Robyn White - Debriefs and getting on with the job

Running time
2 min 44 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We had a debrief over there, but I recall it just being in a circle of people. And a lot of the time some people will offer things, other people won't. I guess at the time when we were having the debrief, even though I'd had a couple of traumatic experiences, sometimes it's not the right place to talk. And maybe the debriefing should have happened two months ago, not when we just about to go home.

So there was that opportunity for debriefing, but I didn't really have much to offer to that or nothing I really wanted to share in a group situation. And we did have some psychological debriefing when we got home. So it's obviously so much better now what's offered. Certainly , whilst we were there, there was mainly my nursing colleagues, there were a couple that I was very, very close to.

One of them actually got married whilst we were there in Kenya. So that was wonderful to be involved in that. Certainly, my colleagues on the ward and the Senior Nursing Officer, Major Beverly Wright as she was then. So there were people to go to. The Padre as well. But a lot of the time, I think you just got on with the job.

I think if there was somebody I needed to talk to, I could find somebody. Sometimes it's not necessarily a medical colleague…I think I wrote a lot in letters home. I did keep a diary, but my diary was more what we did. Unfortunately it didn't go into my feelings about certain things. So I think perhaps letters I wrote home would've been more illustrative of that. But I don't recall needing a lot of support. Yeah. Because I think when things happen, unless you get it there and then, for me at that time, then you just have to deal with it and move on.

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