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Celebrating International Nurses Day

Sunday May 12 is International Nurses Day, where we celebrate the contributions of all our nurses who support clients and other staff across Windana’s services.

At Windana, we have nurses in leadership roles, across our sites, and working out in the community to deliver outcomes for clients.

This year, we spoke to a few of Windana’s nurses to understand their journeys and their thoughts on nursing in the alcohol and other drug space.

Both Mark and Lucy now use their nursing knowledge and history in management roles, Mark as the Operations Manager for Windana’s Drug Withdrawal House and Lucy as Manager Quality & Safety. We also spoke to Lena, who is in a direct client-facing role as one of our non-residential withdrawal nurses.

“I was always going to be a nurse” – Lucy, Manager Quality & Safety

Mark and Lucy both started their careers as nurses oversees – in the UK and Ireland respectively.

Mark began his career in disability, before moving into the mental health nursing space. Deciding that he wanted a challenge, Mark jumped headfirst into the AOD sector, wanting to make a difference in people’s lives after a long time spent in senior management, and landing at Windana.

Lucy also first came to the sector in her role at Windana. “I was always going to be a nurse” – after 15 years as a nurse in Dublin followed by a range of nursing roles in Australia, including 20 years at Cabrini, Lucy moved into education and training before finding a new niche in the quality space.

Like Lucy, whose mother was a nurse, Lena’s family connections took her to nursing, as well as her own lived experience. Unlike Mark and Lucy, she has long operated in the AOD space, coming up on 10 years at Windana.

Lena is passionate about supporting clients through the physical effects of withdrawal. In our sector she feels “we really support the psychological elements of addiction but we sometimes miss the physical side of it.” Through her own experiences, Lena “can walk that journey alongside them knowing exactly how they’re feeling, how difficult those first few days are going to be.”

Lena’s nursing skills allow her to empower her clients to “listen to their body” and improve their knowledge and ability to handle the physical symptoms of withdrawal. “It’s so beautiful watching that journey when they are the ones guiding that physical space and I’m just there to support it.”

Mark is also passionate about centring clients in their care. He feels his nursing background allows him to “look at the bigger picture” and understand where Windana’s strategy and model of care “needs to go from a client perspective”. He uses his nursing skillset to help the team achieve holistic outcomes, and to chair Windana’s nursing community of practice, supporting our nurses to have a voice in policy development, and sharing knowledge.

Lucy sees her safety and quality focus as stemming from her nursing background, supporting clients by ensuring that “care and treatment are delivered in a safe and high quality way.” Her background also helps her dig in where things go wrong “where there’s variation from the practice we want to deliver,” allowing for greater understanding and continuous improvement.

“You’ll see clients in the community, detox, rehab, on their whole journey rather than just snapshots of that” – Mark, Operations Manager Drug Withdrawal House

For Lena, the most rewarding part of nursing is seeing “the extreme, rapid, tangible change” that her work can support. “You enter day one with a person who is shaking, crying, sweating… by day seven it’s a person who has no tremors, is energetic, their skin is bright, their eyes are clear.”

Mark enjoys challenging established ways of doing things to ensure the client is always at the centre of our care. “Every client is different,” he says, so we centre them, bringing holistic interventions together, drawing on the diverse skills of his multi-disciplinary team, and focusing on solutions to create good outcomes for clients.

Lucy draws on her nursing history to guide Windana’s nurses in their practice to understand “what is the scope of their role, what are the expectations”, establishing clarity and helping staff operate safely within our policies and procedures. She finds joy in sharing her knowledge with other professionals, creating a safer working environment.

What would they tell someone considering working in the AOD space as a nurse? For Lena it’s easy: “you’ll never look back.” Once you enter the AOD space and see the tangible change that nursing practice has on our client’s lives – voluntary clients who are “there and desperate for help” – you don’t go back.

Mark echoes this – in the AOD sector we work with clients that “want help” – clients are “ready for change,” and that “changes the whole relationship with people, when they’re a partner in their own care.” Experiencing that, seeing clients change in real time over a longer journey, you’re able to reflect on your interventions, take real time feedback, and continuously improve your own practice.

For Mark, most nursing is quite narrow – you’ll see “people at their worst for two weeks” and then “never again.” In our sector, however, “nursing allows you to work across the whole spectrum. You’ll see clients in the community, detox, rehab, on their whole journey rather than just snapshots of that,” meaning you get to see real outcomes.

Like Lena, Lucy’s advice is straightforward: “nursing is a fantastic career. It gives you so much joy personally, and joy and hope to others you’re caring for. It’s a great position to be in. It’s a great exposure to humanity, and you get to be part of it.”

“You’ll never look back” – Lena, Registered Nurse Non-Residential Withdrawal

Happy International Nurses Day!

Celebrating International Nurses Day

Sunday May 12 is International Nurses Day, where we celebrate the contributions of all our nurses who support clients and other staff across Windana’s services.

At Windana, we have nurses in leadership roles, across our sites, and working out in the community to deliver outcomes for clients.

This year, we spoke to a few of Windana’s nurses to understand their journeys and their thoughts on nursing in the alcohol and other drug space.

Both Mark and Lucy now use their nursing knowledge and history in management roles, Mark as the Operations Manager for Windana’s Drug Withdrawal House and Lucy as Manager Quality & Safety. We also spoke to Lena, who is in a direct client-facing role as one of our non-residential withdrawal nurses.

“I was always going to be a nurse” – Lucy, Manager Quality & Safety

Mark and Lucy both started their careers as nurses oversees – in the UK and Ireland respectively.

Mark began his career in disability, before moving into the mental health nursing space. Deciding that he wanted a challenge, Mark jumped headfirst into the AOD sector, wanting to make a difference in people’s lives after a long time spent in senior management, and landing at Windana.

Lucy also first came to the sector in her role at Windana. “I was always going to be a nurse” – after 15 years as a nurse in Dublin followed by a range of nursing roles in Australia, including 20 years at Cabrini, Lucy moved into education and training before finding a new niche in the quality space.

Like Lucy, whose mother was a nurse, Lena’s family connections took her to nursing, as well as her own lived experience. Unlike Mark and Lucy, she has long operated in the AOD space, coming up on 10 years at Windana.

Lena is passionate about supporting clients through the physical effects of withdrawal. In our sector she feels “we really support the psychological elements of addiction but we sometimes miss the physical side of it.” Through her own experiences, Lena “can walk that journey alongside them knowing exactly how they’re feeling, how difficult those first few days are going to be.”

Lena’s nursing skills allow her to empower her clients to “listen to their body” and improve their knowledge and ability to handle the physical symptoms of withdrawal. “It’s so beautiful watching that journey when they are the ones guiding that physical space and I’m just there to support it.”

Mark is also passionate about centring clients in their care. He feels his nursing background allows him to “look at the bigger picture” and understand where Windana’s strategy and model of care “needs to go from a client perspective”. He uses his nursing skillset to help the team achieve holistic outcomes, and to chair Windana’s nursing community of practice, supporting our nurses to have a voice in policy development, and sharing knowledge.

Lucy sees her safety and quality focus as stemming from her nursing background, supporting clients by ensuring that “care and treatment are delivered in a safe and high quality way.” Her background also helps her dig in where things go wrong “where there’s variation from the practice we want to deliver,” allowing for greater understanding and continuous improvement.

“You’ll see clients in the community, detox, rehab, on their whole journey rather than just snapshots of that” – Mark, Operations Manager Drug Withdrawal House

For Lena, the most rewarding part of nursing is seeing “the extreme, rapid, tangible change” that her work can support. “You enter day one with a person who is shaking, crying, sweating… by day seven it’s a person who has no tremors, is energetic, their skin is bright, their eyes are clear.”

Mark enjoys challenging established ways of doing things to ensure the client is always at the centre of our care. “Every client is different,” he says, so we centre them, bringing holistic interventions together, drawing on the diverse skills of his multi-disciplinary team, and focusing on solutions to create good outcomes for clients.

Lucy draws on her nursing history to guide Windana’s nurses in their practice to understand “what is the scope of their role, what are the expectations”, establishing clarity and helping staff operate safely within our policies and procedures. She finds joy in sharing her knowledge with other professionals, creating a safer working environment.

What would they tell someone considering working in the AOD space as a nurse? For Lena it’s easy: “you’ll never look back.” Once you enter the AOD space and see the tangible change that nursing practice has on our client’s lives – voluntary clients who are “there and desperate for help” – you don’t go back.

Mark echoes this – in the AOD sector we work with clients that “want help” – clients are “ready for change,” and that “changes the whole relationship with people, when they’re a partner in their own care.” Experiencing that, seeing clients change in real time over a longer journey, you’re able to reflect on your interventions, take real time feedback, and continuously improve your own practice.

For Mark, most nursing is quite narrow – you’ll see “people at their worst for two weeks” and then “never again.” In our sector, however, “nursing allows you to work across the whole spectrum. You’ll see clients in the community, detox, rehab, on their whole journey rather than just snapshots of that,” meaning you get to see real outcomes.

Like Lena, Lucy’s advice is straightforward: “nursing is a fantastic career. It gives you so much joy personally, and joy and hope to others you’re caring for. It’s a great position to be in. It’s a great exposure to humanity, and you get to be part of it.”

“You’ll never look back” – Lena, Registered Nurse Non-Residential Withdrawal

Happy International Nurses Day!

Last Updated on May 13, 2024