Variety and job satisfaction

To round up Calvary Mater Newcastle’s celebration of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we meet Deb Smith, who is a Registered Nurse on Ward 4B and Stomal Therapist/Wound Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Explain what your role entails… My role as the Stomal Therapist/Wound Clinical Nurse Specialist involves educating patients pre and post-operatively in the care and management of their stoma. I provide support and planning throughout the hospital regarding the management of complex wounds, as well as providing outpatient services and support through our clinic run from the Melanoma Unit.

What qualifications and skills did you need for this role? I have a Bachelor of Nursing from Newcastle University and completed my new grad year at the Mater in 2006. I then commenced working as a surgical nurse on Ward 4B allowing for regular contact with acute and chronic wounds and patients learning to come to terms with a new stoma. In 2014 I completed a Graduate Certificate in Stomal Therapy through the College of Nursing.

What led you toward nursing as a career? I was working in retail and wanted something more rewarding and interesting.

What does a ‘normal’ work day look like? There isn’t one. It’s rare to have a day in nursing go as planned.

What do you love most about your being a nurse/your job? As a nurse I love that I never stop learning and no day is ever the same.

What words of wisdom would you bestow on younger nurses? I would always recommend nursing as a career. If you want flexibility, variety and job satisfaction it is a great choice. However, if you want to learn about yourself and others, I think there is probably no better profession.