ROBYN Lawrence will never forget her experiences as a nurse at Scone’s Scott Memorial Hospital.
After almost 40 years serving the local community up until retirement beckoned in 2007, Mrs Lawrence went through countless moments of euphoria and tragedy.
Surrounded by her energetic dogs, she reflected on an emotional journey over the decades, describing the job as demanding but rewarding.
“I miss it terribly, just the caring aspect,” she said.
“I’m constantly lying awake at night thinking ‘I wish I'd done this or I wish I’d done that.
“It was all very rewarding but there are some things that I will never forget; some beautiful, some not.
“I was the first person to meet people, and so I had to quickly assess them and then ring the doctor.
“There were lots of traumatic events that nurses have to deal with and endure, particularly back then.
“It can also be very pleasing, for instance, through the beauty of childbirth.
“It’s just remarkable the joy that can bring.
“Being involved in the nurturing process, we guided the mothers from when the baby was born through to discharge.
“Even afterwards, we followed their progress.”
Mrs Lawrence, who was born and bred in Scone, often travelled down to Newcastle hospitals after taking up nursing to further her skills.
She said learning about a raft of different areas such as cardiac and respiratory, midwifery, pathology, and death and dying was essential in her role.
Occasionally left as the lone nurse, a shift could often become chaotic.
“When I went away to nurse in Newcastle, we were respected for our knowledge,” she said.
“We multi-tasked in everything, which was thanks to our medical officers.
“I remember one night when I was in maternity and had two labours and deliveries which was a tremendous amount of work for one nurse.
“Then a man was dying and no-one else was on so I had to jump in an ambulance and take him to Tamworth hospital.
“So I had to adapt very quickly.”
Mrs Lawrence said nursing went through a vast amount of changes during her career, but the training they were provided enabled them to overcome the challenges.
She said it was a privilege to work under well-known local doctors such as Dr John Paradice, Dr Toby Barton, Dr David Warden, Dr Richard Abbott, and many others.
“We were trained by several of them here, and we value that to this day,” she said.
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