AS a young nurse in the 1970s, Dianne Jones, of Cleveland, became interested in the then newly devleoping medical specialty of gastroenterology, particularly endoscopy.
Almost 40 years later, she has been awarded in the Queen’s Birthday 2012 Honours an Order of the Medal of Australia (OAM) for services to the field.
Dianne, who began her training at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in 1968, said she first became interested in gastroenterology nursing while she was working at King’s College Hospital, London, in 1974, then continued working in the field in 1976 after returning to Australia.
“What makes this field so special is that it has great technology, which has evolved in parallel with advancements in technology generally,” Dianne said.
“Nurses are integral to the care delivered when using this technology for investigating and treating gastrointestinal disease.
“It was a new field when I started.
“The first gastroenterologist was appointed to the PAH in 1968, so the specialty was only very young, but it is an area of nursing that has been constantly evolving and that’s what maintained my interest.”
In addition to being the nurse unit manager of the endoscopy unit at Logan Hospital, Dianne is a past president of the Gastroenterological Nurses College of Australia, and was the secretary from 1991 to 1999.
She is also the editor of the college journal and chaired the program committee for eight annual conferences between 1997 and 2005.
Dianne has been president of the Society of International Gastroenterology Nurses and Endoscopy Associates since 2009, has served on numerous committees in various capacities for Queensland Health, and is the course coordinator of Gastroenterology Nursing at Queensland University of Technology, after having helped establish the course during the 1990s.
“Gastroenterology was such a young specialty in the 1970s and 80s, and it was important for those of us who had pioneered and grown with the field to share our knowledge,” she said.
In 2009, Dianne was involved in the establishment of training for endoscopy nurses at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Fiji.