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Woman in nurse uniform sitting on a bench looking relaxed and happy

Vanessa Gartrell back in the ward at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.

Vanessa’s back to the bedside

Sep 09, 2022

Former Wauchope resident Vanessa Gartrell is among thousands of Health workers who have answered the call to bolster the pandemic frontline.

As hospitals attempt to deal with workforce shortages, brought about by COVID-19, seasonal flu and a variety of other respiratory pathogens this winter, NSW Ministry of Health appealed to its staff to consider redeployment.

Vanessa, a Senior Engagement Manager in Activity Based Management based at NSW Ministry of Health’s head office in St Leonards, responded to the opportunity to help, returning to the Hastings Valley to clinical bedside nursing in the Medical Assessment Unit at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.

The three-month deployment started with orientation and mandatory training and assisting with new graduate interviews, and then onto the floor to help care for patients.

It’s been challenging, interesting and rewarding coming back to nursing after almost seven years with my role at Ministry. What is rewarding though, is getting back to the basics of helping people and knowing my nursing skills are still there.” Vanessa said.

Vanessa’s return to the Hastings has not just benefited PMBH.

The talented musician has also jumped straight back into community life, joining the Port Macquarie Hastings Pipe Band. Her first public performance is due on September 10 at the Wauchope Quilt Show.

It’s an event Vanessa is very familiar with, having previously had her own quilts hung as an avid quilter before moving to the ‘big smoke’ to join the MoH team.

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