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60 seconds with Mary Hickson

60 seconds with Mary Hickson
Photo: 60 seconds with Mary Hickson
We talk to Mary Hickson, a Nurse Educator and writer for HealthTimes. 

What is your current employer, title and role?
I am the Educator for the Clinical Information Access Portal (CIAP), eHealth NSW

Why did you become a nurse?
When I started, nursing was essentially an ‘apprenticeship’, which suited my circumstances. I could gain my qualification while also earning an income and be provided with accommodation (I started just before I was 17 years old).

Where did you study nursing?
Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney; University of NSW; University of Newcastle

What’s the most satisfying/rewarding part of your job?
Helping people – whether as a clinician, educator or manager, I have always found satisfaction in helping, enabling and empowering people and trying to create a sense of comfort and confidence
What makes a good nurse?
An ability to empathise with others, an ability to listen and learn, an openness to change if and as necessary and a willingness to reflect

What would you have done if you hadn’t become a nurse?
I have worked in professions other than nursing including performing arts for many years and free-lance writing

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
In a place where I am professionally engaged and personally happy and healthy

Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Tracey Kerle, Nurse Manager of Gosford Hospital Operating Theatres in NSW. Tracey is a great advocate for perioperative nursing, and participates in state, national and international organisations to advance the perioperative specialty. Yet Tracey created opportunities for my professional development and she has always challenged and inspired me to do my very best. Tracey also has an appreciation of the ‘work/life’ balance and supported me in the workplace during some tough times. She has really made a difference to my life.

What is your least favourite thing about nursing?
I consider that the demands and expectations on nurses and managers are often unrealistic. Nurses work under many pressures and having time to provide care is one of the most challenging of them all

What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming a nurse?
Nursing gives you great life skills and has so many diverse career opportunities! But you really need to care about people to meet the challenges of this profession

If you didn’t have to work, what would you do?
Be a full time writer and wander the world with a pack on my back

Recent articles by Mary Hickson
Namaste Nepal: Volunteering in the Himalayas
Clostridium Difficile: staying alert to the threat
Meeting the Challenge of Evidence-Based Practice
Spelling Out IBD
iver Disease Update


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