Cheryl Elston - 12 hour shifts

Running time
2 min 51 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


So, eventually, it was a six to seven-day roster, so there's no weekends or anything like that, and we went to about a 12-hour roster shift for the ICU because there was only a small group of us. Basically, it was a 12 hour on, 12 hours off.

You'd wake up over in your accommodation, you'd have a birdbath, shower or face wash and a bit of a cloth and give yourself a bit of a wipe-down, get dressed, and start to move over to the hospital from the barracks. Once you got there, you would get a handover of the patients from the off-going shift. And then, depending on what patient you had or how many patients you had, you might be assigned to the one, or there might be three or four in there. You would then take care of that casualty, and because they're ICU, you basically had to do everything for them.

We would, obviously, there'd be cleaning duties, there was pickets that you had to do. There was a resuss roster that we had to maintain as well, so you did a 24-hour shift where you stayed at the hospital, and if any resuss’ came in, or trauma victims came in overnight or during the day, you were the re-SUS team that treated them. And that was quite a regular occurrence, that happened a lot.

Obviously, we'd eat at the hospital if you're on shift, so hot boxes were brought across, you'd eat them. We had a functioning kitchen after a period of time, over at the barracks, and they would bring those meals over. They'd also provide meals for their patients as well if they're able to eat. We'd do our stores.

There was also a roster that we would go down to because it was quite a large hospital, with a facility, and there were some buildings down the back, outside of our particular area that were actually manned by the NGOs, so the non-government organisations and they were running surgeries, and wards, and outpatient clinics down there as well. So we would go down there regularly and assist them and just help them.

If there were any severe cases that they needed help with, we'd bring them up to us. Those kinds of things, that was a mutual sort of relationship there. Yeah, no day was the same, but there was a saying, Groundhog Day, so just each day blew it into the next.

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