The past few months have, once again, highlighted the tremendous role that nurses play in our daily lives.

It is a familiar theme throughout history. In times of war, famine, disaster, and pandemic, nurses are on the frontline, helping the community, providing vital healthcare, and often simply being there for the worst moments in our lives.

Christopher Patterson, from the University of Wollongong’s School of Nursing, is a lecturer, registered nurse, and PhD student. A specialist in mental health, he is a champion of nurses and of the often unsung role they play in our society.

In the July 2020 issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly, Christopher is featured in a series on the International Year of the Nurse. It comes at the same time as Christopher was named Nurse of the Month for June by the NSW Nursing and Midwifery Association and a year after he was recognised as Nurse of the Year by the Australian College of Nursing.

The Australian Women’s Weekly piece highlights his passion for nursing and, in particular, his work with the University of Wollongong’s Recovery Camp, which he co-founded alongside Professor Lorna Moxham.

“It is a real honour to be featured,” Christopher said. “it is always really positive to see how respected nurses are. It reminds the community of the great work that is done by nurses, often hidden work, and how important they are to the community.

“Nurses, and the nursing profession, are really adaptable. We are able to be there in ways that people need, during disasters such as the recent bushfires, and then we are able to adjust and deliver connection and care in a global pandemic.

“Nurses are able to fit into the spaces that the community needs.”

Christopher’s love of nursing comes from his desire to help others and create a connection during a person’s toughest moments. Empathy is at the heart of much of his work as a nurse and as a researcher.

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