On May 19 I spoke in State Parliament about International Nurses Day and the wonderful Nurses in our community.
You can read a copy of my speech below.
Mr WINGARD (Mitchell) (12:18): I, too, rise today to speak in support of this motion which recognises International Nurses Day on 12 May. I thank all the nurses present here in the chamber and nurses with whom I have been involved in my life. As the member for Morphett mentioned, my wife, Emma, was a nurse and, as I look back over her career, she has had some wonderful experiences. In fact, she began nursing at about the age of 14 in a retirement village across the road from her home. She worked there right through high school and loved the caring, nurturing aspect of the role.
She went on to study at The QEH under the old system, where they actually studied on site. She thoroughly enjoyed that time and worked very hard during that period as well. She then moved to Ceduna and worked in a local community hospital, giving her a great experience of another of the many roles in nursing. She then went on to work in Dom Care as well, travelling around town in a vehicle caring for some very lovely and wonderful people whom she went on to call friends.
A number of friends of mine from school, as well, moved into the nursing profession, both male and female—Eric Egert, Mandy Bray and Sharon Richards, just to name a few who come to mind—and they have done marvellous things in the nursing field. Recently, a friend of mine, Emma Fuller, became a midwife, which is outstanding. She spent a lot of time studying very hard to achieve that.
Sadly, another friend works at the Tennyson cancer centre and I have seen a lot of her good work in recent weeks where she has worked with a couple of friends who are undergoing cancer treatment. It is amazing to see the work that Wendy does in very tough circumstances.
There are others in my electorate who have contacted me, Fiona Brunotte and also Jim Hogan, who are very passionate about the work nurses do, and I would like to acknowledge them as well. I am also an Alzheimer's champion and see the role that carers play, and we know that caring is a very big part of nursing. I would like to finish on a lighter note to share with the nurses who are here because I do appreciate, through the studying time, the little things that you come to learn and experience that people who do not do this profession may not understand.
I studied a sports science degree at university and we had a unit that we did in conjunction with the nurses, where we had to impart our skills on them and vice versa. We got in a situation where we were doing some fitness tests on the nurses. Some of them were quite fit and some of them not so fit, but for the first time I had to take the heart rate of someone who was not a contemporary of mine (a university student studying sports science).
Of course, I thought I knew what I was doing. I had to put the stethoscope on the heart of this young girl and she pulled her blouse out for me to put the stethoscope up and, as I looked in her eyes at that point in time, I totally forgot where the heart was positioned. I had absolutely no idea and when I placed the stethoscope about where I thought the heart was, I realised I was wrong. She kept a wonderfully straight face and was so professional; it was a credit to her.
When I moved the stethoscope down to where her heart was and her resting heart rate was 145 beats a minute, I knew I had perhaps rattled her as well, but she was very professional. I am sure from that moment forward in her nursing career she never got that wrong, and I made sure I never got it wrong after that moment either. I hope she had a wonderful nursing career because we had a great time at university working with the nursing students as well. They were wonderful people.
Again, to the people in the gallery and all the nurses out there, I thank you for the wonderful work you do. It is greatly appreciated by all of the community. I wish you all the best for the future and, again, recommend this motion to the house.