The World Health Organisation has declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife!! In celebration, we share with you stories about our team.

Introducing Eileen Murray - Community Neurological Nurse (Bunbury)

Eileen Murray Neurological Council of WA

Eileen grew up in a small rural community in Scotland where community nurses played an important role. She also personally gained exposure to community nursing with members of her family receiving nursing support.

As a young and impressionable girl, Eileen’s dream was to become a community nurse. This dream was fostered by the bond she felt with the nurses her family received support from. They felt part of her extended family.

As an adult, Eileen initially found the path to becoming a community nurse lengthy. She was ecstatic and overjoyed when the Neurological Council of WA gave her the opportunity to become a community neurological nurse. This fulfilled Eileen’s childhood dream.

Eileen joined the Neurological Council of WA in 2014. Since joining the team, Eileen has found great support in her colleagues and never feels alone in her job. She thrives on the diversity of her role and enjoys dealing with the many aspects of client care and the challenges she faces.

Eileen feels humbled and privileged to be able to help her clients and their carers in their journeys. She finds great satisfaction supporting people to navigate the system and empowering them to remain at home. Eileen values the relationships nurtured during times of joy as well as sadness.

Eileen’s words of wisdom for aspiring nurses are to consider a career in community nursing as it is challenging, exciting and rewarding in so many ways. Every client has their own story and you have the opportunity to build trusting relationships.

Introducing Claire Stoddard - Neurocare Navigator (Perth Metro)

Claire Stoddard NCWA

Claire joined the Neurological Council of WA (NCWA) in 2016 after moving to Perth from the United Kingdom. Before moving to Perth, Claire had lived all her life in Stoke-on-Trent and had worked for the same employer for nearly 28 years.

After taking the plunge and moving to Perth with her husband, Claire found applying and interviewing for new jobs daunting. Her first interview was at the NCWA. When Claire was offered the opportunity to work at the NCWA, she was really pleased and hasn’t looked back.

Initially starting out as a receptionist, Claire was given the opportunity to widen her scope, moving into healthcare administration supporting NCWA’s Neurocare team. In 2019, she was appointed to the role of Neurocare Navigator.

Her role at the NCWA is different from what Claire was used to in her career back in the UK and one that she thoroughly enjoys. A typical day for Claire includes managing new referrals; updating systems with new client details (including wellness support plans); submitting referrals to My Aged Care (for domestic assistance, social support, and equipment for clients); and supporting the Neurocare team with other healthcare-related administration.

Claire finds satisfaction in seeing elements of her work coming together to become a positive outcome for the client – from the initial new client referral to the final result in the form of a wellness/support plan. She says: “It feels good to know that we are helping people in the community to be safe in their home and hopefully they don’t feel alone – we are always here to offer support.”

For aspiring nurses or health care professionals considering a pathway into community nursing, Claire says: “There will be many challenges along the way but the end rewards can be so worth it – especially making a difference to people’s lives. If you're facing challenges, take each day as it comes, do your best and be kind.

Even though I’m not a nurse and have no medical background, I can truly appreciate what a hard job and often challenging job that ALL nurses do. We should definitely celebrate our nurses and support them all the way for the wonderful job that they do.”

Outside of her working life at the NCWA, Claire and her husband are big soccer fans. For several years they were members of the England Supporters Club and travelled overseas for many games. A highlight of Claire’s adventures includes a trip to Moscow in 2007 for the European Championship Qualifier Game – England versus Russia (England lost 2-1!!)

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