George Chidwick

George Chidwick crouching in front of Kangaroo Mural

Registered Nurse, Older Persons Mental Health Unit

St George Hospital

“We’re a sub-acute ward, so we get older patients from the community and from the Emergency Department. We’ll admit them, go through all the policies and protocols and make sure they’re in a safe environment. We try to build up a therapeutic relationship with the patient as well. We allow them to discuss why they’re in hospital or just give them time to adjust, because coming into hospital in a locked unit can be quite daunting.  I have so much empathy for them - you know what, you shouldn’t be dealing with that trauma and torment inside your head at that age in your life. You should be retired and enjoying a relaxed pace.

I’m from Scotland. Everyone wants to go to Australia. But I went with a company that let me down. Three weeks before leaving they said they couldn’t find me full time employment. Three days before, they said the accommodation fell through. I had to come, I had the ticket.  I came out, I lasted four days and then went back home again. All those dreams were still there and I thought to myself, I’m going to do it before I’m 35. To be honest it wasn’t the job that drew me, it was the lifestyle, but it is the job that has kept me here.  I love my job so much I couldn’t go back to the UK.”