Howdy! I’m Gina, a proud team member of Nurses on Location for a little over one year.
I’ve always loved lending a helping hand, and started volunteering with St John Ambulance NSW in my early teens. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to work in healthcare. I got my cert III (Assistant in Nursing) while in high school, and spent time on the wards in Hornsby Hospital.
When the time came for Uni, I couldn’t decide between studying Nursing or Paramedicine, so I packed up my life and moved to Brisbane, where I was accepted into a double degree.
Throughout uni I worked as a first responder at sporting and community events, practicing my out of hospital skills, and participated in an international clinical placement in Miami hospitals. These were some incredible learning experiences, and upon graduation I was keen to put them to good use. I decided that I wanted to work in an area of healthcare with a large social impact.
I moved back home to Sydney, and got a job within Justice Health, the branch of NSW health that operates within custodial settings. I was placed in maximum security, a workplace truly like no other. Doctors aren’t around that often, so most clinics are nurse led. During my first year as a nurse, I studied almost as much as I did in university! I became appropriately confident in my clinical approach and ability to deliver effective healthcare in an extremely challenging setting, often with a whole crowd watching on. I learnt to stand my own ground when necessary, and an empathetic approach when appropriate. I also gained a much deeper understanding of mental health, addiction, and societal issues.
Following the completion of my grad year, I was offered, and took on the role of Population Health Nurse within metropolitan custodial settings. This role is largely to do with STIs, BBVs and communicable diseases. Did you know we are now able to cure Hepatitis C? How awesome is that! I also helped coordinate and gather data (tested patients) for the Dried Blood Spot (DBS) trial that is still currently underway. DBS allows you to test for HIV and Hepatitis C with a finger prick blood sample, instead of an IV sample. The trial is still ongoing, only due to covid delays. All the preliminary data is showing that the test is accurate. If you’re interested, you can order a test kit online at https://dbstest.health.nsw.gov.au.
So, if you see me on set and have any questions relating to sexual health or substance use, I would be more than happy to answer them.
After a year and a half (or so) of working in custody, the time came for me to live out every Aussie millennials dream, and got a job in a UK emergency department. My travel plans were quickly replaced by the biggest professional challenge of my life. Birmingham was hit hard by COVID.
Instead of discussing the many skills and lessons learned from working in emergency, I would like to take a moment to remember those who were not fortunate enough to survive the pandemic.
The pandemic had a big impact on me. When I returned to Australia, I wanted a change of pace, and am so thankful I found Nurses on Location! I love being surrounded by such talented and creative humans. I feel so lucky that I get to support people who are motivated and hard working to achieve their best.
The other day, on my way home from work, I happened to drive past the very first prison I worked in. With a belly full of catering, I smiled to myself and thought about just how far I’ve come, and how happy I am to be a Nurse on Location.
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.