Health service in spotlight

Health service in spotlight

On the eve of the International Nurses and Midwives Day on Monday, a senior local nurse has urged the community to continue to acknowledge the efforts of the members of this vital part of the health sector.

Sally Milsom said she has regularly seen throughout her 30-year career that nurses, midwives and carers go above and beyond to deliver care to patients and their families.

As the acting Executive Officer and Director of Nursing and Midwifery for the Millicent and District Hospital and Health Services, Ms Milsom said the local community was well served by an estimated 108 nurses and carers under her charge in the acute wards, operating theatres and adjacent Sheoak Lodge 60-bed aged care facility.

“Care is provided at Millicent Hospital by high-calibre staff who are dedicated and multi-skilled,” she said.

“They are supportive of me and each other and they work hard to deliver high quality care at all times.”She also acknowledged the fantastic efforts of all staff at Sheoak Lodge Her time in the nursing profession dates to her university days in Adelaide when she enrolled in a Bachelor of Nursing degree at Uni SA straight out of high school in 1993.

Such a career choice was never in doubt since around the age of 10.

“I always wanted to be a nurse since I had a stay lasting just one day at a hospital in Adelaide,” Ms Milsom said.”There was a nurse there who really impacted me.”

Since graduation in 1996, Ms Milsom has chiefly worked in paediatrics at the Women and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide as well as a three-year stint at a similar hospital in Perth.

Shifting house was a commonplace happening in her childhood as her late father’s work with the ETSA power supply company took him across South Australia.

His name was Craig Cock and he is perhaps better known for his 206 football matches with SANFL club South Adelaide.

The Cock family experienced life in such places as Leigh Creek, Port Augusta and Mount Gambier with the patriarch playing with local clubs including North Gambier.

Over the past 30 years, Ms Milsom has regularly progressed her nursing career into key supervisory and management roles without losing touch with those on the wards.

Her career path took a different turn in 2023 when she accepted the temporary role as Executive Officer/Director of Nursing at the Tumby Bay and Cummins hospitals on the Eyre Peninsula.

Country life again proved to be agreeable and so she applied for, and won, the acting position at Millicent.

“I am enjoying living in the country and there is great variety in the work at Millicent,” Ms Milsom said.”I have some great managers supporting me.

“Everyone has been welcoming and friendly.

“I have just been to my first meeting of the Millicent and Districts Health Advisory Council and its members have been open and helpful.

“I am very impressed with what the Millicent and Surrounding Areas Health Support Group (MASH) members have done in upgrading the former Matron’s flat into trainee nurse accommodation.”

Ms Milsom said the stay at Millicent has rejuvenated her passion for leadership and she wanted to continue her work in management and staff development.

Away from her nursing work, Ms Milsom is a certified gym instructor and keen runner and this assists her work/life balance.

She said nursing is a satisfying career and urges teens to give it serious consideration.

“There are a variety of pathways for nurses and it is not just about hospitals and nursing homes,” Ms Milsom said.”There is a great diversity so seek out a mentor and ask questions.”

“The opportunities are endless.”

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