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Nerys Brackman. Photo: Metro North Hospital

A quick chat with…a Nursing Unit Manager

What is your name, and where are you based?

I am Nerys Brackman from the Metro North Hospital and Health Service in Brisbane.

What hospital do you work at and what do you do there?

I am Nursing Unit Manager (NUM) at the Caboolture Hospital Emergency Department. I manage approximately 95 nurses in a 24/7 ED that sees more than 56,000 patients each year.

What is your educational background?

I trained in the UK and got my RN qualification in 1996. I have since completed post-graduate certificates and diplomas in Emergency Nursing and Leadership/Management.

Why did you choose this career path?

I have always enjoyed helping and meeting new people, and I have always had a love for travel and thought that nursing would be the perfect career to achieve both!

What does a typical day on the job look like for you?

I usually start with a PT or gym session. I check on all of the staff and patients in the morning to ensure that the day is starting smoothly. The rest of the day is usually a mix of patient care, meetings and a mountain of paperwork. Prioritisation is the key to success.

What do you love about your job and what would you change?

I love the unpredictability of emergency nursing… caring for children, to the geriatric, to prisoners – and everyone in between. I love promoting a great work culture amongst the team and seeing the camaraderie between the staff on good days and bad. It is inspiring to be able to make a positive difference to somebody on their worst day.

What’s the best footwear for a day on your feet?!

Bizarrely I am a lover of heels. A day at work for me is usually in some flight attendant style heels.

What advice would you give to nurses entering the profession?

Smile, you have just made the best decision of your life. It is a privilege to look after people and treat everyone like you would want your granny or your child treated.

What is the next step for you in your nursing career?

Not sure, I love ED too much! We’re building a new department which will be more than four times the size we currently are. That will be my priority for the next few years.

What book/s are you reading at the moment?

Never Split the Difference – negotiating to get what you want!

What are your three favourite films?

The Wolf of Wall Street, Goodfellas and The Hangover.

What was your first concert? And what was your most recent?

For my first concert I was front row at Bon Jovi in Milton Keynes, and I’m off to see The Foo Fighters tomorrow.

What’s the best holiday you’ve been on?

I love a good cruise to relax.

What’s your ideal meal?

Japanese or Sushi.

What’s your ultimate day off activity?

Taking the boat to Moreton Island to go snorkelling.

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