West Moreton Health nurse Cath Love retires following a decorated 50-year career. Pic: West Moreton Health
West Moreton Health nurse Cath Love retires following a decorated 50-year career. Pic: West Moreton Health

Beloved nursing boss calls time on decorated 50-year career

A BELOVED nurse known for her no-nonsense approach and wicked sense of humour has this week called time on a remarkable 50-year career.

Ipswich Hospital’s Surgery and Perioperative nursing director Cath Love first started working with West Moreton Health back in 2014.

It was her years of expertise that was relied upon heavily to help successfully reduce the extensive waiting times for surgeries.

Ms Love said she had not expected her time as a trainee nurse at Sydney’s St Margaret’s Hospital in 1970 to transform into a career spanning five decades.

“When I was growing up, women had to quit their jobs when they got married, so I assumed it would be the same for me,” Ms Love said.

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“But the rules changed, and I became a working mother of two.’’

She credits her manager midwife Margaret Macarthur as one of two great female mentors who helped shape her life and career.

“I wanted to be an enrolled nurse, but she said, ‘you’re not doing that!’ and helped me fill out all my applications for general nursing,” she said.

Ms Love later went on to work across both medical and surgical wards at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, before relocating to the Sunshine State.

Brisbane’s Mater Hospital, Logan Hospital and the Department of Health were among some of the organisations to welcome Ms Love.

Cath Love works as Ipswich Hospital’s Surgery and Perioperative nursing director. Pic: file photo
Cath Love works as Ipswich Hospital’s Surgery and Perioperative nursing director. Pic: file photo

She would eventually go to complete her nursing degree at Logan Hospital, before leading multiple Queensland Health projects to standardise clinical practices across the state.

Her greatest achievement, Ms Love said, was implementing handheld pregnancy records across 41 maternity services.

“That system is still used today and when I see that blue folder in a line of women attending antenatal clinics, it makes me proud to think it helps mothers to carry their own records and stops duplication during their care,” Ms Love said.

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Despite years of impressive feats it was her final leadership position at Ipswich Hospital which she credited as a highlight.

“I’ve loved every minute of it. I have an incredible ‘can do’ team who care so much about me and support me – and that’s a two-way street,” she said.

“The surgical team care about the West Moreton community, and they want people to have their surgery in the allocated time frame and to have the safest possible outcome for their health.”

She hoped her leadership and mentoring of others would have a lasting impact.

West Moreton Health chief executive Dr Kerrie Freeman and Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery Karyn Ehren thanked Ms Love for her dedicated service.

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