Vicki celebrates 50 years

Cyclone Wanda was almost 50 years ago but Vicki Fletcher remembers it almost like yesterday.

It was January 1974 and, as a young assistant in nursing (AIN), Vicki was confined to Laidley Hospital for three weeks after the weather system made landfall on the Queensland coast. Not able to go home due to floodwaters, Vicki helped patients as they were brought to the hospital by boat.

Despite only starting her career a couple of months before the cyclone, the hospital staff’s support for the community is something she will never forget. It remains one of the best memories of the 50 years she has spent at West Moreton Health.

Starting as an AIN in December 1973 at Laidley Hospital, Vicki moved to Gatton Hospital in 1974. “In 1975 I further studied to become an Enrolled Nurse (EN). I worked as an EN for about 20 years before moving to an administration role.”

Vicki stayed in the administration side of health and works as an Administration Officer at Gatton Hospital.

“When I decided to step back from nursing, I knew I still wanted to work in a hospital setting,” she said. “I have enjoyed the administration aspect of the role and, while not directly caring for patients, I still regularly speak with patients and families.”

Vicki started her career in health after being inspired by her mother.

“I had grown up in family where nursing was a dominant occupation. My mother trained as a Registered Nurse at Chinchilla Hospital and completed her midwifery at Ipswich Hospital. I also had two aunts and two cousins who had a career in nursing.”

Dedicating her career to supporting her rural communities, Vicki loves working at Gatton.

“I love my work colleagues and the enjoyment you get seeing patients transition through their illness before going home to live their lives. I love being a part of the district and living and working locally,” she said.

“Throughout my time at Gatton, I have seen many staff come and go through the doors. I have made many friends and have a lifetime of memories."