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Mother-daughter bonds grow stronger during unforgettable year

Caitlyn Paine (far left) and Lucy Cameron (far right) are completing their final placement as part of Chisholm’s Diploma of Nursing, alongside their mothers Michelle Paine (second from left) and Jenny Cameron (second from right).

The coronavirus pandemic has bought about many changes for healthcare workers, including students starting their careers.

But for two Chisholm Institute students completing their final placements at Peninsula Health, the Covid-19 environment presented a unique opportunity to experience a major health service’s response, with the counsel and support of their mothers.

Nurses Michelle Paine and Jenny Cameron are proud of the way their daughters Caitlyn Paine and Lucy Cameron are forging ahead with their placements.

The 24 and 19 year olds are on the verge of graduating with a Diploma of Nursing, qualifying each as an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse (EEN). 

“As a new mother herself now, Caity had her concerns at the start of Covid about continuing with her course and coming home to a newborn,” says Michelle, a 30-year nursing veteran, who is currently working as an Associate Nurse Unit Manager in the Carinya Residential Aged Care Service at Caple Sound. 

“But the way she and Lucy are determined to stay committed to honing their craft, when both could have easily put their studies on hold, is a testament to each of them.

“They have felt so supported by not just us as mothers, but everyone here at Peninsula Health – that’s what has encouraged them to push on. You cannot put a price on the learnings they will take out of this experience.”

Caitlyn’s dream of becoming a nurse like her mother Michelle meant the decision to continue with her placement during Covid-19 was an easy one.

“It’s been so empowering to be able to learn in this challenging environment, knowing I have the support network of the great staff here – including Mum.

“We all make sure we are taking care of ourselves at and away from placement, because we’re responsible for not only our health but the patients as well.”

Jenny Cameron is the Acting Nurse Unit Manager on ward 5GS, and is a 36 year Nursing veteran. Jenny has worked at Frankston Hospital for most of her career and forms part of an impressive family lineage with her daughter.

“My mother was a division two nurse and worked at the former Mount Eliza Centre. I was an enrolled Nurse and went on to do my Registered  Nursing and now here’s Lucy following in our footsteps, so now it’s become a case of three generations.

“It can be a confronting situation for any nurse, let alone for young nurses in training. The way both have handled themselves has been so impressive.

“I think the girls will cherish the fact they’ll be able to look back on this experience and say Peninsula Health gave them opportunity to do placement during a pandemic, alongside their Mums.”