NURSES: Parvind Sandhu, Tracy O’Flanagan, Preeti Rana, Sophie Phillis and Matt Ferris.
NURSES: Parvind Sandhu, Tracy O’Flanagan, Preeti Rana, Sophie Phillis and Matt Ferris.

Heroes of the pandemic: Emerald nurses

SOME people are still required to go to work during this national shutdown.

We’re speaking with essential workers to hear how their jobs have changed and how they’re keeping things turning in the Central Highlands.

We’ll bring you their stories.

No matter the situation, the aim of Emerald Medical Group nurses remains the same – keep people healthy.

That rule has been proved this year: through exceptional circumstances – the coronavirus, flu season, regular check-ups – Sophie Phillis, Matt Ferris, and Dianne Roberts from the clinic on Pilot Farm Road have stayed the course.

Mr Ferris, a trained paramedic and now a student nurse, said medical workers are needed around the clock.

“Emergencies don’t just stop happening because there’s a pandemic,” he said.

“Chest pains, traumas – they still happen and you still need medical personnel.”

When news of the virus came to town, there was an initial decrease in the number of clinic visitors.

Since then, the numbers have bounced back, particularly as people make appointments for their flu shots.

“Initially a lot of people cancelled their appointments,” Mrs Roberts said, who has worked at the Emerald Medical Group for nearly 21 years.

“Now people are starting to come back into the practice.”

She said a nurse’s work varies each day from applying dressing to assisting doctors with procedures.

But in response to COVID-19, the method of delivery has changed to more frequently make use of telehealth services.

Ms Phillis, a nurse at the clinic since 2014, said that over time there would probably be a general shift to online consultations throughout the medical industry.

“I think there’ll be a change in the system now there’s a lot of telehealth in place,” she said.

“People will be more consciously aware of the importance of hygiene and create some good habits.”

Ms Phillis said that in any case, she became a nurse to help people, and her job would alway be substantially the same.

“It’s about keeping the community healthy and safe, physically and mentally,” she said.


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