Danielle Anstee

Danielle is a familiar face around Bendigo and she’s on a mission to help improve women’s health in the regional city.

Danielle Anstee

Taking care of women's health in Bendigo

Danielle Anstee is a familiar face around Bendigo and she’s on a mission to help improve women’s health in the regional city.

Danielle, has graduated from a Women’s Health Screening program at the University of Melbourne that certifies her as a Pap smear nurse able to screen women for signs of cervical cancer. She was a ward nurse at Bendigo Hospital for eight years before moving to practice nursing at Bendigo Medical Clinic three years ago.

“Becoming a practice nurse has been a big change. A lot of the work is health promotion and chronic disease management – something I never really did as a ward acute nurse,” she says.

“A motivation for making the change was the convenience of the working hours after I had a baby. My husband is a teacher so shift work at the hospital was going to make life difficult. Now I can work 9 to 5 and enjoy time with my family. But I also like the sense of community in practice nursing, and the continuity of care. I see the same patients, week in and week out, build a rapport, follow up on how they are going and it’s rewarding when you see them getting better.”

Danielle decided to do the 12-week Women’s Health Screening program at the University of Melbourne to expand her skills and to provide much-needed women’s health services in Bendigo. The course was done through correspondence with a practical day in Melbourne where students performed pelvic examinations and Pap smears on female volunteers.

“Our clinic is getting busier and busier and there is more demand for screening services. Women don’t always want to see a doctor for a Pap smear and some prefer to see a female nurse instead. Sometimes women want to talk about different health issues with a female, too,” says Danielle.

“We have a lot of rural towns around us and some people come to the clinic once in a blue moon, like the older farmers and women who may never have had a Pap smear. While they are here I try and grab them and offer a range of services, so they come back to see us.”

Danielle will have another baby later this year and she’s happy to be raising her family in regional Victoria. Since she moved to Bendigo from Mount Martha at the age of 13, the city has been home.

“My Mum and Dad moved us here when we were young for the lifestyle. They moved on to acreage. Dad is a horticulturalist and grows native wildflowers and he wanted to live on the land and follow his passion,” says Danielle.

“I have the same motivation for staying in Bendigo. We have good high schools, universities, a new hospital and a great sense of community. I won’t be moving from Bendigo any time soon!”

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