Ipswich Hospital’s Toni Pirie has nursing in her blood.
With family ties to medicine stretching all the way back to the early 1900s, Ms Pirie is now the middle link in three generations of proud nursing history.
After following mother Annette into nursing in 1988, the experienced Registered Nurse was joined at Ipswich Hospital six years ago by daughter Emily, with younger daughter Gabrielle also studying nursing.
Ms Pirie’s 35 years of service, which began with training at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital before her 34-year stint in Ipswich, was last month recognised at West Moreton Health’s Length of Service Awards.
Born in Ipswich Hospital, where she now works in Renal Unit, Ms Pirie’s path to nursing was seemingly pre-ordained.
“I knew from a very young age I was going to be a nurse,” the Ipswich resident said.
“Mum did her nursing training in Cowra, NSW in the 1960s and I did mine in the ‘80s when it was still hospital training.
“My daughter is now working here in Ipswich Hospital in the Emergency Department and my other daughter is at uni studying to be a nurse as well.
“I had an aunty who was one of the first nurses back in Florence Nightingale’s day down in Quirindi, NSW.
“She opened her own little maternity house in her home back in 1900 so nursing has always been in the family, in the genes.”
Ms Pirie said her 35 years of service with Queensland Health had “flown by”, adding the assistance of a trusted support network was key to her longevity.
“(There have been) lots of good memories, bad memories,” she said.
“Just seeing the changes in the (Ipswich) Hospital over the years has been incredible.
“Lots of sad deaths … of patients that you get attached to and they keep coming back and coming back.
“I’ve got a good hubby (who helps me deal with it), he doesn’t understand much about nursing and healthcare but he’s a good ear.
“And now I’ve got my daughter to talk to and my mum, and you’ve just got to talk about things.”
“I’ve had some really good teams over the years too, we all support each other.”