Phoebe Covey and her family.
Phoebe Covey and her family.

It took a pandemic to give nurses recognition they deserve

IT MAY have taken a global pandemic to highlight to the world the work nurses do, but for Phoebe Covey, the role has always been rewarding.

The Grantham nurse and mother of three had wanted to be a nurse from her early teens and has been immersed in the industry for the past eight years.

"I've always enjoyed caring for people and nursing felt like the obvious profession," Phoebe said.

"I always felt that was what I was going to do."

Today is International Nurses Day and Phoebe is enjoying maternity leave while she cares for the newest addition to her family.

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Although her maternity leave began before coronavirus reached the country, Phoebe said the health crisis seemed to increase the community's appreciation for healthcare professionals.

"I think it has definitely increased. Health care workers and nurses in particular are getting recognised a lot more," she said.

"But there were a lot of moments in my job where patients recognised my hard work and gave me compliments.

"There are a lot of people who were recognising us prior to coronavirus."

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On her last shift before taking maternity leave, a patient gifted Phoebe flowers after she cared for him during a shift at work.

"That's one of the things that make it so rewarding. He knew it was my last day. He sent his wife out to buy a bunch of flowers, which he gave to me when I said goodbye at the end of the shift," she said.

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When she is on deck, Phoebe works between the Toowoomba Hospital, Gatton Hospital and at a GP's clinic.

Being able to care for sick and injured people and build a rapport with patients is at the core of Phoebe's role but an added bonus sweetened the deal.

"It's a diverse job and it allows you to live anywhere and basically always have a job," she said.

"It was definitely an appeal - I knew no matter where I lived, I would always be able to find work."