Hollywood Private nurse committed to reducing mental health stigma

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A friend’s cancer diagnosis and consequent care took Samantha Johnson’s career path from hairdressing to nursing and a nomination for a leading nursing award.

The Hollywood Private Hospital graduate was enjoying a holiday in London when a shock diagnosis threw her into the world of hospitals and cancer care. Inspired by what she witnessed, she took up a nursing degree when she returned to Australia.

“The nurses I dealt with during that time really inspired me,” said Ms Johnson.

“If I can make [my patients]laugh, even for a minute, seeing their face change really brightens my day and reminds me why I chose to do this.”

Her ultimate goal is to provide her patients with the same level of care and attention that her friend had received during his treatment and it appears she is well on her way, having been nominated in the Outstanding Graduate category of the 2018 HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards.

“I am so honoured and blown away by the nomination. To be recognised for doing something that I love proves that the decision to come back and do this was the right one,” said Ms Johnson.

Ms Johnson has been nominated in recognition of her commitment to providing high quality care, consistently going above and beyond to deliver the best outcomes for her patients.

During her graduate year at the Hollywood Clinic, Hollywood Private’s 70 bed inpatient and day patient mental health facility, Ms Johnson developed a passion for mental health, with a particular focus on eating disorders. Driven to reduce the stigma associated with the condition, she diligently researched and prepared a written assignment and oral presentation on the topic, which is now used as an introductory tool for new students starting at the clinic.

While her current role sees her working with patients with a range of conditions including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse and mood disorders, Ms Johnson remains committed to reducing the common misconceptions associated with eating disorders.

“You think of an eating disorder and you think of skinny person, but there’s so much more to it. I really wanted to open people’s minds to what eating disorders are,” she said.

Ms Johnson is involved in the Clinic’s weekly support program for the friends and families of patients with eating disorders, where attendees are provided with accurate information and are taught the skills to support their loved ones at home.

For more information on The Hollywood Clinic’s eating disorder program, visit the website.

Learn more about the HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards and see the full list of nominees.

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