The Healthcare Australia Victoria team recently sat down with Lisa Pritchett, a registered nurse, to learn a little more about just what it’s like to work agency with Healthcare Australia.
HCA: Why did you decide to become a nurse?
Lisa: I decided to become a nurse, so I could help people in need. To help the patient and their family feel a little at ease in a time of vulnerability is a rewarding feeling.
HCA: Where did you start in your career?
Lisa: I started my career working at Austin Health where I had a fantastic graduate year and developed sound foundations for a rewarding career.
HCA: What is the best training you had when becoming a nurse?
Lisa: The best training I’ve had is most definitely working on the job. Theory being put into practice and seeing things happen is the way I learn the best. I’ve learnt from some very experienced nurses.
HCA: Tell us about a typical working day
Lisa: A typical day is hard to come by in theatre as every day is different! A ‘typical’ day working in theatre involves checking the anaesthetic machine and emergency equipment. Completing the necessary paperwork involved in surgery including checking consents, allergy and fasting status. I constantly assure the patient they are safe and are doing well. We help the anaesthetist with intubation and continue to monitor the patient throughout the operation.
Whilst working in recovery, we ensure the patient has a patent airway, relatively pain free and surgically stable.
HCA: Do you enjoy the flexibility of picking and choosing shifts suit your family and/or lifestyle opposed to a 9-5 office job?
Lisa: The flexibility is great, picking and choosing shifts works well within my life and I can work for 10 days straight then have a week off if I choose so.
HCA: Do you organise your schedule around your family or personal obligations? What are the specific benefits to you?
Lisa: Working casual at this point in my life suits me. I can work lots then take some time off and spend it with my family and friends. I organise my work around my life, and not the other way around.
HCA: Can you tell us about some of the other benefits of agency work opposed to a fixed term position in a hospital?
Lisa: When I was working a full term fixed contract, I felt like all my life consisted of was work, sleep, repeat. Now, I do a mix of early, late and night shifts and I feel like I can maintain a work life balance.
HCA: How do you find out about available shifts?
Lisa: I get text messages from HCA to check the eHCA app that I’ve been allocated a shift and I go into the app to confirm. At later notice they will also call. Shifts can come on the day or a week or two in advance.
HCA: What is your biggest accomplishment? How was this recognised?
Lisa: I cared for a patient in rehab for 3 months. She made a lot of progress in her mobility. She had been through a lot of ups and downs and I’d been there with her for it all. She gave me a card upon her discharge and I teared up reading it. She thanked me for my care, stating that herself and her family will never forget me. To feel like I had a positive impact on someones recovery journey, that makes the hard work worth it.
HCA: Nurses demonstrate an admirable level of dedication and commitment to the health and wellbeing of thousands of patients every year. What drives you in this role?
Lisa: Being sick and unwell is never a nice feeling. I’ve been there myself and so have my family members. If I can play a small role in making the patient and their family feel more at ease, that’s job satisfaction for me right there.
HCA: What advice do you have for new nurses?
Lisa: Listen and learn from the experienced nurses on the ward. They are a wealth of information. Take every opportunity you are given to learn new things.
If you are considering working for Healthcare Australia, register your interest.