From the moment she did her first rotation in theatre as a graduate, Alison Jenkins was hooked on becoming a perioperative nurse.
“Working in theatre with high acuity patients is exciting and every day is different,” said Alison, an Anaesthetic and Recovery Nurse CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist) at Frankston Hospital.
“You never know what you’re going to get until you walk in and see your name on a list. Today I’m on the orthopaedic trauma list, but it could be a caesarean list, a kids list or I’d be in recovery for the day.”
One of Alison’s most memorable moments from her five years at Peninsula Health is from when she was working on the caesarean list.
“My first caesarean is the one I remember the most,” recalled Alison. “Seeing them pull out the baby, I didn’t cry but I was emotional (I might have teared up a little bit). It was the first baby I’d seen born and it was just so overwhelming to watch them pull out a little human – it was special.”
Alison enjoys seeing so many different patients every day – whether it’s for a life-saving surgery, or something more routine like removing tonsils.
“I like that you can see what you’re doing to help the patient as a theatre nurse – for instance they come in with a broken bone and now it’s fixed,” said Alison.
She finds Peninsula Health provides a good balance between a small and large hospital, which is also one of the reasons she has stayed with the health service since completing her graduate year in 2012.
“I like working here because it’s not too quiet but it’s not a major trauma centre. The work is interesting and there are lots of specialities, but you’re not expected to do heaps and heaps of on call work,” said Alison.
The hours of surgical nursing were another attraction.
“We usually work about 7.30am-4.30pm, then about one in five weekends which is pretty good for nursing,” she said.
Alison’s advice for others thinking of specialising in perioperative nursing – “just do it, definitely do it!”
Peninsula Health Media