An unexpected turn of events

I wanted to share something a bit personal that I have been struggling with for a little over a year now. I’ve mentioned it in comments on the Facebook Page and also opened up about it briefly while a few of us waited for a speaker at a live webinar once but I haven’t really discussed it yet.

The truth is, I haven’t really known what or how to talk about it. I didn’t want pity or drama and I didn’t want to have to admit the inevitable out loud either.

I’m stepping away from clinical Nursing… most likely permanently.

You see, in February 2018 I received a call from my brother and it was pretty obvious that something big had just happened.

‘I’ve got Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and you have to be tested too,’ he rambled.

‘Alpha-what? What does this even mean?’ I asked him.

The good news (sort of) was that I was just about to walk into the GP for something else, so I was able to request the test.

A week later, an elated junior GP exclaimed, ‘Yes! You have it. Oh my goodness that is RARE! Do you realise how rare this is?’

Is she seriously that excited by my misfortune?!?

‘Well judging by your excitement, I’m guessing you’ve never seen this before, huh?’ I mumbled unsure of how to take it in.

What the hell does this mean exactly?

To be honest, over a year later I’m still slightly clueless about it. The GP at the time had no idea what to do with me so I’m still yet to see all the specialists.

I now know that I am at a pretty high risk of developing COPD from 40 years of age despite never smoking and for this reason I get very nervous when people smoke in public and the smoke wafts my way.

I’ve had a doctor recommend I don’t get respiratory infections if I can help it too- Goodbye clinical paediatric nursing… I want to live a long and healthy life to see my own kids grow up so I’ll reduce any risks I possibly can.

I should also ensure I drink alcohol only occasionally. Dammit. I love an evening glass of wine but alas… I also love being healthy 😉

The good news is, I am asymptomatic, and I intend to keep focusing on that.

So, there you have it. I won’t be nursing clinically anymore.

Does this make me less of a nurse?

Some may say, yes whereas some may say, no. What I do know, is that I am so passionate about the career and seeing the experience of kids in healthcare transform that I don’t think it matters if I’m a clinical nurse or not.

Sometimes it’s these wake up calls we need to birth the passions within us.

Thank you for being part of this journey!

Much love,


Brooke Batchelor
Brooke Batchelor is a Paediatric Registered Nurse, qualified Primary Teacher and children’s advocate. She founded ‘The Paediatric Nurse’ website in 2015 before developing it into an online continuing professional development website for Paediatric Nurses in August 2018. She is passionate about giving children a voice in healthcare and works tirelessly towards encouraging others to further develop their child and family centred care approaches. Brooke has recently joined the Advisory Board for the Standish Foundation – a charitable organisation that promotes child & family centred care and empowers healthcare professionals through the provision of funding & resources. Previously, Brooke also sat on the Board of Directors for the Association for the Well-being of Children in Healthcare, Australia and held the Vice President position in 2017. Brooke has a keen interest in holistic healthcare and the use of complementary therapies and looks forward to a healthcare system that integrates these various modalities. As a result, Brooke has been studying towards her Yoga Teacher Certification and has almost completed a Diploma in Aromatherapy too. In addition to her business, The Paediatric Nurse, Brooke has also founded an essential oils business, Aroma Brooke, and is often found educating families on the safe and effective use of essential oils. When Brooke is not nursing, hosting webinars or teaching others about essential oils, she is spending quality time with her husband and two daughters or enjoying a yoga session with some essential oils & meditation thrown in.


  • Carmel O' Mara
    July 8, 2019

    I salute you and wish you well!! Once a nurse always a nurse………………

    • Thank you Carmel! I am certainly very lucky that I had The Paediatric Nurse to focus on too 🙂

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