Lives of Nurses

Joanne sets her goals
… on court and on the ward

Joanne Day juggles hats as NSW Netballer of the Year and RN in the busy intensive care unit at RPA. How does she do it?

When NSWNA member Joanne Day won Netball NSW’s 2007 state league player of the year, her only regret was falling excruciatingly short of the state title with her Eastwood-Ryde team mates.

A year later, the talented 24-year-old goal-attack for the NSW Blues and the Eastwood-Ryde Woodies is poised to realise that dream.

It was a thrilling race to last year’s finish line, which saw The Woodies contest their first division-one grand final in more that two decades.

Joanne’s team defeated Sydney University in extra time before knocking off the Hunter Jays in a semi-final thriller and going on to push the mighty Sydney Storm all the way in the Cup decider.

Joanne hopes that experience will help them over the line this year.

It has been a long and hard-fought road for The Woodies. During the past six years the team, based around the same five core players, has charged through the division rankings (from fifth to first) with a string of courageous victories.

Now, with just two games to go in the 2008 State League Waratah Cup competition, The Woodies are sitting third on the table and look set for another serious tilt at the title – scheduled for the second Saturday of September.

‘We peaked a bit early-on then had a mid-season dip, but we now seem to be building at the right end of the comp,’ she said.

After the state league it will be full steam ahead for Joanne in the Australian National League competition with the NSW Blues.

So how does a busy young RN juggle two netball competitions and a demanding career?

‘Easy, no social life,’ Joanne laughed. ‘Well, that’s not entirely true, I love nursing and netball so I’m pretty happy. One balances the other out – and my boyfriend lives in Brisbane.

‘Before meeting me he’d never seen a game but he’s a keen supporter now. I suppose he has to be! Anyway, he comes to my games and enjoys them.’

Joanne works full-time in the general intensive care unit at RPA and juggles her shifts so she can keep up her six days-a-week commitments to the sport.

‘Playing two competitions, I train Monday, Thursday and Friday and play Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday,’ she said.

‘I mostly do 10-hour shifts in the ICU from Monday to Friday but I have a really supportive NUM who understands my passion.

With a schedule that regularly sees her going straight from competition to nightshift, or vice versa after a quick nap, time management is crucial for Joanne.

‘There are ways around [shiftwork]. I help my NUM out whenever I can and I don’t whinge if I’m tired. A good boss wants to help you.

I’ve been playing since I was eight and I’m now 24 so it’s in my blood and I think she recognises that.’

At this stage Joanne is happy to dedicate most of her life to nursing and netball and sees her combined passions as ultimately creating a healthy work/life balance.

‘I was just talking with a colleague about the impact of nursing on our health and lifestyles. There is no doubt that shift-work impacts on us but to cope I eat well and exercise a lot so usually I feel great.’