Celebrating International Nurses Day 2021

International Nurses Day 2021

“I have been nursing for 43 years after commencing my training in 1974. For the past 36 years I have been working as a midwife.”

Catholic Super member Jeanette has seen plenty of changes since she began her nursing career. As she starts preparing for retirement, we’ve asked her to share some of her stories and insights for International Nurses Day 2021, which is taking place Wednesday 12 May.

Looking back to simpler times  

The job market was somewhat different back when Jeanette first started. After making an initial job enquiry at a hospital on a Friday in 1974, she commenced training on the Monday. Despite other job applications being accepted, the nursing career was always the right move.

The job market isn’t the only thing that’s changed in the subsequent decades. As Jeanette explains, “There have been many changes with nursing, including clinical situations, equipment, medications, operative procedures and legalities. The changes would have to be documented in a very large book. One aspect of nursing I was taught that has not changed is the focus on quality, safe patient care, with compassion, respect and dignity for everyone. Treat all as if they are your own precious family.”

COVID-19 and the resilience of front-line workers

The theme for International Nurses Day 2021 is A Voice to Lead – a Vision for Future Healthcare. For Jeanette that means, “Practising nurses need to be heard [when it comes to] training our younger generation. The expense of university training is a large hurdle for younger generations, and I’m always hearing from student nurses how lucky we were to train in a hospital setting while experiencing everyday hospital life and situations.”

Jeanette believes that nursing is more than just a job. But the job for many nurses has definitely been challenging since the arrival of COVID-19.

Nurses have been on the frontline of that fight and, as Jeanette notes, “I really don’t know if the majority of the community really appreciates the work nurses do. Especially when you hear people complain about wearing the masks shopping. I truly do not know how the medical staff in full protection gear can work. The hot conditions, difficulty in communicating, movement, dehydration, need for nutrition, toilet-breaks and nursing complex cases are only a few of the demands on these workers. Many nurses work in extremely busy areas with no or little meal breaks and clients that may be very demanding or have lack of respect for the staff.”

“On the other hand, despite the busy or stressful shifts there will always be the clients and families who appreciate everything that is done for them which is rewarding for all.”

Jeanette Sands

Looking forward to retirement

Like everyone else, Jeanette was concerned about the impact COVID-19 would have on her retirement savings. But after being with Catholic Super since 1988 she trusted that the fund would look out for members. “I have stayed with Catholic Super due to the consistent reliable investments for me. Like many others I have been worried about our super and investments. But it’s beyond my control and I have to trust that investments will increase to benefit my retirement. I had to trust Catholic Super would be looking after my interest the best they could.”

Super balances have rebounded dramatically since the COVID-19 crises emerged, and Jeanette is looking forward to retirement in the near future. “The next 12 months will see me taking my long service leave and preparing for retirement. My plans for long service leave are to do some camping trips. I feel confident that financially I have prepared the best I could by contributing any spare money into my super to build up my investment.”

Happy International Nurses Day 2021

That just leaves us with a final message from Jeanette to her fellow nursing staff.

“As we celebrate International Midwives and Nurses Days, I thank all the wonderful nursing staff around the world for their dedication, commitment, courage and support for their profession, colleagues and clients. May you all remember to look after your own health in body, emotions, mind and spirit. Know that your commitment to the nursing profession is greatly valued and appreciated by all that have experienced the care.”

Catholic Super would like to thank all our nursing members who have worked harder than ever over the previous 12 months assisting patients in need. Happy International Nurses Day.

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