The Illawarra Mercury reporting team is bringing you a weekly series of behind-the-scenes stories, exclusive to our subscribers. Today, Lisa Wachsmuth talks you through her visit to the new Bulli Hospital on Thursday and reveals the hospital's most important asset ... people.
Walking through the new Bulli Hospital, you're immediately struck by the state-of the art equipment, functional and appealing design, spacious rooms and inviting common areas.
But what truly makes a hospital great are the staff, many of whom view their role as more than just a job - more like a calling.
That was certainly the case for one of the nurses who gave media a sneak peak of the new $54 million Bulli Hospital and Aged Care Centre this week.
Clinical nurse educator Katherine 'Kat' Smithers was drawn to the vocation for two main reasons.
Her aunty, Karen Smithers, provided the initial inspiration. Karen started her nursing career at Bulli Hospital in the '70s, back when trainee nurses still lived on site.
But it was the experience of her grandparents - both who took their last breath at the old hospital - who cemented Kat's desire to become a nurse, to help others.
"The most important thing for me as a nurse is, towards the end of someone's life, to be able to give them real dignity and care - I'm really excited that the facility here will let us do that," she said.
The new hospital opens on August 11. No doubt patients will be well served by the new facilities and equipment. But what they'll value most will be the care of the staff - of nurses like Kat who will go above and beyond to ensure they get not just the best medical treatment, but the best of human comfort too.
At a time when healthcare staff are dealing with one of the biggest challenges of their career with the COVID-19 threat, let's take the time to appreciate not just what $54 million can buy - but the things that money cannot buy. Like human kindness.
You can read Lisa's full story of the visit and see a gallery of images here. Thank you for your support. If you enjoyed this, feel free to forward it to a friend.