Darling Downs Health staff who tested thousands of Southern Downs residents for COVID-19, have opened up about the challenging and rewarding days on the job.
Denise Dixon and Jeanette Sue Tin both worked at the testing clinic at Warwick Hospital since it was set up in 2020.
“Being there from the beginning, we have so many wonderful memories,” Ms Dixon said.
“For me personally, working as a school-based youth health nurse for over 20 years I realised how I loved being back with Queensland Health people again, it’s like being home.
“Working in the weather extremes was sometimes very challenging with the PPE (personal protective equipment) but we did the best we could and laughed lots along the way.
“And most importantly none of us contracted COVID-19 from doing the swabbing which is a testament to the PPE and our practices.”
COVID-19 swabbing at Warwick Hospital stopped at the start of September when all Darling Downs Health testing sites closed.
But as the response to the virus changes, staff say they will never forget the friendships that were forged along the way.
Jeanette Sue Tin had worked in Public Health at Warwick Hospital for eight years when she put her hand up to join the testing team.
“The health system had cared for my family needs, so this was my opportunity to give back,” Ms Sue Tin said.
“Dressed in total PPE be it hot, cold and wet, proved testing at times, but above all the work was rewarding.
“I will always be indebted to all of the COVID clinic nurses and administration staff who supported me.
“The friendships formed and the heartfelt response of thanks from the community is rewarding in itself.”
With the hospital’s COVID testing clinic now closed, anyone who needs a test should conduct a rapid antigen test (RAT), visit a Commonwealth Respiratory Clinic or contact their GP to arrange a referral to a private pathology provider.