Garrison Health Services has a community of people who are truly passionate about the care of ADF patients

A typical day for Siobhan starts at 7 am when she arrives at the Enoggera Health Centre on Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane, where she works as a Nurse Coordinator with Medibank’s Garrison Health Services (GHS).

“The first thing I do is attend handover from the night staff and complete a ward round.  I meet with the other clinicians in the hospital to discuss priorities and what’s happening that day. My role essentially is to ensure that the staff on the ward are providing the best possible care to our inpatients, so the day is largely spent coordinating staff and patients, answering clinical or policy questions – anything that walks through the door really!” The ward is also responsible for following up on calls to the 1800 IM SICK line, a 24-hour clinical advice line provided to ADF members should they become ill, injured or are otherwise unable to get to an On-Base health facility.

After a number of years working as an acute nurse, Siobhan opted for a tree change and took on a clinical education role in Queensland Health’s South West District followed by a job as Director of Nursing in Dirranbandi. “When I saw the Nurse Coordinator position advertised by GHS, it sounded just like me – I’d been doing staff management of a small hospital with varied acute presentations.”

Siobhan and colleague at work Christmas party

Fun at the Joint Health Command Christmas Party with a colleague.

Siobhan enjoys not only the opportunity to look after the health of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) but also the unique environment of an On-base Health Centre. “The variety of staff experience is fantastic, you’re working with medics who have advanced clinical skills and are used to being out in the field alongside nurses who have 20 years’ experience in big hospitals.”

Siobhan feels the role of Nurse Coordinator is particularly suited to her interests in staff management, best practice, patient safety and clinical education. Part of her job involves supervising both military nursing officers and contracted nurses, many of whom have family members in the ADF. “Lots of the nurses have been in Defence families for a long time and many are very personally passionate about taking care of our patients in the best way they can. They know the next day it could be their father, husband or partner in the ward, and there’s a great community feeling about the place.”

So what’s been the most memorable moment so far?

“I had the opportunity to be a soldier for a day by participating in Exercise Diamond Warrior – a special event offering Defence support organisations the chance to experience a day in the life of a soldier at Gallipoli Barracks.”

Siobhan and colleague in an army tank

Siobhan experiencing a day in the life of an ADF personnel.

“It was amazing,” she says. “Having had no previous experience in Defence I found it really interesting to see what our units deal with on a daily basis. We wore camouflage and had the chance to experience the gun range and a simulated urban warfare exercise, test drive armoured vehicles, and do a water obstacle course. Having this insight into what our ADF members go through and hearing them share their experiences on tour, etc. really brought home how important it is to take good care of our members.”

Siobhan enjoys bushwalking with friends

Bushwalking in the Blue Mountains – Siobhan enjoys the flexibility and time outside of work.

Outside of work, Siobhan enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews, friends, live music and playing the ukulele. “I love bushwalking, yoga and wine and cheese – in any order! Work-life balance is really supported by both Defence and GHS, which is fantastic.”

Find out more about current opportunities within Garrison Health Services.

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