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Reflecting on an incredible career in healthcare

17 May 2024

Helen Werder is a wealth of knowledge and well loved at the PA Hospital, but she’s now preparing to say goodbye to her extraordinary career in the same place it all began nearly 50 years ago. 

She commenced hospital training at PAH in 1977 before landing a position in Burns and Plastics, and going on to work as a midwife in another hospital. 

It wasn’t long before Helen returned to her roots in Brisbane’s South to pursue nursing and in 2006 she was appointed as Perioperative Assistant Director of Nursing at the PA, which she described as the job of a lifetime.  

“I’ve enjoyed being part of a busy world that provides such good care to patients. I’m proud of this hospital, I think it does a tremendous amount of work as well as a tremendous scope of work. 

“I’ve seen staff progress so much in their chosen fields, it’s been an evolution from the style of nursing I began in. Nursing has progressed from looking after a part of a patient, to the whole of the patient. 

“And of course, all the new technology has progressed greatly over the past 20 years,” she said. 

Helen’s thirst for knowledge has been evident throughout her career, completing her Bachelor of Nursing, Masters of Nursing for Perioperative Nursing, and Masters of Health Science. 

One of her highest achievements happened outside the hospital in 1982 when she attained her pilots license so she could fly around Australia the following year.  

It was a feat that certainly impressed her colleagues, many of whom were the reason she loved coming to work every day.  

“I’m going to miss the people the most. I’m also going to miss the humanity of health because I saw so much during my time.

“And I’m going to miss being so busy. So now I’ve got to work really hard on replacing that because I don’t want to be doing nothing.”

Helen is now preparing to navigate her new normal with plenty of hobbies up her sleeve to keep her mind occupied, and heart full. 

“I want to travel, build a granny flat, spend time with my family, do pottery, and get back into golf.

“There’s lots to do, I’ve just got to get started.”

The sky’s the limit for this next chapter of your life Helen and we wish you all the best. 

Last updated 17 May 2024
Last reviewed 17 May 2024

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