History repeats for Ipswich Hospital nurses

As the saying goes, mothers and daughters never part, maybe in distance but never in heart.

In the case of university student and Ipswich Hospital nursing intern Samantha Barns, there’s no risk about the distance.

Ms Barns is working in the same Ipswich Hospital ward as her mother Alison, who has been a nurse at Ipswich Hospital for the past three decades.

“It’s good that she can learn from people and have the same experience as I did, starting in the same hospital as me,” Mrs Barns said.

“The history is repeating itself, which is great.”

For Ms Barns, coming home to someone who understands her work has enhanced her learning process.

 “I love working with mum I have that personal relationship with her, I can go up and ask questions even if they feel like silly ones,” Ms Barns said.

“I see how she does things and then compare that with other nurses and it makes me a better nurse.”

Ms Barns entered her career by accident after attending a nursing lecture during a university open day.

 “Sam walked out of there completely changed,” Mrs Barns said.

“She had initially gone to a university open day with my husband to consider doing social work.

“She came home and said ‘mum, you’ll never guess what I’ve decided to do’ – it was totally out of left field.”

Now, Mrs Barns says they are careful not to mix up their uniforms, as the mother-daughter duo shares the same workplace after Ms Barns joined the West Moreton Health relief nursing staff.

“I’m very proud of my baby, she’s got a caring nature about her and it’s one of the best careers she could have fallen into,” said Mrs Barns.

“Sam just has a natural knack for making patients feel at ease,” Mrs Barns said.

“When I spoke with her university tutor, they said Sam was a natural born nurse.”

Mrs Barns’ other daughter Ainsley – Sam’s twin – is also pursuing a career path in health, studying to be a health and physical education teacher.

She said her family had a long history with Ipswich Hospital.

“The girls used to come to the hospital and hang Christmas decorations in the wards, as part of their community service for their school,” Mrs Barns said.

“Before I started working here, there was a piano in the old rehabilitation ward and my mum used to play and sing Christmas carols.”

The pair is one of several multi-generational families working at the hospital.

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