Nurse calls time on 40-year career

RETIREMENT: Veronica Whitwell had her last day as a nurse at the Kimba Hospital on Monday.
RETIREMENT: Veronica Whitwell had her last day as a nurse at the Kimba Hospital on Monday.

AFTER 40 years as a nurse Veronica Whitwell had her last day on the job at the Kimba Hospital on Monday. 

Mrs Whitwell said she started work at the Kimba Hospital in 1978 as a registered nurse and midwife.

“We were busy then, country hospitals were busy because we did theatre, we did mid (wifery),” she said.

“We have had good times and bad times, we’ve struggled at times with no doctor...but the sense of community is what got us all through,” she said. 

Mrs Whitwell said while she started her career in Kimba she had moved around to work in other regional communities like Port Augusta and Snow Town as well. 

She said her mother was a social worker and her grandmother was a nurse so working in health had always appealed to her.

“I trained in the same nursing school as my grandmother,” she said.

Mrs Whitwell said she felt calm about retiring as it was “the right time” and she would be leaving on a European river cruise later this month before spending sometime with her parents in the United Kingdom. 

She said throughout her career there had been too many highlights to name.

“The highlight of the last few years was delivering a baby in January – I hadn’t delivered a baby in about 13 years so that was special,” she said. 

Mrs Whitwell had a barbecue farewell at the Kimba Hospital on Monday with friends, colleagues and family members. 

She thanked her family, in particular her children for their support throughout her career. 

“I am lost for words,” she said.