Wanting to do something fulfilling attracted electrician to career change

Ipswich’s Hollie Whittaker is one of 62 new nurses that have started with West Moreton Health this year.

Ms Whittaker wanted to make a real difference in the lives of others and so after a decade in the construction industry, decided to start over.

“I was an electrician and have worked as a tiler and various trades in the construction industry but as I got older I started to question what life was all about,” she said.

“I thought it had to be more than just making money and I began to realise it was more about making connections and the mark that we leave on each other.”

Ms Whittaker chose to work in the mental health sector and was accepted at Wolston Park, but not right away.

“I was working in a clinical setting at first which is quite task oriented,” she said.

“But I found I wanted to spend more time connecting with patients and finding out more about them to build a holistic plan for their care, which I can now do.

“I didn’t get into mental health the first time I tried, so I took their advice and followed their suggestions so when I went back the following year I was successful.”

Ms Whittaker works as a forensic psychiatric nurse and while some of her patients may make the news headline, Ms Whittaker said she works to find the person behind the illness.

“We work on a recovery based model,” she said.

“We want to recover who they are supposed to be behind their illness.”

Ms Whittaker explains her work as a two-way process that has helped her to become a better nurse and a better person.

“My patients are healing me as I am healing them and I think getting paid to do that is the most perfect job in the world,” she said.

Forensic Psychiatric nurse Holly Whittaker

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles welcomed the graduates to the Queensland Health family.

He said the extra nurses would translate their university studies into better outcomes for patients in Ipswich.

“I’m really excited to welcome these passionate nurses to the Queensland Health team where I know they’ll get the best possible start in their nursing careers,” Mr Miles said.

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