NBMLHD staff members Gerard, Sara and Stuart lent their support to our Victorian neighbours.
Second wave support
24 Sep 2020
Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD) staff have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with high spirits, unity and dedication. Stepping up to answer the call, they have protected our local community by screening at health facilities, testing our population and caring for people diagnosed with COVID-19.
Recently, several staff lent their skills to the cause further afield and travelled to Victoria where they answered the urgent call to help the state’s response to COVID-19.
NBMLHD staff Gerard Oomen, Stuart Larter and Sara List were unaware of the full impact of Victoria’s second wave until they were in the thick of it.
“It was a health system understandably stretched. Staff were tired and overrun,” says Gerard, who was working as a Screening Registered Nurse at Royal Melbourne Hospital.
The team from NSW dug in and worked hard to make a difference.
“We needed to be flexible to adapt to our circumstances when information and planning was limited,” says Stuart, who was placed in a ‘virtual ward’ clinically monitoring COVID patients who could be kept out of hospitals. “Staff from NSW Health worked well as a team to support each other and share information and advice.”
Sara, also at Royal Melbourne, believes the experience cemented the difference a supportive team makes, especially when treating masses of acutely unwell patients coming through an Emergency Department.
For the team, travelling to Victoria wasn’t just a significant learning opportunity but a reminder of how quickly life can change.
“Having our liberties and freedoms removed as a result of the COVID virus is something that has only mildly impacted the citizens of NSW to date. With the Stage 4 restrictions in Victoria it was evident to all that this is something we do not want to again experience,” says Gerard.
Grateful to now be home, the team stressed the importance of not taking our current situation in NSW for granted.
If you have mild cold or flu symptoms don’t assume it’s not COVID. Get tested early. Stay home if you’re unwell or waiting on a result. Remember to wear a face mask and maintain social distance when necessary.
Local COVID-19 information including clinic details.