Touzel, Bev

  • BevTouzelportraitBeverley Ann Touzel (née Thorne)

    Qualifications: RN Royal Children’s Hospital, BAppSc Adv Nsg(Comm Health ) La Trobe University, MBioeth Monash University

    Early life and career

    Bev was born in Albury and moved as a child with her family to Melbourne.  After nurse training at the Royal Children’s Hospital and her adult training St Vincent’s Hospital, she graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1969 and spent a Graduate year at the Hospital.  In 1971 she moved with her husband to the Latrobe Valley where she worked at the Latrobe Valley Community Hospital in Yallourn, Paediatric Unit until the birth of her first child in 1972.  From 1973 the family lived overseas for three years in Switzerland, Denmark and Germany.

    Following a further six-month period in Switzerland in 1979 with four young children, Bev began part-time study in 1985 towards a BAppSc Adv Nsg(Comm Health) at Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences (now part of La Trobe University).  During this time she worked part-time night duty at the Hospital and as a Registered Nurse at St Paul’s School for the Blind and Visually Impaired as it was then called.  She also enjoyed locum work at Waverley Community Health Centre as a community nurse and as an AusSwim teacher to children with asthma giving up her own regular swimming, netball and basketball.  In this period Bev was also a founding committee member of Very Special Kids, a support group for children with life-threatening illnesses.

    Changes with evolution of treatment and response to community expectations

    In 1987 Bev returned to the Royal Children’s Hospital as Community Health Nurse (Developmental Disabilities) in the Department of Child Development and Rehabilitation (later Developmental Medicine and now Neurodevelopment and Disability) headed by Dinah Reddihough.  This was a new hospital-wide nursing position under Pam Forsyth reflecting the changes occurring in the complexity of nursing care, hospital treatment and community expectations.  It had a strong community liaison focus responding to the needs of children with disabilities, parental, community and staff needs.  With the advancement of medical technology, changes in legislation and a more informed society, there were many issues relating to the care of children with disabilities in the hospital and in the community.  Bev was very interested to study further in this area and the Hospital acknowledging these evolving changes supported her with the award of scholarships to study as part of the inaugural Master of Bioethics degree at Monash University.

    Included in the responses to community needs, Bev initiated and facilitated discharge planning prior to admission for children with complex care needs.  Liaising with schools and carers, community supports were established facilitating a smoother transition from the Hospital to home.  Bev also established the Parents Information Seminars with the administrative support of Deanna Blakeley and a Community Education Seminar series for professionals providing liaison between families, the Hospital and the community.  In her role as Clinical Nurse Consultant, Developmental Disabilities she was also an active member of the Community Health Nurses Group providing Hospital education sessions to nurses in the community.

    Bev considered it a great privilege to have such a long career at RCH.  She appreciated the trust, support and guidance of Dinah Reddihough and Pam Forsyth to develop her role to meet the needs of children and families throughout the Hospital.  Bev considered the role as the most interesting and enjoyable nursing position in the Hospital and has maintained many friendships from these years.

    Honours and awards

    •       Royal Children’s Hospital. Margaret Adams Memorial Prize (graduate) 1969

    •       Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences, La Trobe University. The Margaret and Alan Hamer Research Prize 1987 (joint)

    •       Royal Children’s Hospital. Auxiliaries Nursing Scholar 1989

    •       Royal Children’s Hospital. Uncle Bob’s Club Nursing Scholar 1989

    •       Nurses Memorial Centre Scholar 1989

    •       Royal Children’s Hospital. Mary Patten Award (inaugural) 2005

    •       Royal Children’s Hospital. Chairman’s Medal 2005

    Post retirement

    Immediately after her retirement in 2008, Bev spent a year living in Houston.  On return, she was a member of the City of Melbourne, Family and Children’s Advisory Committee from 2011 to 2014.  Bev has continued her interest in the Hospital through the Alumni and ongoing education through the Grand Rounds, Essential Ethics podcasts and other education offered by the Hospital.  She has regular contact with her original Royal Children’s Hospital Nurse Training Group and is also a member of the League of Former Trainees (LOFT).

    Bev and her husband Rod enjoy travelling, especially to Provence, as well as spending time with their four children, spouses and nine grandchildren.  She enjoys outdoor activities with long walks.  With an original nursing friend, Bev has trekked four different rou tes to Santiago de Compostela in Spain and enjoys writing of these adventures and challenges. Her other interests include gardening, reading, further creative writing and dabbling in the French and German languages.