Port Augusta Hospital’s very own Roslyn Trott has been recognised for her life-saving work in respiratory nursing, earning the title of South Australia’s top Aboriginal nurse.
Ros was honoured with the Mary Buckskin Excellence in Practice – Aboriginal Nurse/Midwife Award at the 2018 South Australian Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards on Friday, May 11 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
Ros said she was overwhelmed with shock when she was presented with the accolade.
“I had no idea I had won it. They told me to go up on stage and I was just standing there waiting for all the nominees to come up,” she recalled.
“Then they told me I won and I was a bit in shock. I was in shock the whole night I think.”
Ros first entered the nursing industry in 1974, despite ambitions of becoming a mechanic.
After changing her career path on a number of occasions – including several years working at the Wami Kata Old Folks Home – Ros went on to complete her Registered Nursing qualifications in 2007.
Working as a respiratory nurse, Ros provides emotional, physical and social support for lung transplant candidates, helping them meet the criteria to be accepted for life-saving surgery.
Without her support, many candidates would not qualify for lung transplants, but she downplayed her award-winning work.
“I don’t think I’m any better than any other nurse out there, I think some of them work even harder,” Ros said. “We all deserve recognition for it, not just me.”
While she remained very modest about her success, Ros admitted it was particularly special to be recognised as the best Aboriginal nurse.
“I do have a lot of Aboriginal clientele and I think I’ve earned their trust and this is a reward for it,” the 61-year-old said.
Leading a multidisciplinary team, known as ‘Better Care in the Community’, Ros helps clients complete an eight-week cardiac and rehabilitation program.
Ros said the best part of this work is talking to the clients and hearing their stories.
“After eight weeks they come back for maintenance, and that just means exercise twice a week voluntarily,” she said.
“I’m quite proud to be involved in it because they just do it because they want to and they’re happy to come.
“Some of them had a lot of problems when they first started, but now they’ve got a really good quality of life.”
After over 40 years in nursing, Ros plans to continue working as a respiratory nurse until she retires.
Ros’ message for aspiring nurses was to work hard and persevere, as it’s “a good career to get into”.
“Just keep going and prodding along like I did and I’m 110 per cent sure you’ll make it if you get lots of support from friends and peers,” she said.