Mt Lawley: career change helps Kylie nurse others

Kylie Whillier.
Kylie Whillier.

MT LAWLEY St John of God nurse Kylie Whillier started her journey as a health professional after seeing her mother cared for in the hospital’s Specialist Rehabilitation Service (SRS) five years ago.

Ms Whillier had worked in banks and offices previously, but her mother’s experience as a patient at St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital inspired her to begin training to become a Patient Care Assistant.

“While mum was in the SRS with a broken hip, I was really interested in what the nurses and carers were doing. I enjoyed watching how they interacted with patients, and how every part of the patient’s care was catered to,” she said.

“I spoke with Mark, the unit’s Nurse Manager, and he encouraged me to train to become a Patient Care Assistant. He helped me navigate my way into a course and encouraged me all the way.”

Ms Whillier began working in the SRS as a casual after qualifying from the course, and became permanent, working full-time the year after.

Since then, she was encouraged to train to become an assistant in nursing, and is now an enrolled nurse.

“I love working at the hospital for the many aspects of care we deliver,” she said.

“Often our patients stay here for longer periods of time as they are undergoing rehabilitation, so you get to develop a great relationship with them.”

Ms Whillier said seeing patients leave so much better than when they arrived was “an absolute bonus”.

“You can truly see how all the different disciplines, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work and other allied health services, together with nursing, help patients on their way to recovery and improved wellbeing,” she said.

St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital chief executive Chris Hanna praised Ms Whillier.

“Like all our caregivers, (she) is a fantastic asset to the hospital and a great demonstration of the career pipeline available at the hospital – starting five years ago as a patient care assistant, then as an assistant in nursing, and now as an enrolled nurse,” she told Guardian Express.

“Even more impressive is the fact Kylie has managed to complete her studies while working fulltime as well as caring for her two children,” Ms Hanna said.

“From her mum’s experience, Kylie has seen first-hand the importance of high quality patient care. Our Specialist Rehabilitation Service is very much about working closely with patients to ensure the best results.”