by Ali Kuchel
SITTING in the director of nursing's office, it's a rare quiet minute for Trish Jamieson.
She's a nurse at Gatton Hospital and her duties go beyond what's seen on television or read in books.
Often Trish is whizzing down the hospital corridors, one minute helping a mum with a new baby, the next a geriatric, and on the odd occasion she races into emergency to lend a hand.
But it's a career she wouldn't trade.
Last Friday was International Nurses Day, a day to mark the contributions nurses make to their communities.
"It's good to get the recognition,” Trish said.
"We need recognition and we need to be treated better and acknowledged.
"We do have a period of attrition going on with the baby boomers leaving the profession - they won't be replaced so you've got to look after what you've got.”
Being a nurse extends beyond the hospital doors.
The job takes Trish on home visits to help mums and bubs, geriatrics or palliative care patients.
She runs a cardiac rehab program, interacts and checks in on those at risk in the community, does home visits and every morning works with a multi-disciplinary team to plan for patients being discharged back into the community.
"I enjoy the autonomy, actually,” Trish said.
"In my job I'm sort of left to my own devices, and I enjoy the connection with patients.”
Becoming a nurse was something Trish wanted to do from a young age.
Having family members with health issues sparked her interest.
After graduating in 1982, Trish took a 10-year break before returning to nursing in 1992. November will mark 17 years at Gatton Hospital.
"I have a lot of highlights, I can't really pick any. It's just an enjoyable career,” she said.
Gatton Hospital director of nursing Deb O'Brien said the role of a nurse was vast.
"For someone like Trish who is pretty talented and has so many specialty areas, it's very busy and very taxing,” Deb said.
"There's a lot of nurses that work very hard in the local area and go well above their standard eight hours of pay that they take home in order to provide services for the community.”
Having seen it all, Trish has one message for the community.
"Everyone should be in charge of their own health. You see so many people coming through (the hospital) and they just don't take ownership of their health.”