Inspiring line of nurses in family

Published 7:00am 10 May 2024

Inspiring line of nurses in family
Words by Nadia Chapman

As International Nurses Day approaches on May 12, three local brothers working in different levels of nursing appreciate the acknowledgement every year.

The Von Dohren brothers, Keith, Darryl and Gary all work at Redcliffe Hospital and come from a long line of nurses.

Keith works as a Nursing Director for the Medicine Service Line; Darryl works as a Clinical Nurse and Gary as the Nurse Unit Manager in the Intensive Care Unit.

“Nursing is a family tradition. Our great uncle, Garth, was an army medic who was on the Centaur when it was sunk off Moreton Island,” Keith says.

“All three of us were born at Redcliffe Hospital; so were my children.

“Along with my brothers, we have two cousins who are RNs. My daughter Lauryn is studying to be a nurse too.”

The brothers were all drawn to nursing through their family history, and say they are often inspired by each other and by the ability to help others.

“My two brothers are my biggest inspiration. I was a butcher for nearly 20 years and started as a wardsperson at The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH),” Darryl says.

“I got to see inside their world in health care and took the step across into nursing as an Assistant in Nursing.”

“I always knew that it was what I wanted to do,” Gary says.

“Through our family history, there are a number of nurses. Perhaps I was drawn to nursing during the time I spent with Grandad (in hospital in Year 10).”

An appreciated career

Whether it be working closely with terminally ill patients, watching staff improve their skills or finding joy in working with dynamic people, Keith, Darryl and Gary appreciate being a nurse for different reasons.

“We have a fantastic team here at Redcliffe Hospital. I get the opportunity to work with some really dynamic people in all levels of the organisation - including some great operational and administrative staff,” Keith says.

“The friendships that I've formed with the other nurses I have worked with. Being involved in the care of patients as they endure very challenging health issues, working with them and then seeing them leave with their family is rewarding too,” Darryl says.

“In 2023, our team at Redcliffe was the first in Queensland to use our dialysis machines for extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal for patients with severe respiratory failure,” Gary says.

“Being a very small part of such big advancements has been very interesting, to say the least.”

The Von Dohren brothers find the diversity of their roles as nurses rewarding and hope the community will continue to acknowledge the effort that nurses go to every day.

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