This is Us - International Women's Day 2019
This International Women's Day, four women of Epworth - Deb, Millie, Megan & Kristen, shared their stories. Allowing us an inside look into their worlds, both inside and outside of work.
Deb Bajada, Environment Services Manager, Epworth Geelong
Deb moved to Melbourne from regional Victoria in 2012 when her two year old son, Isaac, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. After Isaac started treatment at the Royal Children’s hospital, Deb commenced her role as Orderly at Epworth Richmond. Deb’s partner Amanda, had months prior joined Epworth as a nurse. Over the next four years, Isaac was in and out of hospital but eventually received the all clear in July 2016. Over that time, Deb had progressed to a Patient Transport Supervisor, and later, Environmental Services Supervisor with the opening of Epworth Geelong. Deb is now manager of the department, leading a team of 60. She is one of Epworth’s youngest female managers. Deb’s story reveals an enormous amount of personal strength, resilience and hope, not only within herself but also within her partner Amanda and their son Isaac, now very much a healthy, active 10 year old. Deb told us that she simply would not be where she is today without the support of Epworth and the on-going opportunities she has been presented with.
Megan Kiteley, Physiotherapist, Epworth Brighton
Megan’s inspiration to work in healthcare comes from the generation of strong and resilient women in her family, in particular her grandmother and mother. Her late ‘nanna’, Dorothy, was a patient at Epworth Brighton in 2007, back when Megan was studying Arts at Melbourne University. Megan was visiting her nanna and reflects on a moment of clarity as she listened to her talk glowingly and gratefully about the physio who was treating her. She spoke so fondly of the physio who had helped her get back on her feet and just how important that progress was for her at the time. At that moment, Megan knew that she wanted to be that person. Since then, she has always aspired to be like the physio who made her nanna feel safe and motivated to get better. “I love reflecting that I happen to work at the very same hospital, more than ten years after my nanna was here”. Megan’s mother who works as a senior urology nurse is her other career inspiration.
Growing up, she would listen to her talk about caring for people in their most vulnerable moments without judgement or a hint of impatience. “She urged me to honor this code of integrity and respect that we should use in every single interaction with a patient, and most importantly, she taught me to treat everyone as if they are family”.
Kirstin Bull, Cardiac Educator, Epworth Richmond
Kirstin joined Epworth in 2011, after working as an Emergency Nurse in the public sector for 13 years. During that time, she traveled to Darwin, Alice Springs and Broome to gain more remote emergency nursing skills and experience. With an interest in the acutely unwell patient, Kirstin moved to Epworth to work in intensive care in 2011. Her love for teaching and cardiac patients led her to undertake a Masters in Professional Education and Training. She now works as a Cardiac Educator and enjoys mentoring, teaching and developing her staff, and watching them grow professionally. When she isn’t working, Kirstin spends many hours running. She traveled to Spain in November 2016, after racing as part of the Australian team in the World 100km Road Race. Kirstin surprised herself and many of her friends by winning this race and bringing home a gold medal. She was crowned world champion and is currently the fastest Australian woman to run 100km.
Millie (Amelia) Flowers, Nurse Unit Manager, Epworth Eastern
Millie started at Epworth Eastern in August 2016. She is now the Nurse Unit Manager of the Renal Unit which opened in September 2016 with just nine permanent patients. Millie’s team now have 48 permanent patients and run three shifts a day, seven days a week. Growing up in Malaysia, Millie always had an interest in learning about different cultures and languages, and has always focused on giving back to her community. She traveled to the Kimberley for six months in 2015, living in Fitzroy Crossing, a remote town 400kms inland from Broome, giving up time with her husband and three teenage children to volunteer in renal care for an extended period. Married for nearly 24 years, with three children now aged 22, 19 and 18, who are all artistic, Millie has been able to juggle work as a nurse with homeschooling her son with special needs for a period of time. Now finding herself the manager of the unit, she is well known for her hard work and passion for patient care (which includes playing the ukulele for them on occasion!).
Anyone who has struggled to conceive knows that it can be very stressful for both you and your partner.
When feeling unwell, it can be difficult to determine the appropriate measures for your recovery. You will likely have many questions - do I need to stay home from work? Should I visit a GP? Do I need to go to the emergency department?
Recipes brought to you by the Epworth team. Seafood paella, easiest to cook on the BBQ to ensure you get that all important crust.
Margaret McKelvie started volunteering at Epworth HealthCare after the death of her husband in April last year.
For Margaret, it was an opportunity to give back to the hospital and staff that had cared for her husband until his final days.
Swaddling has been done for centuries to help settle a newborn baby. It feels more familiar to them – they’ve been tucked up in your womb until now and lots of space can feel foreign