• ‘Champion’ nurse empowers vulnerable patients

    Nursing is not just a job for Christine Basco – it’s a vocation that called to her from an early age.

    Now aged 25, the Epworth HealthCare theatre nurse has been recognised for her passion for helping to improve patients’ lives.

    She is one of the first ambassadors selected for the Victorian government’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) Champions initiative, which aims to inspire the workforce of tomorrow.

    It showcases high-achieving Victorians who have built successful careers through vocational education and training. 

    “I knew from an early age I loved advocating for people,” said Ms Basco, who was born in the Philippines and moved to Melbourne with her family when she was nine. 

    “When you establish what your heart is passionate about, you will have the strength and drive to conquer the world!”

    Many of Ms Basco's relatives worked in healthcare, and she gained early experience of helping people when she studied VET community services at high school, enjoying placements at local community hubs and an employment service for people with disabilities. 

    “I engaged with vulnerable groups in the community and I decided nursing was the right path for me,” she said.

    She started as a graduate nurse at Epworth Richmond four years ago, helping to rehabilitate patients with brain injuries.

    She moved to orthopaedics before taking on her current role as an anaesthetic and recovery nurse, and she especially loves to advocate for patients who have lost independence in hospital due to their illness or disability.

    “I love encouraging people and making sure their rights are respected and their dignity is maintained,” she said.

    Ms Basco still volunteers at her alma mater Braybrook College, and Epworth Richmond’s Executive General Manager, Allison Evans, said she was an asset to the hospital team.

    “It’s wonderful to see Christine recognised as a VET Champion,” Ms Evans said.

    “The fact she remains involved in her old school, helping and inspiring students, speaks volumes. They are the sorts of qualities we look for when we hire staff at Epworth.”

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