Say hello to Simone from Butterfly – our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Simone told us about her love for working with children and all she has achieved since starting at The Royal Children’s Hospital 13 years ago.
What makes your ward and the patients you care for different from other wards?
The Butterfly Unit is a 40-bed Level 6B Neonatal Intensive Care Unit/High Dependency Unit. We are one of four level 6 neonatal units in the state of Victoria and we are the tertiary surgical unit for the neonatal population in Victoria. Any neonate who requires surgery in the state of Victoria is transferred to us. The majority of our patients are transferred in and out via the Paediatric Infant Perinatal Retrieval (PIPER) service. Our neonatal intensive care unit also specialises in an advanced and specialised form of ventilation known as JET ventilation which is used in our unwell neonates who are not responding to normal forms of ventilation (life support). Highly specialised nurses are trained to care for these patients within the unit.
Tell us about your RCH journey. When you joined, the roles you’ve held here.
I have worked at RCH for the past 13 years. I finished my Bachelor of Nursing in 2005 and I started my Graduate Nurse Program here at RCH in 2006 in the oncology unit.
I was extremely lucky to be accepted after my graduate year into the Career Advancement Program, where I started my career in Paediatric Intensive Care (PICU). I had found my passion and specialty when working in the critical care environment and commenced further studies to specialise via a Postgraduate Diploma in PICU at the University of Melbourne.
Through my career in PICU I advanced clinically by becoming a Team Support Nurse (Met Calls), PIPER Retrieval Nurse, ECMO Advanced Practice Nurse and in 2010 I commenced my career as an Associate Nurse Unit Manager. I also was a member of the PIPER Outreach education team and travelled throughout Victoria to provide education to healthcare providers (both nursing and medical) on how to care for the deteriorating paediatric patient.
In January 2015 I was successful in obtaining a position to cover the NUM role on the Platypus Unit (Surgical/Orthopaedic) for a fixed term contract and in December 2015 the opportunity arose to apply for the NUM ongoing role on the Butterfly Unit. I have now been the NUM here on Butterfly for over two-and-a-half years.
Talk us through what a typical day looks like on Butterfly.
There is no typical day as a NUM. You never know what kind of day you are going to walk into. The overall objective of my day and role is to ensure that the unit runs smoothly on a daily basis and has all the resources and staffing required to provide great care to our patients and their families. We provide great care by ensuring timely and safe access for our patients, creating positive experiences for our patients, families and team members, maintaining zero harm and ultimately positive and excellent clinical outcomes.
What is the most rewarding thing about your current role?
Supporting and developing the amazing team of nurses on the Butterfly unit to provide great care to our patients and their families. I enjoy watching the nursing team develop and work together so we can achieve our vision of: “To be a great Department of Neonatal Medicine within a great children’s hospital … Leading the way.”
What is your favourite RCH memory or achievement?
When I received my match on the Graduate Nurse database telling me that I had got my first choice of graduate program at The Royal Children’s Hospital. I was so happy!
In five words, tell us what you love you about your work?
The extraordinary team on Butterfly.
What attracted you to working at the RCH?
The kids! Ever since I wanted to become a nurse I wanted to work at the Children’s. This was my dream job and I was very lucky to get my Graduate Nurse Program here at the RCH.
How do you relax after a long shift?
I go home and spend time with my little girl and fiancée. I also wind down by putting on some tunes and going for a run/workout at the gym.
If you weren’t a nurse, what would you be doing instead?
I love baking and I would be a pastry chef.