International Nurses Day - Tilana Van Deventer

12/May/2021     Mater Group

In 2021, the theme for International Nurses Day is ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead - A vision for future healthcare’ where we celebrate the important work done by nurses in education, innovation and influencing policy development.

Tilana Van Deventer has worked as the Nurse Unit Manager of Perioperative Services at Mater Private Hospital Springfield since August 2018 but early in her life wasn’t always interested in nursing, her first ever job was working with the Intelligence Division of the South African Army in her hometown.

She enlisted at a young age training at an elite female only base which she describes as an incredible experience. It was in the army where she met her husband, after several years Tilana decided to leave the army and study nursing.

“I thought I wanted to work in the mental health space or be a midwife, but it wasn’t until my surgical rotation when I worked in a theatre that I was hooked,” Tilana said.

“I continued to work in theatres until 2007 when my husband and I decided to leave South Africa with our two children who were three and nine at the time. We were thinking about Canada, but it was too cold for me, so we settled on Brisbane.

“I had a job lined up at Greenslopes Private Hospital through a sponsorship agency for experienced nurses and I spent eleven years working in theatres there. I really loved working in obstetrics, gynaecological and plastics surgical theatres.”

After eleven years Tilana was looking to expand her career and saw that Mater Private Hospital Springfield was looking for a Nurse Unit Manager, she said her first conversation with Director of Clinical Services Suzanne Hawksley drew her in.

“What struck me most was how Suzanne spoke about the way they care for their patients. It’s a smaller hospital with a family feel, you know you belong there. I was very drawn into the Mater values which I felt aligned well with my own personal values,” Tilana said.

“As the Nurse Unit Manager, I try to maintain an open-door policy and ensure I walk around and see how my team are doing, they are a great group of people to work with. The staff will always pull together when one of us needs help, they are a phenomenal group of people.

“Even though I don’t get to scrub much anymore I loved being a theatre scrub nurse, it’s like stepping into another world. I have a passion for gynaecological oncology surgery. There is nothing more rewarding than achieving clear margins and knowing you have removed the cancer, it’s a wonderful feeling. This passion has led me to be involved in several fundraising events for women’s cancer research.”

Public relations contacts

07 3163 6142