“There were lots of young and enthusiastic nurses who put up their hand to help.
“So the team used Emma and I to help educate more junior staff who didn’t have experience working in intensive care and to train up theatre staff, so when we left it wouldn’t leave a big gap.
“Hopefully we’ve helped those nurses train for the future.”
Emma said it was an easy decision to put her hand up to go to Dubbo, but couldn’t have done so without the support from her team at RNSH.
“While I work at RNSH, we are all part of the NSW Health system, and our colleagues were asking for help,” she said.
“Mikaela and I work with a great team who worked incredibly hard to enable two staff members to be freed up to assist our colleagues in Dubbo.
“To me this was not about two nurses going to Dubbo, it was an entire department looking at what they could do to provide support to Western NSW in a time of need.”
Hornsby Hospital Critical Care Nurse Consultant Wenche Kverneland is currently based in Wilcannia.
Wenche has been helping with setting up community supported accommodation for close contacts to self-isolate safely if they can’t do so at home.
“I provide wellbeing checks and COVID-19 swabs for those who are self-isolating in the community supported accommodation,” Wenche said.
“Together with other NSW Health staff, we are working with the SES and RFS to assist with the operations by providing logistical support.
“It’s really nice to be able to help in some way and the people are so lovely.”
Chief Executive Deb Willcox said she was very proud of staff for putting themselves forward to help out.
“This is a very difficult time for these communities and being able to contribute is a very important and probably life-changing experience for our staff,” she said.
“Thank you to all our staff who have kindly agreed to work outside of your roles, away from your workplace and colleagues – and in some cases your families and loved ones – and assist in our whole-of-health system response.”