After an ‘exhausting’ year, new Nurse Unit Manager wants to bring the ‘sparkle back’

Newly appointed Peninsula Health nurse unit manager Fiona Corbet is up for whatever 2021 holds. 

Frankston Hospital’s newest nurse unit manager Fiona Corbet says 2020 was tough for every person working in healthcare, but she is determined to reinvigorate her new colleagues in 2021.

“It has been a tough year for everyone, many of us are physically or psychologically exhausted and at times it can feel like a slog,” she says.

“I want to try and help make things better and put the sparkle back in their eyes.”

Ms Corbet joins Peninsula Health from Holmesglen Private Hospital and now leads ward 5FN, taking over from the retiring Louise Walsh, who had been in the role for the past 14 years.

Despite the ward catering for respiratory, renal and general medicine patients, it was never converted into a COVID-19 unit.

“That’s not to say 5FN didn’t have it’s challenges,” says Ms Corbet.

“There was the odd Covid-19 patient at various stages, as there is a negative pressure room on the ward.”

“In saying that the staff are still exhausted, it has been a challenging for everyone, so we’re all hoping for calm and normality I guess – this COVID normal which we keep talking about.”

As an Emergency Department nurse for much of her career, Ms Corbet has become used to dealing with uncertain situations, which is why she had no hesitation to step across into public healthcare, in the midst of an everchanging pandemic.

“I am a nurse, that’s the job I’m passionate about – getting in there and helping people is just part of my make up,” she says.

“I’m one of these strange people who thrives in the unknown, when things are changing, you’re learning and you know each day is different from the next.”

But Ms Corbet says while not everyone is wired that way, she is constantly inspired by the way staff continue to push on with determination, and she will do everything to make sure her team can confidently move forward from an intense year.

“Nursing is a hard gig at the best of times,” she says.

“I just want to bring a fresh site of eyes, a different voice, to hopefully do everything I can to make my colleagues enjoy coming to work.”

“That’s why I’m here, I’m here to help them through these challenges and make it a bit easier for them.”