Eric talks about his role for International Nurses Day

A young man standing in front of a mural in a hospital corridor
Eric Bin Zhao, Mental Health Clinical Nurse at Fremantle Hospital
May 10, 2018

To celebrate International Nurses Day on 12 May, we sat down with Eric Bin Zhao to learn more about his role as a Mental Health Clinical Nurse at Fremantle Hospital.

What does your role entail?
As a mental health nurse, my main duty is coordinating a patient’s care, which includes performing mental health examination and risk assessments, providing education to patients and families and liaising with other multi-disciplinary team members about patients’ mental health, physical and social issues.

Where did you complete your training?
Singapore.

Why did you decide to become a nurse?
Helping people gives me a great sense of satisfaction. Nursing has always been known as a job which can offer assistance through the journey of a person’s recovery, so this suited me perfectly.

Outline your career progression in nursing.
After finishing my training in Singapore in 2008, I started working as a junior graduate nurse. Throughout the years, I have explored nursing in general psychiatry and addiction (mainly drug and alcohol).

Two years ago, once I had arrived Australia, I became a mental health clinical nurse. I have worked in adult psychiatry and older adult psychiatry. Currently, I am working with an adult community mental health team.

What does your typical workday involve?
As a clinical nurse on an inpatient ward my job is to coordinate the shifts. The main tasks of the day are assessment and treatment of patients, leading my nursing team and communicating with our other multidisciplinary team members, mainly medical and allied health staff. I also liaise with other health services for patients’ admissions and discharges.

What is your favourite part of your job?
Working with my colleagues.

Tell us about a particularly touching experienced in your line of work.
When I worked on the acute adult psychiatric ward, we had a complex code blue (medical emergency) on the ward not long before the shift finished. Everyone from the previous shift all stayed back for our night shift colleagues to work with and support them. The team spirit was what I was most proud of.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Watching sci-fi television shows and movies and basketball.

If you could take three things onto a deserted island, what would they be?
A good knife for hunting, limitless fresh water and a smart phone with long battery life.

What do you hope to see happen in nursing in the future?
More educational opportunities for nurses and greater opportunities for nurses to be exposed to different areas of the profession.