Our family left Ireland during The Troubles. It was a difficult decision, as my mum’s one of ten and my dad’s one of seven, so to leave that huge support system wasn’t easy. At that time, I was 8. I don’t remember much, but apparently a lot of Catholic and Protestant people were murdered in my town, and Dad saw a lot of people being kneecapped by the IRA. My primary school was even blown up one night because it was next to a police station. Finally, my parents decided to immigrate to Australia to give me and my brother a better life.
My mother is a nurse, and so am I. I’m currently a clinical nurse educator, training students on the floor, but I also do clinical shifts, and it’s been a very challenging time. I work in a major metropolitan hospital in Melbourne, and a lot of nursing staff have been feeling anxious, especially since the second wave came through, because so many staff have fallen ill with COVID this time, as well as patients. I feel especially sympathetic for the nurses who are on their first year out, as it’s tough working through a pandemic.
Even though it’s been personally challenging not seeing family and friends, as a nurse, I welcomed the Stage 4 measures, and wish we’d done it earlier, as we are now under less pressure at the hospital. Plus I’ve been enjoying spending more time with my kids!
I’m very grateful my parents moved here to give us a better life, and I’m glad to be able to give back to Australia in this time of crisis.
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