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Wisdom for times of transition

The Hospital for Specialist Surgery officially launched today, designed and run by 48 specialist doctors.

The hospital is the creation of a group of professionals at a day surgery clinic in Castle Hill, who decided to set up a larger scale hospital for specialist surgery in Sydney’s Western Suburbs.

Ruth Miller, head of nursing at the new hospital, said making the transition happen was a unique experience.

"We were used to having in-patients, although we only had six beds,” Miller said, adding the team faced a number of challenges during the transition.

“We had to find staff who would be competent in their specialties,” she explained. “We're trying look at training our own staff up, but at the same time we need to have several who know what they're doing from the get go.”

Miller said the fact the hospital is doctor-owned has been an advantage in making the transition work. “The doctors are quite motivated to ensure we've got the best staff possible," she said. "They've assisted with the training and recruitment."

When asked what advice she would give a fellow head of nursing facing a transition period, Miller said it was important to realise that there would be bumps along the way and people need to be prepared to deal with them.

“Try and seek advice and expertise from other people, instead of just doing it in isolation,” she said. “The more people you can get to help out and use their advice and experience, the easier you'll find the job.”

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