About Ali

Ali Moloney is a Registered Nurse who works in Education and in an Emergency Department.

Ali Moloney 

When I started nursing, I was in my teens and my parents would drive me to a nursing home each weekend for a day’s work.  
I could not wait to be a Registered Nurse. I counted down my semesters at uni and when I was done, I lived and breathed nursing.
I found a new life that had so many aspects I did not even think about. I had to work night duty on Fridays and Saturdays because I was the new nurse. My friends were out and about, and I was at work. 
I learned not everyone had an interest in the things I had to do at work. My definition of a crap day at work could literally be that. Seriously. The things that could stop me from getting to my tea break – like someone’s heart stopping, or their breathing. Or just that they needed me, more than I needed my 10 minutes.
I grew to dread the witching hour – 3am.  The time when, for no real reason other than happenstance, people got sicker, or died. Car accidents happened. Drug overdoses happened.  
Friday and Saturday nights were spent knowing that soon, there would be patients in the empty ICU beds because alcohol, drugs and driving do not mix.  
At 19 I’d seen death. I’d sat with death, nursed its next victim with dignity and respect, cried with the family. I made sure my patient’s face was clean and their hair was brushed the right way.  
I’ve also fought death and lost more times than I can count – sometimes accepting it was ok, and other times feeling incredibly ripped off – some deaths have no real meaning.  
Thankfully, I have also witnessed miracles. Patients who, against all odds, survived, situations where you think there is no hope, and then there’s a flicker and the nurses get behind that flicker and soon it’s a raging fire.
Nursing is so embedded within me that I know exactly where on the Broselow scale my kids are, and I find myself assessing almost every potential emergency scenario for ways to extricate or treat them until we get to hospital.  
I have performed CPR in public so many times – and I know some people will never walk through the cereal aisle again without remembering the person who fell after having a heart attack and split their head open on the way down.  
I know how to take charge in situations like this, because it is in every brain cell!  
This I know. How to apply makeup, not so much.
I’ve never had to think about what to wear for work or how to do my hair – it just has to be out of the way, not just for infection control – but for my safety.  
Let me tell you, a 120kg person who is off their head on drugs is pretty darn strong, and hair is easy to grab. And it hurts. Like, really hurts.  
So, my wardrobe is limited. I fret about what to wear when I have to go to training days and end up being the one wearing uniform, just in case I get called back to clinical. It’s even worse when I go out.
I have a love for toilet humour, a knack for acronyms and a nose that’s just about able to identify anything. 
I’ve worked more Christmases than I have had off, and have learned that making the most of my time with my family is what matters most. 
I have brought in the new year in the back of ambulances with lights and sirens, or with just a passing “happy new year” from the nurses on shift.  
I have left work late almost every single shift in my life because we cannot just clock off if there is no one there to take over, or something happens, or there’s another admission.  
I am late home to my family because I have been looking after someone else’s family.  
I have had a patient break my nose, a couple of ribs here and there, been called some pretty choice names.  
I have had to look after ‘that’ patient again because my 6″2 height sometimes makes patients rethink their abuse.  
I have had blood-filled syringes held at me, scalpels pointed at me, urine and faeces thrown toward me and been spat at.  
It has its down sides, this nursing thing.  

I have been in the back of ambulances, choppers, planes and boats, all in the name of trying to get to someone or get them somewhere to get better.  
It sounds fun, but it’s not great traveling at warp speed trying to administer medication or blood when there is that thing called gravity. Or batteries go flat.
I have seen the insides of our very being. I have seen things you cannot really see, but only feel.  
I can tell you the exact moment someone has died, because something in the room shifts and the smell of death is gone.  
I have looked after people from all walks of life – from movie stars to politicians, to real people like you and I, to prisoners, murderers, and adulterers.  
I have looked after tiny bundles of sweet smelling babyness, and children who have terrible illnesses that make me want to howl because life is so unfair.  
I have fought for my patients, for their rights, for things they cannot possibly understand, for their dignity and for their comfort. And I do it every shift.
I love being a nurse... all of it no matter how tiring it can be, because all of the good outweighs all of the bad.  
I would not change a thing.  
Because no matter how bad some shifts can be, the good always wins. And yeah, that sounds a bit ‘good versus evil’, but that is the way of it.
I choose to be a nurse, although, when I look at it, I think nursing chose me.

  << Home   Next story >>