Pamela Talmage

Pamela Talmage

Pamela Talmage, retired
Blacktown, Australia

Tell us a little about your training.

I entered the Profession in 1988 at 40 years of age. My husband had been retrenched, we had 6 children and he was unable to retrain or find work.
I applied and was accepted to Nepean College of Advanced Education to complete a Diploma of Applied Science in Nursing after a 20 year break from the
paid workforce in 1988. I also did a Ba. conversion in 1991 and a Midwifery Diploma in 2001.
We had 6 weeks on campus education in nursing basics along with Physics and Biochemistry, Social Sciences and one day each week on Prac. placement after
which we had our first 2 week block placements assigned.
A year in,our College was absorbed into The University of Western Sydney from which we graduated 3 years later. Nursing was quite new to the higher education system, some of our science tutors were not quite sure of our place in their fields of expertise!

What things are different now in training you would like to see brought back?

Greater emphasis placed on Practical placements, especially early on in the courses. This is what can really help a student to decide if Nursing is really what
they want.

What things in training are you glad student no longer have to endure?

Discrimination from many Hospital based trained Nurses. This was quite daunting for the younger student nurses but less so for those of us who were Mature age
entry to Nursing. Sadly it still occurs from some Graduate Nurses.

Tell us where you worked after you finished training. 

Graduated in July 1991, secured a place in a 12 month New Grad program at Auburn District Hospital. Medical, Surgical ICU and Paediatrics, 3 months in each. Then medical and
CCU/ICU for 5 years transferring to Blacktown in 1997. General,CCU, Nursing Ed. to new grads. 2001 age 51 I did Midwifery and worked in Birthing, and Special care
primarily. Also Midwifery Education along with several periods of Acting Nurse Unit Manager for up to a year at a time.

What is the most rewarding thing about your role?

On retiring I realised just how much I missed nursing, with the same passion I brought to nursing I suppose. I missed the mental challenges of each new case, the
privilege of being able to facilitate in birth, death and all aspects of care between these two. My role as a nurse and nurse educator are rewarded by my looking back
on all those who I had opportunity to assist and help them grow and develop along the way.

One of your fondest memories.  

All of the birth stories are special. None more so than attending a mum 12 months after I had cared for her during a full term pregnancy loss. The room was filled with
so much love and joy for her second son and I felt honoured to have been asked to re-take that journey with her.

Tell us about any funny stories.  

Too many which can’t be told for privacy reasons or, as nurses develop a rather odd sense of humour, just might offend rather than amuse!

What is the most dreaded activity you have had to undertake?  

Staff Rosters! But from a clinical perspective anything relating to respiratory body fluids, suctioning a tracheotomy, taking a specimen etc. Now, those I don’t miss in

What is the best invention in your career?    

CPAP for babies. Hands down a big step for prem and struggling -to -breath neonates.

What do you wish they would invent to make tasks easier?

Some way to grow a second set of hands! or to fit 12 hours work into an 8 hour shift. Failing that, better mobility and lifting aids for an increasingly obese patient cohort.

Any other information you would like to add.  

This 2020 Covid-19 climate has really highlighted the heroism and dedication which Nurses and other healthcare staff bring to their work, mostly without expecting any
recognition for the unique and testing job they do. They make me proud to have been among them for over 25 years until my retirement.


We would love to hear your story. Not matter how short or how long your journey in nursing & midwifery is. We would love to hear from ALL different types of nurses, dental nurses, veterinary nurses, school nurses……from all over the world. Please help add to our online exhibition. This exhibition runs until the end of 2020.

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