Very often, a strong bond between nurses was formed, with many long lasting friendships. They took great pride in their work and appearance. Trainees looked up to their superiors, such as the Matron, and often aspired to become like them. The trainees were predominantly single women, many of them coming from bigger cities, and often all that was required was a phone call to the Matron seeking employment. Many would marry either dairy farmers or teachers, but once married would no longer work as a nurse, they would become the housewife and mother.
Rural Australia may not have provided many employment opportunities for women at this time, but Numurkah Hospital was central to women, providing an opportunity for work that was deemed acceptable for women at this time.
During the 1950’s and 60’s nurses started out as Trainees and became one of the following;
|Trainee – 3rd year||£36|
|Trainee – 2nd year||£31|
|Trainee – 1st Year||£23|
By 2012 this has now altered dramatically – nurses are either Registered Nurse (Div 1) or Enrolled Nurse (Div 2). The one nurse will have varied roles, with varying pay rates depending on the role she/he is fulfilling each shift, as shown below. Now days once they marry, many nurses continue to work at the Hospital whilst raising a family. Many of the current nurses are wives of dairy farmers. Their day may begin by milking cows, getting children off to school, and then to supplement the family income they often head straight to their shift at the Hospital. It is this employment that has supported their farms during the tough economic times such as drought and flooding.
|Grade 3 Associate Charge Nurse||$37 per hour|
|Community Midwife||$36.23 per hour|
|Theatre Nurse||$34 per hour|