Victor Borg RNAbout Me
Qualifications: Registered Psychiatric Nurse, Registered Mental Retardation Nurse, Programme Officer
Certificate and First Line Management Certificate (Health Commission of NSW), Psychiatry of Old Age Certificate and Counselling Skills for Mental Health Certificate (NSW Institute of Psychiatry).
Areas of practice: Inpatient Acute Psychiatry, Inpatient and Community Developmental Disability
(Richmond Programme), Residential Aged Care, Community Dementia Day Centre, Aged Care Assessment Teams, Community Older Person’s Mental Health.
Positions held: Registered Nurse, Acting Nurse Educator, NUM Level 2 – Developmental Disability, CNS and Acting CNC Grade 2 – Community OPMH, ACAT Assessor and Commonwealth Delegate – Concord, Nepean and Blue
Mountains Hospitals. AARCS Officer – Westmead Hospital. I have also worked as a Registered Nurse for the former Western Suburbs Hospital where I commissioned a joint Community Day Centre Project between NSW Health and Challenge Foundation for clients living with Developmental Disabilities.
I was born in Malta in the village of Mellieha – renowned for its lovely beach – sorry no surf – just calm glass like waters for half the year. I was shipped out early just one and half years later to a place now renamed Winston Hills near Parramatta NSW. English is my second language and I still vividly recollect my first day at school as a rather perplexing event.
I trained at Rydalmere Hospital – now Parramatta Campus of the University of Western Sydney – commencing in 1971. It was post – Royal Commission into Callen Park (later renamed Rozelle Hospital) and pre-Richmond Report which meant that there was no separation of services and that the locked long stay ward was a mixture of Psychiatric, Dementia and Developmental Disability clients. It also took in the Acute Admission male clients who could not be accommodated in the Acute Admission Mental Health wards – all of which were open wards. All specialities were run by the same Administration and one DON.
The NUM’s Spoke of the days prior to the introduction of muscle relaxants for ECT and how they would need to restrain clients who despite their best efforts would often injure themselves due to violent contractions during the induced seizure. We learnt that prior to the introduction of ECT seizures had been induced by a convulsant drug called Cardiazol (PTZ) given IV and how the person would experience terror leading up to the induced seizure. We completed our theoretical training in a total of 16 weeks full time “blocks” in the Hospitals own Training School. Psychiatric Nursing was then an industry in transition from its origins in custodial care and poorly trained “Attendants” to the skills, responsibilities and accountabilities as part of the Nursing Workforce. By today’s standards, it was a rather unruly place. Fortunately, we had some very the knowledgeable and committed staff that provided true leadership and a solid foundation for ethical and professional development. Each Psychiatric Hospital had its own Medical Ward and a Surgical Ward at
Macquarie Hospital servicing NSW as General Hospitals would not normally admit our clients.
I was the first Psychogeriatric Nurse employed by the then Wentworth Area Health Service (Same area as present NBMLHD less Lithgow LGA). During over four decades with NSW Health, it has been a privilege to witness so many changes and progress in all the areas of my nursing practice. The history, success and failings of the Mental Health system hold an ongoing interest for me.
I am having a break from Nursing at present after working with NSW Health over three LHD’s but plan to resume my nursing career in the not-too-distant future.
However, since my departure from NSW Health, I have made a contribution to the Inquiry into
Observation, Restraint and Seclusion in Mental Health facilities in NSW and part of my submission were quoted in the said Report. I am also involved with a Citizen Action Group supporting legal structures for an adequate and sustainable supply of Affordable Housing.
I am a person who is an Introvert and away from public view I lead a very quiet and simple life with my
the focus being our family, our pets and occasional online comments on LinkedIn.