District Nurses celebrate 50 years of operation

Last week, the West Gippsland Hospital’s District Nursing Service celebrated their 50th year of operation.The service commenced back in September 1964, with sister Norma Symons appointed the only nurse to run the service. Norma was kept very busy with over 150 visits each month.

Now 50 years on, the District Nursing Service employs 42 staff and visits around 2,000 clients throughout the Baw Baw region providing Palliative Care, Hospital in the Home, a Lymphoedema Specialist, a McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Wound Care and an At Risk Foot Clinic. Acting Nurse Unit Manager Karen Risstrom said “We assist a very special group of clients & their families, who are quick to express their gratitude and regularly praise the nurses for their support & expertise. These wonderful people invite us into their homes at a time when they are fragile & most vulnerable and proceed to embrace us and share their lives. It is a privilege and an honour to be able to support families and provide care at home for their loved one”. 

Many clients, families and service clubs have shown their appreciation over the years to the District Nursing Service by making donations that has funded new equipment, in particular for palliative care clients to be able to maintain quality care and comfort in the home for as long as possible.

“We are very appreciative of the financial support that our community has provided over the decades, in particular, to Palliative Care.  Fundraising events such as local fun runs, bike rides and service club initiatives has allowed us to continue to support families in their endeavour to provide care at home for their loved ones”, said Dan Weeks, WGHG CEO.

In November this year, there will be a formal function held at the Black Tie, Warragul, to honour and acknowledge current and past graduates and associates of the West Gippsland Hospital and District Nursing Services Team.