Fascinating four decades at hospital
CHRIS Russell has seen many changes during her four decades of service at the Mater Hospital in Bundaberg.
Chris began at the Mater as a casual worker in the hospitality department.
She later moved into the laundry, washing patients' clothing, bedding and clinical uniforms.
Summertime in the laundry was steamy, Chris recalled, working among large washing machines and extractor spinners with steam-operated rollers.
Nonetheless she enjoyed the work immensely.
"I felt a sense of accomplishment with my two work colleagues as we completed weekly laundering for the 83-bed hospital,” she said.
"It has been my favourite role”.
Chris said the Mater's laundry "family” had been close-knit and often met outside of work.
Both Chris's mother and her uncle worked at the Mater, making it a bit of a family tradition.
When day surgery began at the Mater began in 1999, fewer staff were required in the laundry and Chris moved back into hospitality - and for the first time working with patients.
"The highlight of my day is the strong friendships shared with work colleagues and the precious opportunity when a patient invites you into their life through conversation in the course of my day at work,” Chris said.
A Mater spokesman said all staff at the hospital congratulated Chris on her 40 years of service.