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PAH welcome home Mackay relief crew

7 April 2017

Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) has welcomed home the Mackay relief crew who spent up to five days providing expert assistance to the cyclone-devastated region last week.
Two doctors, six nurses and four operational services staff were happy to be home but have all volunteered to go again if needed.

Julian Harris, PAH Clinical Nurse, who was born and raised in Mackay, said the trip was an opportunity to give back to her community. 

“It was great to have the skills, the knowledge and the experience to make a difference. I’ve been a theatre nurse for 20 years so it was nice to be able to bring those skills home,” she said.

“I could pretty much do everything at their hospital, or had done it in the past, and they were very appreciative of that because they didn’t know which nurses were coming and what our skill set would be.

“There were a couple of times during the trip where the Mackay staff were really concerned about an emergency case and I was able to speak up and say ‘I can do that and I can do that too’.

“Our mindset was ‘we’re here to work, we’re going through the emergency board we’re going to help as many people as we can’.”

The PAH crew tackled a number of complex cases including a caesarean birth, which for Theatre Orderly Nick Goss was a life-changing experience.

“I never really thought of having children but I know I want them now,” he said.

“I’ve never seen a birth. It was so emotional and so amazing. The dad was sitting there giving me the thumbs up and crying and I nearly started tearing up too.

“It was the highlight of the trip for me.”

Sean Birgan, Nursing Director Division of Surgery, said it had been important to pick the right people for the job.

“Obviously with situations such as these it can be a very stressful environment and we need to ensure that the staff we send were able to adapt to change, manage stress well, and have a broad skill set,” he said.

“The team who went to Mackay did an outstanding job and all of us here at PAH are incredibly proud of them.”

Last updated 7 April 2017
Last reviewed 7 April 2017

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