Matthew Johnson at the Heritage Village planning for International Nurses Day.
Matthew Johnson at the Heritage Village planning for International Nurses Day. Allan Reinikka

Ex-rugby player saving lives

MATTHEW Johnson played rugby, just in case his nursing career did not work out.

But 32 years later he's still working to save lives.

Since he migrated to Australia from England in 1983, Matthew has established a drug and alcohol services group, worked as a nurse, lectured on mental health at CQUniversity, and now works as a nursing director.

“I've had a good rounding,” he explained.

“It's about working with and working for people.

“There are a lot of opportunities as a nurse, from working in theatre or palliative care.

“You see the best and worst in people.”

Although Matthew received some helpful tips early on from his mother, who was also a nurse, his studies in Plymouth, England, were not all smooth sailing.

“I was one of only five male nurses in training,” he said.

“It was rare then, whereas today one seventh of nurses will be male.

“A lot of male nurses struggle to be caring but not be effeminate.”

But he said nursing was not just based on a passion for caring for people, it was also about passing the baton.

He was humbled when he met a young nurse who was part of a group of students he had spoken to about a career in nursing.

“She told me I had inspired her to become a nurse,” Matthew said.

Matthew and the International Nurses Day Planning Committee have organised a workshop and debate on May 12 at the Heritage Village.

 

INTERNATIONAL NURSES DAY

May 12 2011

  • Venue: Heritage Village’s Shearing Shed on the Bruce Highway, Parkhurst
  • Program: 12.30pm – 4.30pm: Professional Development Workshop. 6pm: The Great Debate – Generalist nurses, who needs them? Finger food and drinks provided
  • Cost: Workshop $50, a gold coin donation for The Great Debate
  • RSVP: May 6, call 4920 6290


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