He finished school at 18 and still hadn’t decided what his future had in store, but after an interesting turn of events, it was clear Luke McShane was destined to be a nurse.
Luke said while he wasn’t sure which career path to take, he decided on a gap year within the Royal Australian Air Force and it was there he took an interest in nursing.
“As part of my training I was posted to the Expeditionary Health Squadron and was based at a military hospital in NSW,” Luke said.
By the end of that year he had enrolled into a Bachelor of Nursing and secured a job at Cabrini as an orderly and then as a ward assistant in ED. He never imagined 10 years later he’d still be at Cabrini Malvern.
As part of Patient Experience Week, a nationally recognised week designed to celebrate all healthcare staff and acknowledge staff who go above and beyond for their patients, we spoke to Luke about his role at Cabrini and the importance of this week.
Luke spent part of his graduate year working in Cabrini’s Coronary Care Unit and Day Procedure Centre, followed by three years on 4 North.
“After a while I wanted to be part of their theatre journey,” he said.
For the past four years Luke has worked in main theatre as an anaesthetics/PACU nurse and said what he loved most was the diversity in the role.
“It can at times be a challenging environment that requires teamwork and it’s unique in the sense that you have a good relationship with the nursing, allied and medical staff. It’s also a varied and dynamic patient mix.”
When talking about Patient Experience Week, the 29-year-old said most healthcare professionals did the work they did because they cared about their patients.
“We don’t do it for the recognition or the acknowledgement, it’s for the benefit of the patient,” he said.
“In saying that, it’s nice for the hospital to formally acknowledge the staff who are an integral part of the patient journey.”
During Victoria’s lockdown late last year, Luke – who has a passion for singing – was asked by his unit manager if he would perform for patients as a way to lift everyone’s spirits. He didn’t hesitate.
He and fellow nurse, Lizzie Gorman, sang a few songs for staff and patients as a way to bring everyone together.
“It was a way to share some joy with the patients, some of who had been in hospital for two months without seeing their family and friends,” Luke said.
“I feel really privileged to work in an organisation that places patients at the centre of everything we do. I feel the staff have a good sense of our purpose as an organisation and I believe in Cabrini’s mission.
“It’s often said there’s something special about Cabrini, and I agree.”