Stories and memories that capture the experience of nursing in the bush, gathered by the inimitable Bill 'Swampy' Marsh, bestselling author of Great Australian Flying Doctor Stories and Great Australian Police Stories.
I've been a trained nurse for almost sixty years now and I've never once gone to work thinking, I don't want to do this. In fact, I've always said how it's been a privilege to be a nurse in areas where there were no counsellors, no psychologists, nothing – just me.
With hearts as big as the outback, rural and remote nurses are a dedicated and gutsy bunch who work selflessly to care for their communities, often in isolated and inhospitable conditions, with few resources but plenty of experience, courage and care. Outback nurses deal with it all: broken limbs, labour pains, snake bites, sunburnt backpackers, lost explorers, vaccinations, defibrillations – even the occasional crook cattle dog. One thing they are never short of is stories to tell.
This memorable and eye-opening collection of real-life accounts from nurses in the Australian bush is by turns inspiring, poignant, heartbreaking and hilarious – and Swampy should know. It was while he was researching this book he had a near-fatal fall from a cliff in Kakadu, and experienced first-hand the skill and heroism of these outback nurses in extraordinary situations.
Bill 'Swampy' Marsh is an award-winning writer and performer of stories, songs and plays. He spent most of his youth in rural south-western NSW and now lives in Adelaide. Swampy is one of ABC books' bestselling authors of Australian stories; this is his sixteenth book.