Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group infection prevention coordinator shares stories ahead of International Nurses Day

d492716 Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group infection prevention coordinator Ann Whitfield. Picture: Jon Hewson
d492716 Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group infection prevention coordinator Ann Whitfield. Picture: Jon Hewson

ANN Whitfield has had experiences she never thought possible.

The Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group infection prevention coordinator has been able to help out with the Ebola outbreak in 2015 and travel to remote parts of the world.

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Speaking ahead of International Nurses Day on May 12, Mrs Whitfield said she was motivated by the opportunities she has had overseas.

“I’ve got a passion for overseas work, I travelled to Tanzania in 2015 when there was a call for infection experts following the Ebola outbreak,” she said.

“My role was to work with the experts over there, it was a pretty humbling experience, I was there for about 10 to 11 weeks.

“I’m fortunate to live in a developed country but I’ve been to places without running water and you have to make it work.

“I never thought I’d have the opportunities to travel, there’s a camaraderie between nurses and midwives wherever you go.”

Ann Whitfield. Picture: Jon Hewson

Mrs Whitfield also had the opportunity to visit West Timor through the Flinders Overseas Health Group in February.

“I brought along a World Health Organisation assessment framework tools and asked questions, met the teams and helped them develop programs they could implement themselves,” she said.

“It includes the patient’s journey, where the hand basins are, how they sterilise equipment and more.”

Mrs Whitfield said her day to day job was to reduce infections and provide immunisations to staff.

“I also need to write policies and keep staff and patients safe,” she said.

“We run a number of presentations during International Nurses Day and I feel like it’s my role to offer support and inspire other nurses.”