SA Health Chief visits Clare Hospital

Michelle Bruce, Hayley Sommerville, Cate Owen, Jodie Bowman, Jenny Hurley, Kate Poole, Merridy Chester and Merridy Liebelt.
Michelle Bruce, Hayley Sommerville, Cate Owen, Jodie Bowman, Jenny Hurley, Kate Poole, Merridy Chester and Merridy Liebelt.

Nurses and midwives were celebrated at the Clare Hospital on Monday afternoon.

The two professions were to be recognized in the short space of seven days around the world, with International Day of the Midwife celebrated on May 5 and International Day of Nurses celebrated on May 12.

As part of the celebrations at the Hosptial, SA Health Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer Jenny Hurley paid a special visit to the staff.

Ms Hurley, along with Advanced Nurse Manager Merridy Chester, were gived a tour of the Clare Hospital facilities by Acting Director of Nursing Jodie Bowman.

No stranger to regional and rural hospitals, Ms Hurley commenced her career in the fields of nursing and midwifery at Broken Hill and District Hospital before making the switch to metropolitan hospitals in Victoria and South Australia.

The purpose of her visit on Monday was to see the nurses and midwives at Clare Hospital in action as a show of appreciation for their passion and skill for the job.

She thanked them for their contributions and for making a difference, describing the visit as a "privilege."

Ms Hurley is currently in the midst of her second year in her role with SA Health.

Coming from a country background, she knew how vital a role nurses, midwives and doctors played in their communities.

She said that they had to be adaptive in their roles.

"One moment they might be delivering and the next they might be pulled to the emergency department."

In her role, Ms Hurley provides a link between Health Minister Stephen Wade and the Chief Executive for Health.

She provides advice and leadership, and also informs policy level on the challenges nurses and midwives face.

Ms Hurley said she would "make sure country is at the table" when informing on policy matters.

Mrs Bowman said the visit was good for morale.

"It is fantastic to have Jodie come and see us," she said, "it is a good reminder that we are a profession and it is good to have that support."

During her two year tenure, Ms Hurley has made a point to make face-to-face visits to rural and regional hospitals.

In 2020, celebrations will be held for the International Year of Nurses and Midwives in honour of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.