Amazing win for male nurses

Daniel and Ryan_ContentsIt’s about the adventure, it’s about the challenge and for Daniel Little and Ryan Thomas, winning the latest series of The Amazing Race was about changing misconceptions.

It’s hot, it’s dry, you’re in Africa and you’re lost. That’s when your nursing training really comes in handy.

The Amazing Race winners Dan Little and Ryan Thomas have worked together for six years in intensive care at Westmead Hospital.

“Shiftwork certainly helped in getting prepared for that sort of crazy experience,” Ryan told The Lamp. “There was also the fact that there was a professional working relationship that’s about maintaining calm under pressure to deal with life threatening situations, being able to think on our feet,” he said.

Dan agreed: “I don’t think a lot of people in normal life have that experience that’s cultivated in nursing of pushing through in situations where the adrenalin’s pumping and you’re tired and fatigued. So we came in knowing we could work under pressure as a team. But, still, the race is a completely different beast.

“It was hell, like a Contiki Tour on crack!

“We had one episode in Africa where we went in completely the wrong direction, something Ryan and I tended to do.

“We were about an hour behind and knowing you’re last and having to make up time means you can either crumble or you can band together. Ryan and I banded together and we pushed it and we made it through.

“But it was a really hard situation and we had to push it physically and mentally. It was hot, it was dry, you’re in the middle of Africa surrounded by wild animals, and it’s a very gruelling environment.”

While the $250,000 prize money that Dan and Ryan will share was a great reward, they both saw The Amazing Race, which screens on the Seven Network, as a showcase to encourage more men into nursing careers.

“We’re very conscious of the fact that, in the wider community, there is still a gender stereotype in nursing. The idea that caring is a female characteristic is not something we should take into the future,” Dan said.

“We need people to realise nursing is for everyone and men can do it and do a great job at it. We are happy to have been part of showing people that two nice guys can be nurses and that’s not a strange thing.”