Healthcare Heartbeat/World Youth International was recently joined by nurses, doctors, and past Nurses In Action volunteers who generously dedicated their night to attend AFL’s Brisbane Lions game on Saturday 11 June to fundraise and sell raffle tickets for the 50-50 Charity Raffle. Funds raised go towards improving the mental health of healthcare and emergency services workers.

Registered Nurse Helen Zahos was one of the participants who volunteered at the Gabba on 11 June, assisting with selling tickets. Helen is a Humanitarian, Emergency Nurse and Paramedic who has volunteered in disaster areas around the world and has cared for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. She has now commenced her studies exploring the increased rate of burn-out and mental health issues that frontline workers face as a result of their profession.

“Healthcare and Emergency Services workers time and time again put the community's needs in front of their own, and we all know this is taking it’s toll. Our workers are feeling exhausted, burnt out, and in need of a break. Nurses are resigning from workplace stress and pressure, and those who haven't are beyond exhausted. No one should be pushed to the point of quitting their job due to stress, nor should they be expected to be pushed to their limit each day to the point of almost irreparable exhaustion,” shares Helen.

“Through supporting vital initiatives such as Healthcare Heartbeat, we can improve some of the many challenges that our workers are currently facing. This is extremely valid for the younger generation of nurses and first responders who are just commencing their careers. We need to ensure they are equipped with the right tools to manage stress and anxiety, so that they don’t experience burn out early on in their careers.”

Healthcare Heartbeat are very appreciative of the support and commitment from Brisbane Lions and 50:50, as well as the volunteers who helped sell tickets on the night.

“Healthcare Heartbeat creates opportunities for our hard working and valued healthcare and emergency services workers to access additional support while being acknowledged for their continuous efforts through challenging times. Many have dedicated their lives to the well-being and safety of their communities, often at the expense of their own health and the health of their families. We are so grateful that the Brisbane Lions selected Healthcare Heartbeat for their 50:50 Charity Raffle beneficiary and share our aim in making a positive impact to a workforce at breaking point,” acknowledges Gabriella Ocenasek, Director of Healthcare Heartbeat & World Youth International.

Each year the Brisbane Lions provides support to a number of charity partners with the 50-50 Charity Raffle, to further gain awareness and fundraising for charities to continue the vital work they undertake within communities. Half the prize pool raised at each fundraising raffle goes to one lucky ticket holder who is drawn at random during the game. The raffle winner of this game ended up actually being a nurse from the ACT - Kellie Brookes! She received an exciting phone call just as she finished her shift on Saturday night to be told she had won almost $3,000! Amazing!

This win by Kellie was made even more exciting given she was a previous Nurses In Action volunteer, traveling to Kenya in 2015 and Nepal in 2016 - the second time as a registered nurse.

Her time on her Nurses In Action Program saw her work in remote clinics and hospitals and running medical camps ‘in incredible locations’. Kellie was able to provide primary health care to those in need across the globe, which included treating wounds, providing vaccinations, leading education sessions and even providing support during a child’s birth!

When asked her favourite experience on her Nurses In Action program, Kellie said that medical camps were always an exciting highlight, ‘being able to provide healthcare to those who often cannot access it otherwise brings me an incredible amount of joy. I really felt like my team and I made a direct and sustainable impact on the community’.

Kellie couldn’t recommend volunteering as part of a Nurses In Action program enough: ‘volunteering on the Nurses In Action program was a massive adventure that taught me more than I’ll ever recognise both professionally and personally. It’s shaped me into the nurse I am today. A massive bonus is that I made friends for life - many of whom I still see now!"

Thinking about volunteering on a Nurses In Action program? Find out more here: Nurses in Action | World Youth International.



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