I’ve seen more than my fair share of disasters as an inner City of Sydney public hospital Registered Nurse, but it took COVID to finally experience something bad enough to break me. Mind you I’ve never actually had covid which still seems ridiculous given everyone I know has dropped to the dreaded lurgy. So in August 2022 I quit, went on a #vanlife trip with my husband and kelpie puppy and did an “oh shit what have I done” moment in outback NSW.
A mate of mine was a soundo (sound technician) for channel 9 and suggested I look into movie set work as a nurse. I literally googled “on set nursing” and bing! Nurses on Location. One email, one day and I was standing in a pub in Nyngan NSW next to my van sipping a beer and doing a phone interview with Catherine (I like to call her Captain Cath) and we clicked! Funny thing is I’ve since realised this is how Cath does her magic. I’ve never met a more talented, easy going, funky bunch of people and I’ve come to realise Cath has a talent for picking great nurses for the crazy wild ride of movie location nursing… so what is on location nursing, trust me I asked myself the same question!
Next thing I know I’ve got a an epic mobile nursing kit, oxygen tanks, defibrillator, a debrief that Pretty Woman would call “fly by the seat of your pants” and I’m heading to a pre-production set somewhere in Sydney that I’ve never been to before to work on a “major American feature film” - which I can’t talk about and I’m not sure what to expect (thankfully Captain Cath was always a phone call away). What happened was an awakening into an incredibly creative environment with so many different professionals all coming together to make art. And I was an integral member of the team who was respected and appreciated.
Within my first couple of weeks I met props manufacturing and set dec people, stunt guys doing things I’ve never dreamed of seeing in real life, greens people, production crews, grips, gaffers, locations teams, costume designers, art department and actors! OH, and I’ve met some ridiculously famous people… who are just people. And they all needed me at some point, as the Nurse on Location.
I have worked on a few things, but to give a wonderful example (despite the international stuff) would be a local production called “North Shore” by Paramount+. I sat in rain with the grips (often moaning), watched fireworks which were unexpected by the locations team courtesy of the city of Sydney (where the entire film crew downed tools and had a laugh), played dress-ups with the costume crew, carried camera equipment and turned everyone’s tongues green with cupcakes and seen views and locations that are amazing! Did I mention I could bring my kelpie puppy with me to work (OMG).
And it’s not until you’ve been through all that I’ve described above that you realise – it’s not only berocca and bandaids, it is so much more. It’s the therapeutic relationships you build, or the trust that the crew give you. It’s the little things you do to make their lives better in order to create this art piece! As they say ‘Earth without art is eh’… and I love being part of Cath’s team to support and care for the creatives who make this world more than eh!
ABOUT NURSES ON LOCATION ... At Nurses on Location we work as Unit Nurses, Advisors and Children’s supervisors. Whether it be a TVC, Kids stills shoot, Feature film or Drama – we have a team of handpicked Nurses who are clinically excellent, trained in production life, supported by a team and use comprehensive workplace first aid kits that are adaptable to the need of each job.