TDHS Michelle Selten Year of the Nurse 2020

Michelle’s new challenge continues her career trajectory

Caption: TDHS Interim Director of Clinical Services Michelle Selten.

As 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife nears an end, one of the true faces of Timboon and District Healthcare Service (TDHS) is embarking on a brand new challenge.

Registered Nurse Michelle Selten is hanging up the scrubs and her ward uniform and joining the executive team as the Interim Director of Clinical Services.

Michelle has only ever been employed at TDHS. She graduated from Timboon P12 School across the road in 1985, completed her Diploma of Nursing at Deakin in Warrnambool and was employed as an RN at TDHS in 1989.

“Yes, 31 years ago I started here…I’ve worked in the theatre at Camperdown, Terang and Colac at times but I’ve only ever been employed at Timboon,” she said.

“I’ve seen a lot of change – there’s far more clinical governance and much more emphasis on systems and safety and I think we’ve embraced that change here at Timboon.

“Our culture is very inclusive, communicative and open. I think the services we offer are very good. We’ve evolved as we’ve needed to evolve to provide a healthcare service that is patient centred, consumer focused and a provider of choice.”

Michelle said she had thrived in a great teaching hospital that had provided her with the ability to grow within the organisation and take on new roles.

“If you have the want and the drive and you voice your desire, there is the ability here to steadily progress to where you want to be,” she said.

“I’m very thankful to this organisation and to the people who took on a green nurse straight out of university and taught me their skills.

“I remember my early years and it was the director of nursing Anne McMeel along with Marie Leske and Lynne Giblett who trained me and got me on my way.”

After cutting her teeth on the ward, Michelle started a family but was quickly back at work, with her first promotion being Theatre Coordinator.

She then shared the role of Nurse Unit Manager with Pam Robb for a few years. When Pam retired about seven years ago, she took the role on solo.

“It is a great role, particularly at a smaller hospital like ours because I’ve been able to keep my hands in nursing as well and get on the floor with the team,” she said.

“Now, an opportunity was presented to me to join the Executive Team as the Interim Director of Clinical Services. I have the role for 12 months and I suppose I get to try the role and the organisation gets to try me in the role. It’s exciting.

“I have a lot to learn, but the people around me have the skills to teach me. I’ve had a lot of people internally and externally assist my development my whole career.”

Michelle said 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife had been a year to remember.

“In some ways it has been hard to have a year of celebration when we’ve needed to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, but in another way COVID-19 has shone a light on nurses working on the frontline,” she said.

“As a nursing team we’ve enjoyed the recognition and the opportunity to tell the community more about what we do.”

This story is our penultimate monthly instalment to help mark 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.  The whole series can be found here

Nurses make up a significant proportion of our workforce and TDHS would not be able to run without their dedication, skill and compassionate care. We are very excited to be celebrating their valuable contributions throughout the year. We hope you join us in recognising and thanking our nurses.  

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