The Woodvale resident was recognised for nearly 30 years’ experience working in surgery and midwifery as a model to student and graduate nurses.
Ms Geel said she got into nursing because she loved kids and started her career working with new mums and babies.
Not one for the limelight, she prefers to work behind the scenes in surgical services where she helps patients in need of eye procedures.
Ms Geel said she prepared patients for surgery and assisted the theatre specialist during the procedure.
‘I see myself as the one who provides reassurance and care, so that our patients feel as comfortable and calm as possible,’ she said.
‘Given that many of our eye patients have procedures done while under local anaesthetic and remain awake throughout, helping them to stay calm is extremely important and helps to bring about a positive outcome.’
After three decades as a nurse, Ms Geel said she had seen a change in the role that had become friendlier and relaxed over time.
‘When I first started nursing it was a very formal profession,’ she said.
‘Our work was very regimented and everything from our uniforms to our manners was rigid and formal.
‘Nursing is much friendlier and more relaxed than it was in the past, so it’s a much nicer work environment.
‘We still maintain a healthy respect for the doctors we work with, but the gap between doctors and nurses has been closed a lot.’