October Healthcare Hero - Katherine

As part of the International Year of Health and Care Workers, we give people the chance, each month, to nominate their healthcare hero to go in the running to win an eGift card. 

Katherine, our winner for October spoke to us to take us through what it’s like as an Emergency Department Nurse in Melbourne.

Katherine Rust Healthcare Hero

What’s your name and job?

My name is Katherine, I’m an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse and I work for Eastern Health in the Emergency Department at Maroondah Hospital.

Tell us a little about what you do?

I’m a mother to three children, Harrison, who’s 12 years old, and twins Cameron and Alexandra who are 11 years old. 

I love my job and the wonderful team of people I work with. I’m currently in my second year studying for my Bachelor of Nursing through Deakin University. It's a heavy workload at times, however, with the support of my friends and family, Eastern Health and my fellow workmates I haven’t only survived, but succeeded through what has been one hell of a year. 

The challenges all healthcare workers have endured, both clinically and personally, due to the impacts of this pandemic have been overwhelming, to say the least. As Melbourne starts to return to a new normal, I think it’s so important we acknowledge and praise the efforts of all healthcare workers. 

How long have you been working in your field?

I've been nursing for 7 years now and I've spent the last 4 years working in Emergency.  

Was this always your dream job? If not, what changed your mind?

After having my children and being a stay at home mum for 4 years I was ready and looking for a new challenge. 

I decided to enrol myself into the Diploma of Nursing after an incident in a park where I assisted a young child who had injured themself on the playground. The friend I was with that day, commented on how calm and confident I was in the situation that had escalated quite quickly. 

It was only after I reflected on my actions that day, my friend’s comments and the praise I received from the injured child's parents that I considered the idea of discovering nursing as a career path for me.   

What do you love most about your job?

Helping others, continually learning and challenging myself while working with so many inspirational people.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to get into the field?

Study hard, work hard, be kind to yourself and always trust your gut. 

What’s your wind-down routine after a shift?

A super hot shower, followed by an icy cold glass of milo and a slice of toast smothered in Western Star butter.

What do you do in your spare time?

There has not been a lot of spare time throughout 2021 between working, assignments, homeschooling, clinical placements and Victorian lockdowns. However, normally I love to be involved in my children's sports. 

I also love to keep fit by walking or running, and my most favourite thing to do is share a standard latte with a close friend at one of my favourite local cafes. 

Have you ever had a patient that has inspired you?

Yes, the inspirational 97-year-old woman who beat the 36-year-old man in the bed next to her, back onto her feet, after undergoing the same knee surgery. She was one tough cookie, and she knew it.    

If you were a superhero, what would your power be?

I would absolutely love a magic wand. 

Head to our Facebook page to nominate a healthcare hero you know in next month’s competition. December will be the last month we select a nominated healthcare hero to win a $100 gift card. As the person nominating, you’ll also receive a $100 gift card if selected.