I usually find introducing myself difficult; where does one start because there are so often so many beginnings. My background is very much science, with an interest going back to childhood and the junior library. This has led me to my Bachelor of Applied Science (Chemistry/Biochemistry), Post Graduate Diploma of Applied Science (Medical Laboratory Science) and Diploma of Nursing. One might ask how an interest in science takes one to a nursing qualification. Nursing has a strong requirement for an evidence base and given that a lot of the task aspects of nursing get that evidence base from science. The caring aspect is a reflection also of my own nature and it is the two of those together that have led me to nursing after other careers.
My background careers consist of pharmaceutical sales and also of pathology. What I will say about the first is that it is irrelevant to why I am here with NRVS and also, whilst I will never claim the industry to be as pure as the driven snow, the standards of behaviour that were expected of me were far higher than what many believe exist. The knowledge of pathology, whilst getting a bit dated now, also assists greatly in instantly recognising the many untruths that are put out by those that oppose vaccination.
As to why I am here; I have no personal stories to tell of how a vaccine preventable disease has affected me, apart from seeing my daughters experience chicken pox and remembering the misery and thinking how great it would have been not to have gone through that. However I have seen enough to know the benefits beyond this; I have the vivid memories of a girl at primary school in leg irons due to polio; I remember as a child the TB screening van regularly coming to the local shopping centre. They are not sights we see anymore. I did the CSF analyses on patients with meningitis, now often preventable.
I have a strong interest in the issues around the ethics of access to health care; there is nothing ethical about the deliberate supply of misinformation about vaccination in order to cause people to avoid vaccination.
So, I am with the NRVS because I have a strong sense of right and wrong, a strong background in science and because I care about people and children enough to do what I can do to assist ensure people make their choices based upon correct information.