the work of Port Macquarie nurses on International Nurses Day, May 12

CELEBRATION: Nurses Jess Southwell and Joanna Waters say they are proud to be nurses. Photo: Laura Telford.
CELEBRATION: Nurses Jess Southwell and Joanna Waters say they are proud to be nurses. Photo: Laura Telford.

It is a profession like no other, dedicating your life to helping others, but for nurses Jess Southwell and Joanna Waters they could not think of anything better.

Both work at the Port Macquarie Private Hospital and say for them there was never an option other than nursing, and on International Nurses Day they reflect on what the day means to them.

“When I was really little I would put bandages on my teddies so nursing has always been something I was going to do,” Ms Waters said.

“There is something special about being able to help someone when they are at their most vulnerable and being able to provide support to the whole family when their loved one is sick is so rewarding.

“There is also such a camaraderie among nurses which is something I value and I very much enjoy about my job.”

Ms Southwell said that being able to help someone in their time of need is a wonderful feeling.

“I absolutely love being a nurse because even if you are having a bad day, you are still able to make a difference to someone and make them have a better day; and that feeling is great,” Ms Southwell said.

“I started studying nursing straight out of school because when I was younger I got really sick and I was able to see the remarkable job nurses do firsthand, and from then I knew I wanted to do the same.”

She said that no two days are ever the same and that is something that keeps her coming back to work.

“I love the variety of my job, you never know what you will be doing when you walk through the door but at the same time there is always opportunities to upskill and learn new things which is exciting,” she said.

For me, International Nurses Day is a chance for us as a profession to come together and celebrate the work we do and just how far we have come

Joanna Waters

“It is fantastic to be able to work as part of team to provide holistic care to people who need our help.”

Both ladies said International Nurses Day holds a special place in their heart as a way of recognising the work they are able to do.

“For me, International Nurses Day is a chance for us as a profession to come together and celebrate the work we do and just how far we have come,” Ms Waters said.

“Nursing has certainly evolved and these days nurses can specialise in different areas and the gender divide is certainly closing with more and more men joining us.”

“I think International Nurses Day is a moment for us nurses all around the world to stop and pat ourselves and our colleagues on the back for the work we do,” Ms Southwell said.

“We love what we do and are grateful that we can continue to do it and stopping for a day to recognise that is special.”

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