August 11, 2022

Northern Nightingales shooting goals

The Northern Hospital Epping Emergency Department (ED) team have played their first games as part of a new netball tournament amongst fellow healthcare workers across Melbourne.

The idea for the 2022 Inaugural ED Netball League – ‘Battle of Melbourne Metro Hospital’s Emergency Department Staff’ – was born during an ED night-shift.

Hannah Downie, Nurse Unit Manager of the South Pod – CPEU, brought the idea to her colleagues after hearing about it from fellow ED nurse, Amanda Wanasingha, from St Vincent’s Hospital, who created the tournament.

Northern Hospital staff were keen to take part straight away.

The ‘Northern Nightingales’ mixed team play every Thursday night for 12 weeks against ED staff from health services including St Vincent’s, Austin, Eastern, Western, The Alfred, Royal Melbourne, Epworth, and The Women’s.

“Working in ED, teamwork is such an important part of our roles, which is why my team and I were interested in taking part. The netball team allows us to perform as a team outside of clinical hours, have some fun and blow off steam, while spending time together outside of work – which is always a challenge,” Hannah explained.

“ED nurses are competitive, so we thought – ‘game on!'”

Hannah has a keen interest in staff wellbeing, and has been pleased to see how playing sport together outside of work has brought the team even closer together.

“I’ve seen a different side to staff playing netball – it’s allowed all of us to come out of our shell. Having a different discourse than clinical work, the games give us an opportunity to release from the stress of work in a playful setting. It has definitely helped us come together and boosted morale,” Hannah said.

The tournament is especially unique for its camaraderie amongst fellow ED staff.

No one can relate better to the challenges ED staff have faced during the pandemic than fellow healthcare workers from other Melbourne health services.

Grant Taylor, Director Operations Emergency Department, said, “We commend Hannah for her passion of promoting team wellbeing and introducing initiatives to assist her team in ‘coming together again’ after two years of COVID-19 lockdowns, and a very busy and challenging period for ED during this time.”

“Despite the challenges, the team faced every day with commitment, flexibility and tenacity to ensure the best possible care was provided to our patients.”

“Lora Davies as Divisional Director, Nursing – Emergency Services, and myself are very proud to be supporting this initiative, and believe it represents a fantastic opportunity for the ED team to reconnect socially, as well as continue to build and form relationships – both in and out of work,” Grant said.

“The ED leadership group are behind the Northern Nightingales and we really appreciate it. It has been difficult over the last two and a half years, so this is a great opportunity to come together and have some light-hearted fun – as well as the drive to win the trophy!” Hannah added.