Hidden Healthcare

Hidden Healthcare

What makes Bendigo Health tick

With almost 4000 staff, Bendigo Health – Victoria’s largest regional hospital – has the facilities and personnel to cater for a growing population.

But away from the scrubs and stethoscopes, the birthing suites and rehabilitation wards, a series of less well known, but equally important roles are undertaken by employees and volunteers at the organisation.

This series aims to shine a light on some of those roles and introduce you to the people providing your care.

Enriching the lives of residents

Mark Gordon never underestimates the power of a smile.

Having worked as a Lifestyle Coordinator at Carshalton House for 24 years, he’s helped brighten up many a day for residents and seen first-hand the benefits of humour, laughter and interaction.

“For a lot of the residents in here, staff are like family and we treat them that way. You want to make them smile and enjoy themselves,” he said.

Read more about his story here. 

The quiet achievers keeping patients safe

Darren Martin and his team rarely see the patients.

They’re not helping stitch up a wound, fixing a broken bone or removing tumours.

But staff in the Central Sterilising Department (CSD) – the ‘engine room’ of Bendigo Health – are an integral part of the operating theatre team.

As unit manager Darren explains, the job satisfaction of the CSD team comes from knowing the operating theatre, and the equipment used during surgery, is the safest it can be.

Around 40 staff are employed in the CSD.

Last year they processed more than 285,000 pieces of medical equipment, all of which are electronically tagged and documented.

Read more about the CSD here.

Overcoming the language barrier

Sei Sei and Moo Wah both came to Australia in 2009 after living in refugee camps in Thailand.

They began as interpreters at Bendigo Health last month in response to increased demand for Karen interpreting services.

They hope their new roles will encourage the refugee community to utilise local healthcare.

Read more about their story here. 



Dealing with addiction

Tobacco Treatment Nurse Specialist (TTSN) Sharyn Gibbs has been helping patients in the grips of a nictoine addiction for a number of years.

Since 2016, the TTSN at Bendigo Health had almost 800 referrals. A quarter of those patients identified as non-smokers in post discharge follow ups while a further 30 per cent had reduced their smoking intake.

Sharyn explains how a variety of factors have helped patients at Bendigo Health withdraw from tobacco. 

Read more about her story here.

Advocating for the elderly

As a teenager Catherine Harrington spent most weekends making up beds and helping out in the kitchen at the local aged care facility.

Perhaps unsurprisingly she pursued a career in the aged care sector.

Catherine, a Clinical Manager at Bendigo Health's Gibson Street complex, now sees herself as an advocate for the elderly, not just an aged care nurse.

Read more about her story here.

Psychiatric nurse breaks down the stigma

When Briony Lynch began her nursing career in an inpatient psychiatric unit, people were quick to offer advice.

 “There’s a lot of stigma as a mental health nurse. People said to me ‘you’re not going to go far in your career’, ‘you’ll be burnt out in five years’, ‘why are you wasting that time’,” she said.

The reality has been quite the opposite for Briony, 25, now an Associate Nurse Unit Manager at Bendigo Health’s Dual Diagnosis Unit (DDU).

Read more about her story here.

Dedicated to rural health research

Angela Crombie's curiosity led her to health research.

As associate nurse unit manager at Bendigo Health’s psychogeriatric unit, she was always fascinated as to why most of the residents had blue eyes.

She decided to investigate the correlation between blue eyes and Alzheimer’s for a Graduate Diploma research project. 

Now Director of Research and Innovation at Bendigo Health, she's helping create a research culutre at the hospital, which is improving the access of regional patients to potentially life saving trials and treatments.

Read more about her story here.

Closing the healthcare gap

Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer Dave Kerr believes the historical mistreatment of Aboriginals remains a barrier for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to seek healthcare. 

Part of his role is to provide a reassuring presence and cultural support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients that do come to Bendigo Health.

He also provides cultural awareness training to staff and has been heavily involved in Bendigo Health's Reconciliation Action Plan, which is currently in a draft phase.

Read more about his story here.

Volunteering runs in the family

Beth Benbow was destined to volunteer her time for a good cause.

Her grandmother did it, and her mother Iris founded Health’s Intensive Care Auxiliary in 1979.

Beth, now President of Bendigo Health's combined auxiliaries, details how fundraising has changed over the years and what its future holds.

Read more about her story here.

Donation nurse pursues the gift of life

ED safewards listing imageOrgan donation nurse specialist Robyn Geldart is forever searching for a needle in the haystack.

But as the organ donation nurse specialist explains, it’s an invaluable needle.

Each organ donation can help up to 12 people. Bendigo Health has had two liver donations this year.

She explains why donations are so rare, and the importance of being on the donation register. 

To find out more click here. 


Cindy Bird's campaign against waste

Over the past 12 months, Bendigo Health created 626,272 kilograms of waste at the Barnard Street campus.

Waste officer Cindy Bird is tasked with reducing the amount of that waste that goes to landfill.

Oxygen masks, tubing, plastic wrapping on medical products, and disused bed curtains are some of the materials she's recycling.

Read more about her story here.



Tracing cancer through the family tree

Genetic Nurse Morgan Murphy is well versed in difficult conversations.

His job is to identify cancer-causing genes that may run in a family bloodline, and provide clarity and compassion during testing times.

He sees a range of people from those who’ve already been diagnosed with cancer to people who have been referred by a GP or specialist as a potential risk.

For some, the information is upsetting, for others empowering. 

Read more about his story here.


The mechanics of patient movement

Two-year anniversaryDislocations, chronic pain, even career-ending injuries.

Stephen Morley has seen, and heard of, some of the darker sides to life as a health professional.

But in his 11 years as Bendigo Health’s manual handling coordinator he’s helped improve staff safety dramatically, reducing manual handling WorkCover claims and improving the hospital’s capacity to deal with larger patients.

Read more about his story here.

Plaster technician breaks the mould

Few healthcare professionals combine art and science like plaster technician Jason Colston.

Twenty-three years ago he began his Bendigo Health career as a cleaner, then he became a porter but always felt drawn toward the plaster room.

The driving force behind his craft is keeping people away from the operating table.

Read more about his story here.

When hospital beds are like gold dust

Tricia Elliott became Bendigo Health's first dedicated bed manager in 2004.

She now manages around 400 inpatient beds each day.

“It’s like the deck chairs on the titanic, you keep moving them around,” she said. 

Read more about her story here.


Matthew's path to morgue attendant

Hidden away in the basement of the hospital, Matthew Darby is in charge one of the more sensitive aspects of healthcare. 

The morgue attendant deals with the practicalities of transporting deceased patients, in addition to organising viewings and comforting grieving families. 

His interest in the industry of death piqued as a fifteen-year-old. 

Read more about his story here.

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100 Barnard Street, Bendigo, VIC, 3550


03 5454 6000


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