Get to know: Eve Kodermann
Meet Eve Kodermann, Occupational Violence and Aggression Coordinator, OH&S.
Q: You’ve been with Northern Health since PANCH. Tell us about your journey?
A: I started as a student nurse – School ’54 on 30 July 1984. It was a hospital-based training that provided me with great foundations into nursing. As a new student, we were expected to live in the nurses’ home. It was not to everyone’s liking, but it was convenient. Many changes and improvements occurred during my journey.
In 1986, there was the 50-day Nurses strike, following changes in industrial relations, where the nursing award resulted in lower classification in pay and qualification allowances removed. As a union member, we were not allowed to work and were not paid. Being a student nurse, it meant that we missed out on placement and had to make this time up.
There were changes in uniform – nurses caps were removed, culottes replaced dresses, then we were allowed to wear trousers and now scrubs.
Infection control practices changed – all staff were able to use gloves with the onset of AIDS/HIV (prior to this only the surgeons wore them because gloves were expensive at the time), and so, hand hygiene practices were established. Now we have products like Avagard, which make things a lot easier, but even back then we always cleaned surfaces before and after procedures and all items were kept clean at all times.
Manual handling – no such thing as ‘no-lift’. We did a lot of manual lifting of patients – shoulder lift, cradle lift. There were no slide sheets or pat slides. As a result, many of us now suffer from some form of back pain or other ailment.
Patient ratios were higher – 1:10 for the day and evening, higher at night. Patient acuity is much higher and more complex now.
I completed my grad year at PANCH, left for six months to complete my Post Basic Certificate in Geriatric Nursing in Bendigo, and returned to work in the Emergency Department (ED). In 1991, I completed my Post Basic Certificate in Accident and Emergency Nursing at PANCH (my photo is still in the ED back corridor). I had since worked part-time with RDNS, and the newly created Hospital in the Home (HITH) at PANCH.
In February 1998, PANCH closed, and Northern Health was born. I continued in ED until October 2017. My roles were as Registered Nurse (RN), then Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and Associate Nurse Unit Manager (ANUM) where I worked many years on nights. During this time, my portfolio was Infection Prevention, so I completed my Grad Dip in Infection Prevention. I was also a Health and Safety Representative so decided to do my master’s in occupational and environmental health. From 2017 until June 2019, I worked in Nursing Workforce as an ANUM.
I was asked by the then Director of OH&S to apply for the newly created role of Occupational Violence and Aggression Coordinator (OVA), and here I am today. My role in the OH&S is predominantly OVA, but I had worked briefly in Injury Management/Return to Work, and a bit in OH&S.
Q: What is the best piece of career advice you ever got?
A: I cannot think of anything specifically, but what I would say is – believe in yourself, ask questions (no such thing as a silly/stupid question), never be hesitant to try something new, as it may mean missed opportunities, and I have had many. Remember, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’.
Nursing is a profession which allows you to branch out into many different fields and professions. Your skills are invaluable. Never be afraid to try something new.
Q: We know you are a dog lover. Tell us more about it?
A: I have grown up always having a dog. I cannot imagine life without one around me. As an only child, many times they were my companion. As an adult, I have adopted dogs. There is always that unknown of what they had experienced previously, you also question some of the names they have been given by the shelters. The dogs know they have a second chance, and they are a bit different in the bond that you have. I currently have two. I say I am their therapy human, and they are my therapy dogs.
Q: What’s on your bucket list?
A: I would like to go to Canada in the summer, I last went when it was -25 degrees. I have seen where my mother grew up in Poland, and where her mother grew up in Ukraine. I would love to see where my father grew up in Slovenia.
Q: What’s your favourite place on Earth?
A: I do not really have a favourite place; I am a homebody at heart. I prefer the mountain/rural terrain where the climate is cooler, and night sky is clearer – I love to star gaze.