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Careers at Peninsula Health: Q&A with Louise Shorten

Name: Louise Shorten

Role at Peninsula Health: Emergency Department (ED) nurse

How long have you worked at Frankston ED for?

Five years. After my graduate year with Peninsula Health I began working in Emergency full time and this year I advanced my scope of practice within the department by completing my post graduate certificate in emergency care. 

What does a typical shift in your role involve? Is there such a thing?

No two shifts are ever the same in Emergency! Every day in Emergency brings a new challenge, some days are physically exhausting and others mentally draining, however the team at Frankston is like my second family and we always pull through together.  

Why did you decide to pursue a career in Emergency nursing?

There has always been something really addictive about the adrenaline rush you get whilst working in Emergency, you never know what presentation is going to walk through triage next and it truly keeps you on your toes. You have to be ready for any challenge and respond to critical situations quickly and appropriately.  

What do you find most rewarding about your role?

Often the day a patient is in Emergency is the scariest day of their life, although coming to the department is routine for us, it’s not for the patient. Being able to critically evaluate and monitor a patient’s physiological condition, whilst empathising, educating and building a therapeutic relationship is really rewarding. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make the biggest the impact, knowing that you’ve helped someone through a difficult time, not by drawing up a medication or taking a blood sample, but by smiling, making them a cup of tea and listening, really brings me joy at the end of each shift.  

What is one of your most memorable moments from working in the ED?

The first time I ever performed CPR on a patient is something I’ll never forget. I was working in the waiting room and a patient was dropped off out the front, not breathing and blue. I ran out and instinct took over, I began chest compressions and before I knew it the response team was backing me up and we were taking the patient into the resuscitation area. I’d like to say the story has a good ending but unfortunately it doesn’t, but that’s not what I took away from this, in my eyes it was a positive experience. Watching how our team came together in synchrony to perform time crucial interventions with calmness in the face of an extremely distressing situation really highlighted how dynamic our team is and the everyday heroics our department performs.

What would you say to other people considering applying for a job at Frankston ED?

Be ready – it’s a controlled chaos that will challenge every inch of your being, but it’s worth it. Knowing that you play an essential role in your community’s health and offering a vital service is immeasurably rewarding. Also, invest in a good pair of runners!   

What do you like to do outside of work?

In between studying my postgraduate certificate, renovations and a puppy with three feet, when (if) I get a spare moment you’ll find me on the PlayStation or at the gym! Also, if the weathers nice enough you’ll catch me riding my bike to and from work. My sister lives and works overseas so it’s a good opportunity to travel and see the world depending on where she is at the time (with free accommodation!)   

Help put the very best equipment in the hands of Louise and our Emergency Team by donating to our Emergency Appeal

Find out more about employment opportunities for nurses at Peninsula Health.