Gilda Willox

Department of Health

In March 1991, I commenced employment with CAHS as a Registered Nurse at Alice Springs Hospital (ASH) in the Day Procedure Unit (DPU).

The pre-operative admission and post-operative discharge of a patient on the same day was new to me but I found the fast moving nursing concept rewarding and challenging and certainly the way of the future.

My passion and commitment to meet the challenges of growth and diversity within DPU over 30 years have brought me a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment.

My daily professional goals have always been to provide safe delivery of a quality service to the community.

In the early 1990’s the DPU took on the provision of Gastroenterology services and I quickly recognised my need to upskill in this field so joined GENCA (Gastroenterology Nurses College Australia) and have maintained membership to this day.

I visited Endoscopy Units when I took annual leave, attended conferences and workshops, and over the years set up a robust multidisciplinary network in order to expand and support my gastroenterology knowledge base.

In 1998 COGEN (Credentialing Organisation of Gastroenterology Nurses) set the first Australian credentialing exam which I participated in and successfully gained ACGEN status. At this time I was the first and only Credentialed Gastroenterology Nurse in the N.T.   I am honoured that the Central Australia Women’s Hall of fame have acknowledged my achievement in this area.

I have been privileged to work with a skilled multidisciplinary team of colleagues who have nurtured my growth and enabled me to mentor, educate, support and be a resource to others in return.

In short I have:

  • Represented CAHS in negotiating gastroenterology and ENT endoscopy instruments and equipment needs through the NT wide Endoscopy Lease Contract. This ensures up to date technology while providing endoscopy service at ASH.
  • Served on the 4187 Standard Committee and advised on the selection of equipment, layout and flow of the new endoscopy reprocessing area. Our completed state of the art unit has gained a number of special mentions from 4187 consultants and assessors, and will support the provision of safe health care to our patients into the future.
  • Implemented a PillCam service in order to examine the small bowel
  • Continued to benchmark and develop patient surgical pre-assessment clinics to support evidence based nursing practice in pre and post-operative care.
  • Since 2005, I have been the Floor Coordinator in the Day Procedure Unit. My successful completion of Frontline & Leadership Management training enhanced and developed my skills.

The most rewarding comment I received was from a patient who stopped me in the shopping centre and asked when I was retiring. She went on to say “every time I have been a patient in DPU you have been very particular that your staff do things to the letter. I always felt safe.”

To me that meant I successfully accomplished my daily professional goals.

Gilda Willox
Gilda Willox