Meet Heather-Ann, a Clinical Nurse Leader in Royal Jubilee Hospital’s interim High Acuity Unit (HAU). She has been a nurse for 17 years, working across the world from West Africa to right here in Victoria. In honour of national Nursing Week, she shares her perspective from the HAU—a critical care unit made possible by donors to our recently completed It’s Critical campaign.
Victoria Hospitals Foundation: How would you describe your role?
Heather-Ann Heyd: I lead and support nurses in their direct provision of care. It’s my responsibility (along with the leadership team) to coordinate that the nurses have what they need to provide care, whether that be supplies or arranging education resources, providing direct mentoring, or covering breaks.
VHF: What is your favourite part of your job?
HH: Right now, working in a new unit, it’s seeing this new team grow together, seeing nurses working together in provision of care and supporting each other professionally but also looking out for one another emotionally. It’s been so encouraging to see this team develop and grow from individuals to a cohesive team.
Wider than that, it’s a bit cliché but it’s the patients and families. As a nurse, especially within critical care, I have the privilege of coming alongside a patient (and their family) at one of their most vulnerable times, when they are in a health crisis—I get to help provide the care they need, and also build relationships and support the patients and their families.
VHF: What’s your favourite activity outside of work?
HH: Lately, I’m really enjoying being outside—going for walks or bike rides. Enjoying the beauty that is all around us.
VHF: What would you say to donors to our hospitals and people thinking about giving?
HH: Your donation will make a difference. Critical care (and really all of healthcare) requires a team approach to provide the best possible care to patients. I think this is the same for donations, whether your donation is large or small, it’s everyone coming together and doing their part that can result in big changes and impacts for patients.