Professor Lorna Moxham RN nominated Christopher Patterson as our June nurse of the month.
Christopher Patterson is an inspirational nurse and wears many ‘hats’! Amongst these he is the co-founder and director of an award-winning nurse-led psychosocial intervention for people with mental illness and educational program for nursing students, he is an accomplished nursing lecturer, researcher and academic, a PhD candidate who is examining a nursing topic, and a dedicated Mental Health First Aid Instructor.
However, first and foremost, Christopher is a very proud nurse. Christopher completed his nursing registration in 2004, and gained specialist qualifications in mental health during the following year. Particularly passionate about improving the lives of people experiencing mental health issues, Christopher firmly believes that the mental health care delivered by nurses, can have a profound impact on future recovery. This is the reason that Christopher is committed to his position of co-founder and director of a social enterprise known as Recovery Camp. Recovery Camp is an accredited Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) clinical placement. Recovery Camp is a unique immersive learning experience, whereby pre-registration nursing students work closely alongside people living with mental illness over a period of five days and four nights. During this immersive work integrated learning program, students and people with mental illness participate in a range of activities, which are aimed to promote mental health, social engagement and physical activity.
Nursing prides itself on being an evidenced based profession and Christopher contributes in a large way to gathering nursing evidence. Recovery Camp now has 6 years of research data and findings have demonstrated that the ‘camp’ enhances confidence, encourages therapeutic communication and the development of relationships and improves strategies for wellness for both the pre-registration nursing students who attend and for people with lived experiences of mental illness. Christopher is undoubtedly an integral member of the Recovery Camp team. When he is not facilitating student learning and contributing to the quality of life of consumers at Recovery Camp, Christopher ensures that the-behind-scenes work is attended to. Such is its impact, 11 Australian universities send their nursing students to Recovery Camp.
In addition, Christopher has enabled visitors from the USA, Canada, Taiwan and India to attend; all of whom are now nursing research partners. At the 2019 Australian Healthcare Excellence Awards Christopher was named Nurse of the Year pertaining to his contributions to Recovery Camp. Beyond Recovery Camp and his many other nursing hats, Christopher is a glass half full, passionate and dedicated team player. Quite frankly – Christopher Patterson is an inspiration and positive role model and as the Nursing profession continues to go forward, especially during the year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020 – we are indeed lucky that a nurse like him is the present and the future.