Celebrating nurses and midwives on World Health Day

Nursing students
Griffith nursing students practice vital procedures in a simulated environment

Global events have highlighted the importance of critical healthcare workers, from nurses at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic to midwives who continue to serve the community.

Debbie HongOn World Health Day, in the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, third-year Griffith Bachelor of Nursing student Debbie Hong says she’s proud to be joining a profession focused on helping people.

“Nursing isn’t just about caring for a person,” Hong said.

“It’s about integrating science and clinical skills and having the will to care and be passionate about helping a person.”

Deputy Head of Nursing and Midwifery at Griffith University, Thea van de Mortel said students like Debbie will have the opportunity to transform lives.

“I would often say to my students, ‘you hold peoples’ lives in your hands’,” Professor van de Mortel said.

“It really makes a difference what you do — how much you learn and apply yourself — to outcomes for people.”

Professor Jenny Gamble
Professor Jenny Gamble

Sentiments echoed by Griffith University’s Head of Midwifery, Professor Jenny Gamble.

“What we do individually in every interaction that we have really, really matters,” Professor Gamble said.

“When I speak to women, they go, ‘I didn’t want to say goodbye to my midwife’.”

Clinical midwife consultant, adjunct First Peoples Midwifery lecturer and Griffith alumni Cassandra Nest is the project lead on Waijungbah Jarjums, an integrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led and staffed midwifery and child health service at Gold Coast University Hospital.

“There’s a really big drive at the moment to improve health outcomes and improve the cultural capability of staff and improve the cultural safety of health services,” Nest said.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander midwives that graduate can be that change.”