November 4, 2022

Going above and beyond at Euroa and Echuca

Kirralee Jensen, Bundoora Centre Director of Nursing, has just returned from flood-affected Euroa and Echuca. She led a team of fourteen nurses across four different Melbourne metropolitan hospitals, to support our regional health services. Five of the fourteen staff, Crystal Devenish, Kylie Pratt, Maddison Ryan, Mary Palapathwala, and Shamini Ramananthan are nurses from Northern Health.

“It was outstanding to see the response from Northern Health, Austin Health, St Vincent’s Hospital and Royal Melbourne Hospital,” said Kirralee.

The nurses were first deployed to Euroa Health. Over 65 per cent of Euroa Health staff were impacted by floods and road closures, resulting in them being unable to attend work. The presence of metropolitan nursing staff meant that patients and residents at Euroa Health could safely be cared for.

“Reflecting on our time in Euroa, we all felt honoured to be able to assist our regional colleagues during this time. From the first day of our arrival, we were warmly welcomed by the Euroa team, as well as the Euroa community, and we experienced country hospitality at its best.  It was a collaboration of city and country nurses, working towards the same goal of delivering safe care to the patients and residents at Euroa Health. It was a privilege to lead such an amazing and dedicated team of staff,” said Kirralee.

Following ten days in Euroa, the Northern Heath team continued on to Echuca Regional Health, a town severely affected by the current flood crisis.

“Although Echuca’s staffing was less acute by the time we arrived, it was a heart-warming experience to spend the time at a regional hospital with very dedicated staff. The devastation and destruction of flood waters was obvious as we drove through Rochester and arrived in Echuca. The loss people have experienced and endured during the crisis is immeasurable. It is just heartbreaking,” Kirralee said.

“I feel both honoured and privileged to have been able to help both Euroa and Echuca during these times. To be able to contribute positively to affected communities and lead a team of compassionate and dedicated nurses willing to go above and beyond their usual roles can be listed as a highlight in my nursing career. I would like to thank ‘Team Northern’, Crystal, Maddison, Kylie, Mary and Shamini for their commitment and compassion, and the outstanding care they delivered during their time at Euroa and Echuca,” said Kirralee.

“You all displayed the importance of our Northern Health values of safe, kind and together, each and every day, thank you!”

Main image shows from left to right – Maddison Ryan, Mary Palapathwala, Kirralee Jensen, Shamini Ramananthan, Kylie Pratt and Crystal Devenish.