Pop­u­lar district nurse re­tires

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY SARAH DEAN

Pam To­bias was once a lit­tle girl with a dream – be­come a nurse and help peo­ple re­turn to good health.

The Wah­gun­yah res­i­dent lived out her dream and on Au­gust 30 cel­e­brated ded­i­cat­ing her life to nurs­ing, in­clud­ing the past 29 years as a district nurse with Indigo North Health.

A large group of work col­leagues, fam­ily and friends helped cel­e­brate her re­tire­ment at St Stephen’s Hall in Ruther­glen.

Pam has seen many changes to nurs­ing over the past four decades, but said the one thing that stood out the most was the shift to us­ing com­put­ers on a daily ba­sis.

“Who would have thought that back when I first started nurs­ing in the 1970s that com­put­ers would play such a big and im­por­tant role in our ev­ery­day work?” she asked.

“I don’t think we even thought about com­put­ers back in those days, ev­ery­thing was writ­ten down by hand and passed on.”

Pam said 25 years ago Indigo North Health saw a need for Pal­lia­tive Care in our area and, to­gether with Com­mu­nity Health in Corowa, es­tab­lished the Corowa-Ruther­glen Pal­lia­tive Care Ser­vice.

Due to changes to fund­ing bod­ies and state bor­ders this later be­came two sep­a­rate ser­vices.

“It was a priv­i­lege in my role as district nurse to meet fam­i­lies for the first time in their homes when they are not well and at their most vul­ner­a­ble,” she said.

Pam, who grew up in Ren­nie, com­pleted her train­ing at Al­bury Base Hos­pi­tal be­tween 1970 and 1973.

Her first nurs­ing job was with Corowa Hos­pi­tal in 1973.

A year later a foot­ball op­por­tu­nity in Tas­ma­nia for her hus­band, Ge­orge, took the cou­ple to Burnie where Pam worked in the sur­gi­cal ward of the North Western Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal from 1974 to 1975.

The cou­ple came back to the main­land a year later where they had two daugh­ters and later a third.

While rais­ing her fam­ily, Pam did some causal nurs­ing at Corowa Hos­pi­tal be­fore re­turn­ing to full-time work.

Pam left Corowa Hos­pi­tal in 1980 and went to work with Com­mu­nity Health in Corowa be­fore tak­ing a po­si­tion with Indigo North Health in 1988 where she stayed for 29 years.

“I have en­joyed ev­ery mo­ment of my ca­reer,” she said.

“I want to thank Indigo North Health for the sup­port they have given me for the past 29 years, giv­ing me op­por­tu­ni­ties to con­tinue education to pro­vide qual­ity care to fam­i­lies in our catch­ment.

“Thank you to all my col­leagues at Indigo North Health, past and present, for your sup­port.

“I also want to thank col­leagues from other agen­cies that we have worked with over the past 29 years.

“We have worked with many or­gan­i­sa­tions to pro­vide co-or­di­nated care to clients and their fam­i­lies to achieve the best pos­si­ble health and well­be­ing out­comes.”

One of Pam’s ca­reer accomplishments was, some 15 years ago, help­ing to set up the Ser­vice Co-or­di­na­tion Tool.

“There were many meet­ings in Be­nalla with


other Home and Com­mu­nity Care agen­cies in our re­gion and not to men­tion the lovely lunches,” she said.

“The re­sult was a doc­u­ment that is used across the state to­day and, al­though not ev­ery­one likes it, when used prop­erly it is a valu­able re­source.”

Over the past few years of her nurs­ing ca­reer Pam has been pro­vid­ing care co-or­di­na­tion in the chronic dis­ease pro­gram, so that all clients re­ceive the ideal care for them.

Pam of­fi­cially re­tired a fort­night ago and is look­ing for­ward to trav­el­ling dur­ing her re­tire­ment, play­ing lawn bowls, as well as spend­ing more time with her fam­ily in­clud­ing her eight grand­chil­dren.

Indigo North Health’s Pri­mary Care Team Leader Anna Hes­sion spoke highly of Pam and wished her the best in re­tire­ment.

“Indigo North Health and our com­mu­ni­ties have been priv­i­leged to have Pam in our District Nurs­ing Team,” she said.

“Pam has been a com­mit­ted mem­ber of our team and a friend as well as col­league.

“Her hu­mour and ‘red lip­stick’ will be sorely missed; she cer­tainly bright­ened our day.

“We wish her all the best in her re­tire­ment - lawn bowls, travel and her grand­chil­dren will keep her busy.”

Pam To­bias cel­e­brat­ing with fam­ily, friends and work col­leagues at an af­ter­noon tea or­gan­ised in her hon­our.

Pam To­bias is look­ing for­ward to spend­ing more time with fam­ily and trav­el­ling now that she has re­tired.

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